Why you should take
this class if you are interested in Women’s Studies?
There are multiple references to achievements of
extraordinary women, two examples of whom are briefly introduced below:
- Lou Hoover (1874-?), the wife of former
president Herbert Hoover, was the chief translator of De Re Metallica by Agricola into
English. She studied Geology in Stanford – the first woman ever in this
science in Stanford, and followed by another only 25 years afterwards. In
addition, she had a great language talent, which she employed to study
classical languages such as Hebrew, Latin or Greek. She traveled the world
in her research, and was remarkably independent. She and her husband, as
geologists, engineers and prospectors, formed a remarkably productive
team. They together translated Agricolas
book in 1909, which was particularly challenging since Agricola wrote it
in Latin, and made up words for if there was no Latin expression for
something. Their translation is the one we are using in this class.
Although, H. Hoover is often credited with it, in the Hoover Library and
Memorial in Iowa
one can learn, how Lou and Herbert worked and lived together and changed
large parts of the world in doing so.
19, Hoover Memorial Library, Iowa
- Barbara Uthmann
(1514-1575), a 16th century merchant’s wife in Annaberg, Saxony, single-handedly saved large parts of
the population from starvation, by introducing lace making to the women in
the area, after the silver in the mines declined. She organized more than
1000 women into a lace-making collaborative. This paid work helped feed
the families, and bridged over a few decades until other minerals from the
mines, such as Cobalt and tin, became economically interesting and viable.
Another example of the significant business sense of this women are her
activities with respect to the Saigerhütte Olbernhau. This smelter and copper rolling plant was
in decline in the 1550s, as the local ore was diminishing. She negotiated
with the Archduke August of Saxony to acquire the rights for the purchase
of raw copper ore (called Black copper, containing copper, iron, silver
and impurities) from locations allover Saxony and Germany.
This saved the location in Olbernhau from ruin,
and helped it to become the most successful location for the production of
roofing copper in Europe at the time. One
can find a great exhibition on her progressive ideas and actions in the Annaberg-Bergmuseum.
of Barbara Uthmann in the Erzgebirgsmuseum
and on the market square
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