Savoring the Legacy of Joyce Chen

Chef. Restaurateur. Entrepreneur. by Stephen Chen, president of Joyce Chen Foods Reproduced from joycechenfoods.com with permission Born in Beijing in 1917, my mother Joyce Chen came to this country with my dad, sister and brother in 1949. We moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where friends of the family had settled, and where I was born. Surrounded by Chinese students at Harvard … Read More

Elizabeth Ann Sullivan, M.D.

Inspired by our 2020 theme, “Who are Cambridge Women?” Society member Philip M. Cronin wrote this essay about his remarkable mother, Elizabeth Sullivan.                       Elizabeth Ann Sullivan was born in Winchendon, Massachusetts, in 1892. She attended local schools.  The day after she graduated from high school, she boarded a train to Boston and enrolled at Tufts Medical School. At the … Read More

Minimum Wages for Women in Early 20th Century Cambridge

By Sarah Huggins, Intern, Lesley UniversityMarch 2020 What image enters your mind when thinking about Cambridge? For many, it’s the Corinthian columns of our prestigious institutions of higher education. But less than a hundred years ago the city was a major industrial center:- a manufacturing mecca of brick buildings and smokestacks. The Boston Daily Globe boasted in 1927, “Factories, not … Read More

Edith Lesley: Pioneering Educational Leader

By Jan Devereux This blog post is a result of our “How Have Women Shaped Cambridge?” call for submissions as we celebrate our 2020 theme, “Who Are Cambridge Women?” Edith Lesley (1872-1953) left a mark on Cambridge in founding, in 1909, the school that over the past 111 years has grown into Lesley University.  The daughter of a shoemaker, Edith … Read More

2020 Opening Conversation Recap

On February 25, we hosted our 2020 Opening Conversation: “Who Are Cambridge Women?” at the Cambridge Public Library. Eva Martin-Blythe, Executive Director of the Cambridge YWCA, was joined by the Society’s Doing History Curator, Diana Lempel, for a discussion of the history, mission, and legacy of the YWCA. This event marked the beginning of a year of programs exploring the … Read More

How Have Women Shaped Cambridge? A Call for Submissions

How Have Women Shaped Cambridge? A “Her-story” Drive Women’s stories are still largely overlooked in the broader historical narrative, and women continue to face obstacles to their full participation in civic life, economic equality, and even their physical health and safety. In light of these ongoing challenges, the Cambridge Historical Society has chosen to focus our 2020 programs on the … Read More

Recap of 9/25/19 Claiming Our Seats: A Kitchen Table Dialogue on Women’s Voting Rights

Cambridge Women Vote Logo

Thank you to all who joined us as we discussed the upcoming 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, when women won the right to vote.  At this roundtable, we asked – which women? Dr. Jennifer Guglielmo, Rev. Irene Monroe, and Dr. Laurie Nsiah-Jefferson engaged us in a reflective dialogue about women’s rights across the 20th and 21st centuries, moderated by Andrea Asuaje. … Read More

Lois Lilley Howe by Elizabeth W. Reinhardt

Lois Lilley Howe, F.A.I.A. (1864-1964) by Elizabeth W. Reinhardt Read December 7, 1975 This article appeared in the Cambridge Historical Society Proceedings for the years 1973-1975 (Volume 43) Miss LOIS LILLEY HOWE, one of the first women to graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s architectural program, the organizer of the only all-woman architectural firm in Boston in the early twentieth … Read More

Harvard Square in the ‘Seventies and ‘Eighties

By Lois Lilley Howe Read January 25, 1944 This article originally appeared in the Cambridge Historical Society Proceedings, Volume 30, pages 11-27 Reminiscences, which should really have been called Harvard Square and its Environs in the ‘Seventies and ‘Eighties, have been in the back of my mind long enough for me to have verified details by talks with Miss Elizabeth Harris … Read More

Maria Baldwin, 1856-1922: “An Honor and a Glory”

By Daphne Abeel   Cantabrigian Maria Baldwin, a gifted and imposing African-American educator of the early 20th century, has never lacked recognition. During her lifetime and after her death, she was praised and then remembered. She was exceptional for her era and perhaps for all eras, attracting the attention of the entire community with her engaging personality and great skills … Read More