Women in Pittsburgh history

Aesopposea / Wikipedia Commons

Native American tribes were the first to settle in western Pennsylvania. The names they gave rivers and towns are still here today, but many leaders of these tribes have been forgotten. Nonhelema, a Shawnee warrior and peacemaker, is one of these figures.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Industrial hemp is making a comeback in Pennsylvania after nearly a century of being illegal. The crop can be used to manufacture rope and clothing. Back when Pittsburgh was a young city, a woman defied tradition to run the largest rope-making business in the region.

Charles "Teenie" Harris / Carnegie Museum of Art, Charles "Teenie" Harris Archive

In 1960, the same year the Pittsburgh Pirates won their third World Series title, another athletic league was making a name for itself in the city. That’s when a Hill District native named Mildred Allen helped create one of the largest community athletic associations in Pittsburgh: the Triboro Softball League.

Katie Blackley / Courtesy Senator John Heinz History Center

In 1893, Bertha Lamme became the country’s first female engineer when she took a job at Westinghouse Electric Corporation.

University of Pittsburgh Archives & Special Collections

In the early 1900s, Jean Hamilton became the first African-American woman to receive her bachelor's and doctorate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. She was a leader in a field with few women, and is one of a handful of black women under consideration to replace the controversial Stephen Foster statue that once stood in Oakland.