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Pearl I. Young
Pearl I. Young (click to enlarge)

Pearl I. Young
Date: 1 Jan 1961

Here we see Pearl I. Young at the NACA Langley Instrument Research Laboratory. Young was the Chief Technical Editor at Langley.

Young attended Jamestowm College and the University of North Dakota, graduating in 1919 with honors, a Phi Beta Kappa key and a triple major in physics, chemistry and mathematics. She was hired by the university to teach physics, a role that typically was served by men.

In 1921, there were 21 female and 864 male physicists in the United States. Most of the women were college teachers, hired by women's colleges. There was only one woman physicist working for the federal government at that time, and she worked for the National Bureau of Standards.

In 1922, Young was hired as a physicist by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), and was assigned to the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory's Instrument Research Division under the direction of Henry J.E. Reid. In 1929 Reid appointed Young as Langley's Chief Technical Editor. She established a "new" office, hired staff and formed the research reports and official documents that communicated the extraordinary technical accomplishments of Langley.

Over her twenty eight years at the NACA and NASA, Young helped define the public image of the NACA and influenced the way aeronautical engineers throughout NACA (now NASA) communicate their ideas.

Credit: NASA

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