#livetweet thread of Women who Out Steampunked Steampunk, opening with a note about how diverse the Victorian era is and that women of colour very much existed
Straw poll on interest of the room of soldiers and inventors. Talking about how women were soldiers, that there were lots of reasons to go to war, that lgbtq erasure is real and that some women returned and went on lecture circuit;
others lived in male garb for rest of life after war and that many of them are likely what we would understand as trans.
Also all the nurses and wives going to war. Quick anecdote of soldier's wife grumpy about laundry ruined by canon ball.
Ada Lovelace, quintessential steampunk woman, who saw the potential of things, work with Babbage's difference engine.
Ada as child of Byron and was brought up on maths by her mother, no poetry, to suppress that poetic imagination, but that she brought a mathematical imagination to the table
Women couldn't take out patent in their own name in America and thus there's a lack of documented female inventors. Apocryphal story of how the sewing machine was invented by man's wife in three days in a "ugh, we are poor just sell this"
Clothes wringer was invented by a black woman, the device still persists today, and that feared that white women wouldn't use something invented by a black woman and she sold the patent on
Madam C. J. Walker, civil rights activist and inventor of hair products, first female self made millionaire of America.
Sarah Guppy is super steampunk, as she invented many multi-purpose objects that make eggs and tea etc.

After 1790 American women were allowed to file patents in their own names.
Sarah Guppy's weird exercise bed
Mary Kies is the first to file patent in America. She was important in hat making industry and that hats no longer being imported from France and saved the New England hat industry
Margaret Knight invented the machine that folds paper bags, and we still use it today. And also she invented method for machines to stop when jammed. Which is great for safety.
Audience supplements other amazing stories about Madam C. J. Walker starting bank and also invented very concept franchises.
Addendum: different Walker: washingtonpost.com/news/retropoli…
Quickly onto female scientists, Mary Anning, whose father made cabinets, and the crossover that never was as Jane Austen tried to buy a curiosity cabinet from him but thought it too expensive
Mary Anning collected fossils, first ichthyosaur skeleton and making connections about bezoar being fossilised poop. She sells sea shells by the sea shore is about her. She had many brushes with death, the cliffs crumbling beneath her feet.
The Harvard Computers, hidden figures film and women who worked as computers started very early on; Edward Charles Pickering was lamenting how his male assistants are awful and that his maid could do better
Williamina Fleming was a school teacher and came to be a maid after childbirth, that she was hired in a huff by Pickering. And she went on to discover Horsehead Nebula, etc, and later led Harvard Computers (impolitely called Pickering's Harem)
Shout out to The Glass Universe, and also in fiction Calculating Stars and Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
Also very quickly mentioning Beatrix Potter was also a naturalist, as well as children's books.

Women did a lot of naturalism, that whilst it did make it a lot easier with having money. But that some of that is framing, of making it accessible to femininity, socially acceptable.
So some women who needed to work, so frame their scientific endeavours and naturalism as feminine. That they frame how their discoveries as "oh I'm looking at my garden, I can see two hundred species..."
Also again we have it with the travellers and they would frame their travels as "oh well I would much much rather stay at home, but the doctor says fresh air so I'm going three month journey"
Very very quick wander into women in medicine, with Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole, and the women who basically invaded medical school. A transformative time.
Jeanne Villepreux-Power invented the aquarium, self taught, working class, daughter of a shoe maker, that she also designed a famous wedding gown.

Female travellers and explorers; so Sophie Blanchard, regency balloonist
There was a huge hot air balloon craze; with poofy sleeves and trinkets and wallpaper;

She was anxious as a person, her husband was a not very successful balloonist and they think maybe she could fly and would be gimmick. She was as fearless in the air, as timid on ground.
Her husband died falling out of a balloon, they did lots of tricks; her basket was the size of chair; she is apparently tiny; first woman to pilot and fly professionally in a balloon; would sleep in basket
She was politically active and she was also the first woman to die in a balloon accident. She would do pyrotechnic displays and the fireworks set fire to her hydrogen balloon; she successfully landed but was tangled in strings; and after of course big omg women shouldn't pilot
We are about to go into talking about missionaries and travellers, I am having to run to my reading but do google all these amazing women
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