For a married woman to achieve not only bliss but also intellectual parity with her husband a hundred years ago was a remarkable accomplishment. Ellen Swallow’s love affair with Robert H. Richards was hardly one of history’s great romances, but it demonstrated that hearts and minds could be equal, rational and compatible.Read More
In the 1890s American women emerged as a major force for social reform. Millions joined civic organizations and, under the banner of “municipal housekeeping,” extended their roles from domestic duties to concern about their communities and environments. Their contributions were vital in civilizing and improving the horrific conditions created by the industrial revolution and the philosophies of social darwinism and unregulated capitalism. One of the first was Ellen Swallow Richards.