Famous Firsts in Business & Technology by American Women

1767 Anne Catherine Hoof Green
1st U.S. Woman to Run a Print Shop
Anne Catherine Hoof Green takes over her late husband's printing and newspaper business, becoming the first American woman to run a print shop. The following year she is named the official printer for the colony of Maryland.
1775 Mary Katherine Goddard
1st Female Postmaster
Mary Katherine Goddard became the first woman postmaster in the country (in Baltimore)
1795 Anne Parrish
Charity Founder
Anne Parrish establishes, in Philadelphia, the House of Industry, the first charitable organization for women in America.
1809 Mary Kies
1st Woman to receive a patent
Mary Kies becomes the first woman to receive a patent, for a method of weaving straw with silk.
1849 Elizabeth Blackwell
1st U.S. Female M.D.
Elizabeth Blackwell receives her M.D. degree from the Medical Institution of Geneva, N.Y., becoming the first woman in the U.S. with a medical degree.
1864 Rebecca Lee Crumpler
1st Black Female M.D.
Rebecca Lee Crumpler becomes the first black woman to receive an M.D. degree. She graduated from the New England Female Medical College.
1866 Lucy Hobbs
1st U.S. Female Dental Graduate
Lucy Hobbs becomes the first woman to graduate from dental school, the Ohio College of Dental Surgery.
1869 Arabella Mansfield
1st U.S. Female Lawyer
Arabella Mansfield is granted admission to practice law in Iowa, making her the first woman lawyer.
1870 Ada H. Kepley
1st Female Law Graduate
Ada H. Kepley, of Illinois, graduates from the Union College of Law in Chicago. She is the first woman lawyer to graduate from a law school.
1873 Ellen Swallow Richards
1st U.S. Female Chemist
Ellen Swallow Richards, becomes the first female professional chemist in the U.S.
1879 Belva Ann Lockwood
Belva Ann Lockwood becomes the first woman admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
1934 Lettie Pate Whitehead
1st U.S. Female Company Director
Lettie Pate Whitehead becomes the first American woman to serve as a director of a major corporation, The Coca-Cola Company.
1960 Jacqueline Cochran
breaks the sound barrier
Jacqueline Cochran breaks the sound barrier by flying an F-86 over Roger's Dry Lake, California, at the speed of 652.337 miles per hour. Eleven years later, she flies at a speed of 1,429.2 miles per hour, more than twice the speed of sound.
1972 Juanita Kreps
1st Female NYSE Director
Juanita Kreps becomes the first woman director of the New York Stock Exchange. She later becomes the first woman appointed Secretary of Commerce.
1983 Dr. Sally K. Ride
1st U.S. Female in Space
Dr. Sally K. Ride becomes the first American woman to be sent into space.
1992 Mae Jemison
1st African-American Female Astronaut
Mae Jemison becomes the first black female astronaut.
1999 Lt. Col. Eileen Collins
1st Female Shuttle Commander
Lt. Col. Eileen Collins is the first woman astronaut to command a space shuttle mission.