Edith Clarke was an American electrical engineer and the first female electrical engineer to work for the US government. Clarke earned a degree in mathematics from Vassar College in 1905. She taught mathematics at a school in Virginia and later worked as a computer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) electrical engineering department.
In 1919, she became the first female electrical engineer to work for the US government when she was hired by the Federal Telegraph Company to work on the design of the coast-to-coast radio system. In 1921, she received a patent for a graphical calculator, which was used to simplify the solution of mathematical equations.
In 1943, Clarke published her book, “Circuit Analysis of A-C Power Systems,” which became a widely used textbook in the field of electrical engineering. The book was based on her extensive experience in solving problems related to electrical power systems and made it easier for engineers to understand the complexities of electrical power systems.
Edith Clarke’s pioneering work in electrical engineering helped pave the way for future generations of female engineers. She was a mentor to many young women who were interested in pursuing a career in electrical engineering and was known for her excellent teaching skills. She died in 1959, but her legacy continues to inspire young women who are interested in pursuing careers in STEM fields.