Iowa History Daily: September 8 - Ida Henrietta Hyde

Iowa History Daily: On September 8, 1857, physiologist and first woman to ever conduct research at Harvard Medical School Ida Henrietta Hyde was born in Davenport. A pioneering scientist who developed a micro-electrode, the glass-ceiling shattering woman stands out for numerous research accomplishments.

Born the oldest of four children to German immigrants in Davenport, the family struggled while Meyer Hyde sought to provide for his family as a traveling salesman. Opting to try to improve the family’s fortunes in Chicago, the Hydes relocated only to have their home destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

To help the family recover, the 14-year old Ida took a job working as a milliner’s apprentice before she eventually enrolled in night classes at the Chicago Athenaeum. After passing entrance exams at the College Preparatory School, Ida Hyde enrolled at the University of Illinois at the age of 24. Graduating with a degree in education, she went on to teach in the Chicago Public School System for 7 years.

Enrolling at Cornell University and then Bryn Mawr to continue her studies in biology, a stunning academic career followed. Collecting a PhD at Heidelberg University in her parents’ native Germany, research fellowships and professorships led Ida Hyde around the globe. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryCalendar


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