Women in Pittsburgh history

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.