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An Early Start for Women in Optics

Jeff Hecht

A look at nine pathbreaking women who joined the Optical Society of America in its first decade.

figureChristine Ladd-Franklin. [Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Archives]

In 1919, three years after its founding, the Optical Society of America (OSA; now Optica) admitted its first woman member. Then 71 years old, Christine Ladd-Franklin—OSA member 118—had published her first paper on vision in 1892. In the years leading up to the society’s 10th anniversary in 1926, eight other women members followed, all at least a generation younger than Ladd-Franklin.

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Publish Date: 01 June 2023


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