Fallout Girl's Blog



Black Widows of Science

Radiation Level:  16 ounces

Listening To:  The Hazards of Love by The Decemberists

Ada Lovelace Day was an amazing event to honor women who have contributed to science and technology.   But what about the women who were married to scientists and contributed behind the scenes?  And what about those devoted wives who suffered when his scientific experiments turned deadly?  I dedicate this day to the Black Widows of Science.

Michael and I had this spark.

Sarah Faraday was the doting wife of Michael Faraday, mostly known for his achievements in electromagnetism and electricity.  Surely Sarah knew the dangers her husband faced in this uncertain science.   But how could she know the peril of his invention called the electric dynamo, the ancestor of modern power generators, as it teetered on the edge of the bathtub?  It was she who smelled burnt toast then found her husband electrocuted after the dynamo accidentally toppled into his warm sudsy bathwater.  We’re sorry for your loss, Sarah.  Thank you for enduing this pain so that I might have my hair dryer.  When I use my round brush, I get a great up-flip.

Those nasty, nasty beasts! He was mine!


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Vera Vladmirovna and Alexander von Middendorff were madly in love when they married in Moscow.  Midendorff, the famous zoologist, made many contributions including being the first person ever to record in detail the mating behavior of the Kodiak bear.  He was able to observe their coital interactions close up by draping a bearskin over his body and quietly taking notes.  This backfired one day when a male Kodiak mistaked Middendorff for his next mate and, well, Vera simply found his notepad covered in blood.  And bear semen.  Vera never got over the loss of her husband and sat by his grave six days a week until a pack of wolves attacked her.  She was buried next to her husband.

You mean the type-writing DEATH MACHINE?

Mildred Eloise Gill met James Fields Smathers at a speakeasy in Kansas City.  They both ordered a vodka Gibson with three onions and took it as a sign they were meant to be together.  Several years later, James Smathers invented what is considered the first practical power-operated typewriter.  Smathers, a natural speed demon, experimented constantly on how to make the keys of the typewriter move faster and faster.  When he developed a prototype that moved the keys at 40 MPH, his tie was caught between them and he was unable to remove it before being strangled.  Mildred claimed to hear the sound of keys clicking for years after her husband’s death.  I’ll think about Mildred’s contribution when I under go surgery for my carpel tunnel.

And thanks to all the Black Widows of Science not mentioned here.  You mattered!

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Comments

  1. Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring
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    | Reply Posted 4 years, 9 months ago
  2. * ellenska says:

    I was looking up Sarah Faraday and found your blog — har!

    | Reply Posted 1 year, 6 months ago


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