Lady Computers

posted: 2940 days ago, on Tuesday, 2009 Sep 01 at 02:44
tags: astronomy, history.

Did you know that there were computers in use at the Royal Observatory, Cape Town, in the 19th century? What's more, they were female.

"The first serious effort in Britain to give women a scientific profession in astronomy," writes Mary Brück in Stars and Satellites: Women in Early British and Irish Astronomy (Springer, 2009), "was the 'lady computer' scheme at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, introduced in 1890."

At the Cape Observatory, too, these ladies made laborious calculations for miniscule pay.

The image below was recently discovered in the Observatory archives.

via: Hans van der Merwe

nothing more to see. please move along.