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Williamina P. Fleming

Died 21 May 1911 at age 54 (born 15 May 1857).Williamina Paton Stevens Fleming was a Scottish-American astronomer (née Stevens) who pioneered in the classification of stellar spectra and the first to discover stars called “white dwarfs.” She emigrated to Boston at age 21. Prof. Edward Pickering, director of the Harvard Observatory first employed Fleming as a maid, but in 1881 hired her to do clerical work and some mathematical calculations at the Observatory. She further proved capable of doing science. After devising her system of classifying stars by their spectra, she cataloged over 10,000 stars within the next nine years. Her duties were expanded and she was put in charge of dozens of young women hired to do mathematical computations (as now done by computers).

Sign on company bulleting boar...

Sign on company bulleting board: “This firm requires no physical-fitness program. Everyone gets enough exercise jumping to conclusions, flying of the handle, running down the boss, flogging dead horses, knifing friend in the back, dodging responsibility, and pushing their luck.”
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