m. 15 Nov 1882
m. 14 Feb 1908
Facts and Events
One of the earliest references to Nora is in her grandmothers memoirs. In 1891 whilst visiting England she recalls that on a short vacation at Bournemouth, 'Nora, with her spade and pail, played all day in the sands, digging trenches and filling them with water'. Was this the first indication of her future career? A sister, Helen, was born in 1892 but died four years later.
From 1897 Nora was educated in the United States, just spending the summers in England. A newspaper report in 1899 tells us that while attending the Horace Mann school in New York she received 'A' marks in Latin, Mathematics and Manual Training. In 1901 she entered the Arts course at Cornell University and the following year became the first woman to be accepted to the Universities Civil Engineering Course. In 1904 Nora demonstrated that she also had athletic abilities, when in a period of two weeks she swam across both Lake Seneca and Lake Cayuga in New York State. In 1906 Nora became the first female graduate civil engineer in the United States and the first woman to be admitted to the Ameican Society of Civil Engineers.
On graduation it is reported that Nora recieved an offer from the Chinese government to become a member of the countries corps of engineers, an offer she turned down in favor of a position with the American Bridge Company. At this time the Board of Water Supply of New York City was starting the Great Aqueduct from the Catskill Mountains to New York. Only the best Civil Engineers were being accepted by examination, Noar passed easily and worked on what was called the greatest Water Project ever undertaken. Inevitably Nora became involved in the Suffrage movement.
Marriage & Divorce
On February 12, 1908 the New York Times announced 'the engagement of Miss Nora Stanton Blatch to Lee De Forest of wireless telegraph and telephone fame'. His first wife had only recently obtained a final decree of divorce. Two day later the couple were married at Greenwich, Connecticut.
Other pictures of Nora can be found on her passport application and in the newspaper clippings.
Despite extensive searches Nora does not seem to be in either the 1900 US or 1901 UK Census. Both of her parents are in the 1901 UK Census
April 2, 1906 United States District Court, New York, NY
Despite being an extensive traveller it was not until 1921 that Nora applied for a passport in her own name.
From her passport application we know that she spent summers in England between 1897 and 1906, but so far only a 1905 manifest has turned up for this period,
After her marriage to Morgan Barney, Norah went into business as an Architect and Real Estate agent
As one might expect, early press interest in Nora Blatch was because of her famous mother and grandmother up until the time she graduated as the first woman civil engineer.
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Nora Stanton Blatch Barney.