Alice Hamilton MD (1869 – 1970)is a woman of little historical notice, but she did remarkable work for the industrial worker in the early 20th century. Through her endeavor of recognizing the hazardous conditions mostly men were subject to work under, the workplace became safer for workers. She identified that the predominately male workforce was being poisoned by things like lead,mercury, arsenic, radium and carbon monoxide. She became recognized worldwide for her work and was instrumental in contributing research data to prove that workers were being harmed. As a result of her findings, the state of Illinois started the first workers compensation program for its citizens. Dr. Hamilton was also offered the assistant professor position of Industrial Medicine at Harvard University. It was a first for women.
As I have been researching these remarkable women for my book – Healing Matters, my heart is filled with gratitude for their perseverance and tenacity. They are an inspiration for women!
“To work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worthwhile. – Virginia Wolf.