SWE: Emma Barth Diaries

in
Accession Number: 
LP001953
Extent: 
6.5 linear feet (3 MB, 5 SB)
Date: 
1939-1979

The Society of Women Engineers: Emma Barth Diaries include over 160 diaries Barth wrote between 1939 and 1979. These diaries chronicle the 35 years Barth spent working as a mechanical engineer and her involvement in the Society of Women Engineers and the Society of Professional Engineers, as well as her outside activities and interests.

Barth began her career as an engineer in 1942, when she enrolled in drafting courses at the Pittsburgh Aeronautics Institute and took a job as draftman for the H. J. Heinz Company. In 1944 she accepted a draftsman position at the East Pittsburgh office of the Westinghouse Electric Co., where she was one of just 18 women in the Turbine Generator Division. After joining Westinghouse, Barth took night classes at the University of Pittsburgh for seven years, graduating with a B.S. in General Engineering in 1951.

Barth was a founding member and later the president of the Pittsburgh Section of the Society of Women Engineers, and served as the first editor of the SWE Newsletter. She became a member of the Society of Professional Engineers in 1952 and obtained her Pennsylvania Professional Engineers License 1961. Upon her retirement from Westinghouse in 1977, Barth received the Westinghouse Community Service Award, the first woman to ever do so.

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