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Pennington, Mary Engle

Born: 1872 AD
Died: 1952 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Chemists

1872 – Mary was born on October 8th in Nashville, Tennessee to Henry and Sarah Molony Pennington. American chemist and food scientist.

1890 – She was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania.

1892 – Completed the degree requirements for a major in chemistry and minors in zoology and botany.

         – Was awarded a certificate of proficiency rather than a B.S. because the University of Pennsylvania did not grant degrees to women.

1895 – Began her professional career as an analytical chemist, earning her Ph.D. under Edgar Fahs Smith at the University of Pennsylvania.

1898 – She accepted a position as director of the Clinical Laboratory at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania.

1905 – Pennington began her long association with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a bacteriological chemist.

1906 – Became the Chief of the Food Research Laboratory that was just being established as a result of the Pure Food and Drug Act.

1919 – Pennington accepted a position as director of American Balsa, which manufactured insulation used in refrigeration units.

         – Mary Engle Pennington was recognized for her pioneering work. She was elected to the American Society of Refrigerating Engineers, she was awarded the Notable Service Medal from President Hoover.

1922 – She started her own consulting firm.

         – Applied her knowledge to refrigeration, making numerous contributions, especially in the design of commercial and household refrigerators, refrigerated railway cars, and freezers.

1940 – She was awarded with the Garvan Medal.

1952 – Dr. Mary Engle Pennington remained active professionally. She was still consulting and was vice president of the American Institute of Refrigeration when she died on December 27th in New York.

2002 – She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.