Draft of Timeline of Women in Science During Victorian Era

All suggestions of additions welcome. This is something I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks, because I really needed a proper understanding of the background for women in Science in the Victorian era. It is only partially complete, but the backbone is there.


Mary Anning

Time Scientist/Instigator Achievement
1799 Mary Anning (21 May 1799 – 9 March 1847) was an English fossil collector, dealer, and palaeontologist


Discovery of the Ichthysaurs, Plesiosaurus, and many invertebrate fossil species.
1816 Marie-Sophie Germain (1 April 1776 – 27 June 1831) was a French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher. Submitted her third paper, Recherches sur la théorie des surfaces élastiques under her own name, and became the first woman to win a prize from the Paris Academy of Sciences.
1826 Mary Fairfax Somerville

(26 December 1780 – 29 November 1872) was a Scottish science writer and polymath (Caroline Herschel was first in 18th century)

Presented a paper entitled ‘The Magnetic Properties of the Violet Rays of the Solar Spectrum’ to the Royal Society
1832 Jeanne Villepreux-Power (24 September 1794 – 25 January 1871) was a pioneering French marine biologist The first person to create aquaria for experimenting with aquatic organisms. The first woman member of the Catania Accademia, and a correspondent member of the London Zoological Society.


1834 Janet Taylor (1804–1870), was an English astronomer scientific instrument maker, and navigation expert Her “Mariner’s Calculator” was patented. She produced Lunar Tables for Calculating Distances. She was awarded a Civil List pension in 1860.
1835 Mary Fairfax Somerville and Caroline Herschel Elected as Honorary Members of the Royal Astronomical Society
1836 The Deaconess Institute at Kaiserswerth was established t0 teach women nursing.
1842 Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, (10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852) was a British mathematician and writer Wrote the first computer program, for use by the Analytical Engine built by Charles Babbage.
1843 Anna Atkins (16 March 1799 – 9 June 1871) was an English botanist and photographer Self-published her photograms in the first installment of Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions


1847 Maria Mitchell (August 1, 1818 – June 28, 1889) was an American astronomer She discovered a comet, which was recorded as Miss Mitchell’s Comet


1848 Maria Mitchell First woman elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences


1850 Maria Mitchell First woman elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science
1850 Founding of women’s tertiary educational facility, the North London Collegiate School
1853 Founding of women’s tertiary educational facility, Cheltenham Ladies’ College
1860 Florence Nightingale Established the Nightingale Training School for Nurses
1865 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, LSA, MD (9 June 1836 – 17 December 1917), was an English physician and feminist. the first Englishwoman to qualify as a physician and surgeon in Britain. She was the co-founder of the first hospital staffed by women, the first dean of a British medical school, the first female doctor of medicine in France, the first woman in Britain to be elected to a school board and, as Mayor of Aldeburgh, the first female mayor and magistrate in Britain


1865 Maria Mitchell Was made professor of astronomy at Vassar College, and she was also named as Director of the Vassar College Observatory.
1869 Founding of first UK women’s university college, Girton
1871 Founding of UK women’s university college, Newnham
1874 Sofia Vasilyevna Kovalevskaya  (15 January 1850 – 10 February 1891) was the first major Russian female mathematician She presented three papers to the University of Göttingen as her doctoral dissertation. This earned her a doctorate in mathematics summa cum laude, the first woman in Europe to achieve that degree.
1874 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson founded the first UK medical school to train women, the London School of Medicine for Women
1879 Founding of UK women’s university college, Somerville
1881 Phoebe Sarah Hertha Ayrton (28 April 1854 – 23 August 1923) was an English engineer, mathematician, physicist, and inventor. Successfully completed an external examination and received a B.Sc. degree from the University of London


1884 Sofia Vasilyevna Kovalevskaya Appointed to a five-year position as Professor Extraordinarius (Professor without Chair) and became the editor of Acta Mathematica.


1886 Dorothea Klumpke Roberts (August 9, 1861 in San Francisco – October 5, 1942 ) was an astronomer. Made Director of the Bureau of Measurements at the Paris Observatory for the production of a star atlas.


1889 Sofia Vasilyevna Kovalevskaya Appointed Professor Ordinarius at Stockholm University, the first woman to hold such a position at a northern European university
1889 Dorothea Klumpke Roberts first recipient of the “Prix de Dames” from the Sociétié des Astronomique de France
1891 Annie Russell Maunder (14 April 1868 – 15 September 1947) was an Irish astronomer and mathematician. began work at the Greenwich Royal Observatory, serving as one of the “lady computers”
1893 Dorothea Klumpke Roberts First woman to be made an Officier d’Académe of the French Academy of Sciences AND she read her doctoral thesis, “L’étude des Anneaux de Saturne” to a large audience of academics at the Sorbonne, and was awarded the degree of Docteur-és-Sciences; the first woman to do so.
1896 Dorothea Klumpke Roberts sailed to Norway on the Norwegian vessel Norse King, to observe the solar eclipse of August 9, 1896


1897 Helen Beatrix Potter (28 July 1866 – 22 December 1943) was an English author, illustrator, natural scientist, and conservationist submitted a paper, On the Germination of the Spores of the Agaricineae, to the Linnean Society. Was unable to be taken seriously as an academic and turned to children’s writing.


1898 Annie Russell Maunder She photographed the outer solar corona from India in 1898, then published The Heavens and their Story with her husband as coauthor. She was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in November 1916.
1899 Phoebe Sarah Hertha Ayrton At the International Congress of Women held in London, Hertha presided over the physical science section.


1899 Margaret Lindsay, Lady Huggins (born 14 August 1848, Dublin – died 24 March 1915, London), was an Irish-English scientific investigator and astronomer. co-authored the Atlas of Representative Stellar Spectra with her husband, William Huggins.
1902 Phoebe Sarah Hertha Ayrton Published The Electric Arc, a summary of her research and work on the electric arc.
1904 Phoebe Sarah Hertha Ayrton Became the first woman to read a paper before the Royal Society.
Phoebe Sarah Hertha Ayrton was awarded the Royal Society‘s prestigious Hughes Medal “for her experimental investigations on the electric arc, and also on sand ripples”.




Filed under Feminism, Historical Personage, History, Research, Steampunk, Steampunk Feminist, Uncategorized, Victorian Era, Women in Science

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