Family:Lee De Forest and Nora Stanton Blatch (1)

Facts and Events
Marriage? 14 Feb 1908 Greenwich, Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
19 Jul 1909


February 12, 1908 - New York Times

The announcement yesterday of the engagement of Miss Nora Stanton Blatch to Lee De Forest of wireless telegraph and telephone fame has aroused an unusual amount of comment in various quarters.

Miss Blatch is the daughter of Harriot Stanton Blatch who recently lost a suit she brought against the Hoffman House Corporation because the employees of the hotel refused to serve a meal to her on the roof garden last summer as she had no male escort.

Mr. De Forest’s wife only recently obtained a final decree of divorce. She sued her husband after he had discontinued a suit he had instituted against her, and he put in no defense.

It is not known whom Mrs. De Forest named in her action, which was brought in Albany. In fact many of Mr. De forest’s friends did not even know that Mrs. De Forest had obtained a divorce until his engagement was announced yesterday.

The marriage will take place within a month and will be very quiet. Miss Blatch incorporated in the engagement announcement the words, “It is requested that no presents be sent.” The wedding will of course have to take place outside this state.

Mrs. Blatch, mother of the bride to be, is the daughter of Elizabeth Caddy Stanton, and is well known throughout the country and in England. She is Vice President of the Equal Suffrage League, a member of the Executive Board of the Women’s Trade Union League and as president of the league of Self-Supporting Women of New York City will head the delegation of suffragettes which is to have an audience with Gov. Hughes on Feb. 19.

She married W.H. Blatch, an Englishman, at Basingstoke, Warwickshire in 1882. There Miss Blatch was born in 1883

The family came to New York several years ago. Miss Blatch when 21 was graduated from Cornell and has the distinction of being the only woman C.E. ever graduated from that University and the first woman to be admitted into the American Society of Civil Engineers. She has practiced her profession extensively in this city.

For some time after graduation she was employed by the American Bridge Company and for the past year has been a member of the engineering staff of the board of Water Supply of the city, having done much difficult work on dams and weirs. Despite her outdoor life and professional work Miss Blatch has in appearance and manner none of the masculinity that one might expect. She is tall and particularly good looking.

Mr. De Forest was born in Council Bluffs in 1873. He was graduated from Yale in 1894, and has his Ph. D. from that institution. He is the inventor of the De Forest system of wireless telegraph, which is largely used at the government stations of this and other countries, and of the wireless telephone. The Pacific squadron left Norfolk with each warship equipped with a De Forest wireless telephone apparatus.

In 1905 Mr. Deforest met Miss Lucille Sheardown at a reception at the Art Club and their engagement soon followed. Their courtship was unique in that it was carried on largely by wireless, the inventor having instructed the girl in the use of the apparatus and having set one up in her home in West 104th Street. Thus they sent frequent messages back and forth to each other.

They were married at the St. Regis on Feb. 17, 1906, but did not live happily together, and in about a year the husband commenced a suit for divorce, mentioning De witt C. flanagan of Flanagan Nay & Co., the brewers. The suit was dropped, however, on the advice of Mr. De Forest’s lawyer, that there was not sufficient evidence.

Soon after Mrs. De Forest sued in the courts of Albany County and obtained her interlocutory decree last September.

October 31, 1908 - New York Times

The Lusitania came up to her pier yesterday a full-fledged English Suffragette wearing her colors and the words "Votes for Women" along her side. Mrs. Nora S. Blatch de Forest, daughter of Harriet Stanton Blatch, granddaughter of Elizabeth Caddy Stanton, and wife of Lee De Forest, the wireless telegraph and telephone man, was returning with her husband from England and had hung out the English Suffragette colors from the promenade deck. The letters were white on a purple ground, and caused much interest in the crowd awaiting incoming passengers.

Mr. and Mrs. De Forest went abroad immediately after their marriage last February on a combined honeymoon and business trip. Mrs. De Forest was one of the women who succeeded in getting past the police platoon in one of the big demonstrations directed against the House of Parliament this month. She also surprised guests of the hotel where she was stopping in London by appearing in a short shirt, a sweater, and a big sash across her breast in the English Suffragette colors, purple, white and green, and the familiar words "Votes for Women" across it.

It was with the aid of a steward that Mrs. De Forest decorated the Lusitania, the Suffragette document remaining in place until she was obliged to leave the ship. The steward confided to her that he was entirely in sympathy with the Suffragettes.

April 15, 1910 - United States Federal Census

Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York, United States

Name Relation Sex Color Age Status Born Occupation
Harriot E S Blatch Head F W 52 M New York Lecturer, Womans Suffrage
Nora S B de Forest Daughter F W 26 M England Civil Engineer, Designing
Harriot S de Forest Grandaughter F W 10m S New Jersey None

Census Place: Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1023; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 586; Image: 637

July 27, 1911 - New York Times

Nora Stanton Blatch De Forest, the divorced wife of Dr.Lee De Forest, the wireless telegraph inventor, started suit against him in the Supreme Court yesterday through a woman lawyer, Bertha Rembaugh, to recover one-third of the proceeds of the sale of real estate at River Drive, Spuyten, Duyvill.

Mrs. De Forest alleges that on June 13, 1911 she signed away her dower rights in the property on Dr. De Forest's representation that she was to get onne-third of the proceeds of the sale. The papers in the case state that the land has been or is about to be sold. After the sale, mrs. De Forest says her husband repudiated the agreement. She asks that she be allowed to rescind her release of her dower rights.

Mrs. De Forest is the granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the daughter of Mrs. Harriet Stanton Blatch. She herself is a hydraulic engineer and was graduated from Cornell in 1905. While at Cornell mrs. De Forest was known for her athletic prowess. She married De Forest in 1908 after his first wife had obtained a divorce. The De Forests have one child. In a recent published statement De Forest ascribed his matrimonial difficulties to Mrs. Blatch.

October 18, 1911 - New York Times

San Francisco, Cal., Oct. 18 - In a supplemental divorce complaint filed here. Lee De Forest, the inventor of one of the wireless telegraph systems, takes several typewritten pages to show why the custody of his two-year-old daughter should be awarded to him.

Briefly, it is suffrage - "aggressive, militant and violent suffrage" - which the husband thinks has unfitted his wife for properly taking care of their child. De Forest admits that he believes in suffrage, but not to the extent to which he says his wife devotes herself to the cause.

Mrs. De Forest is the daughter of Mrs. Harriet Stanton Blatch, a Suffragist leader. In July she sued De Forest in New York for divorce, and a little later he filed a counter suit here.

In his latest complaint De Forest says that his wife has given herself so completely over to thecause of suffrage that their child is being neglected and left entirely withoout the parental affection and attention she needs. The only attention his wife has given to the child's itellectual or moral development, De Forest says has been to teach her to say:

"Votes for women" and "Hurrah for womans suffrage."

Image Gallery