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Keith, Marcia Anna

Additional Information

Some Important Contributions:

Marcia Keith's importance lies in her role as a pioneering teacher of physics to women, and as a charter member of the American Physical Society. She was present at its founding in 1899. She was the first full-time instructor in the physics department at Mount Holyoke and head of the department from 1889 to 1903. She was said to be the first to provide individual laboratory work for her students.[51 MJB]

She started the physics colloquium at Mt. Holyoke as a means of making the young students aware of a growing subject.

In her research she studied heat transmission in gases at low pressures. [6A AMS]


1883-1885 Instructor, Michigan Seminary
1885-1889 Instructor, Mt. Holyoke College
1889-1903 Head, Physics Department, Mt. Holyoke College
1905-1906 Lake Erie College [51 MJB]
1906-1908 Consulting Engineer, H.C. Keith Company


Mt. Holyoke College class of '83
B. S. Mt. Holyoke College 1892
Special Student, Worcester Polytechnic Institute 1887,1889
Study, Berlin 1897-1898
Study, University of Chicago - Summer 1901

Sources and References consulted:

Archives of Mt. Holyoke College, Aumnae Questionnaire, [1 CLH], [6A AMS], [7 MWR1], [8 MBO], [51 MJB]

Additional Information/Comments:

Marcia Keith and Isabelle Stone of Vassar were the only two women present at the founding of the American Physical Society. [7 MWR1]

"It was not unusual in this period for both men and women to obtain accredited degress after they started academic careers. ... Due to the expense of laboratory equipment, few colleges offered classes in physics, making it difficult for Marcia Keith to complete her degree."

Field Editors:

Frieda Stahl/ Nina Byers
<fstahl@ calstatela.edu>

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latest revision {4/30/97 mjw} 3/16/01 nb