Richards, Ellen (Swallow)
Roorbach, Anne Elizabeth (Hubble)
Elizabeth (Waldstein) Rey (b. May 16, 1906 in Hamburg, Germany,
d. December 21, 1996 in Cambridge)
Author of children’s books
Margret Rey was born Margarete Elisabeth Waldstein in Germany. She studied at the Klosterschule in Hamburg where she graduated in 1925. She continued her studies in art at several schools including the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany. She had a one-woman show of her watercolor paintings in Berlin. In 1929, she began working as a copywriter in for an English advertising company in Berlin. Also trained as a photographer, she took writing, advertising, and photography jobs in Germany and England. She traveled to Rio de Janerio, Brazil, in 1935, where she became reaquainted with the German-born Hans A. Reysenbach (later shortened to Rey), who was a family friend. Hans A. Rey had been working in Brazil since the mid 1920s in a family import business.
The couple married in 1935, and moved to Paris where they began their collaboration in children's books. A French publisher became interested in Hans’ drawings and commissioned him to write a children’s book, published as Rafi and the Nine Monkeys which included a curious monkey that was the inspiration of the future children’s book Curious George. In 1940, the Reys fled Paris before the advancing Nazi army invaded. They traveled to via Spain and Portugal, then back to Brazil and from there to New York City, taking the illustrated manuscript of the new book they had just written. Curious George was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1941. Together, the Reys wrote seven books about the curious little monkey, with Hans doing the most of the illustrations and Margret working primarily on the stories. Though they shared much of the work, Margret's name did not appear on the books for the first several years, but this was corrected in later editions. They published other children's stories including Pretzel in 1944, which was the first book to list Margret as author.
In 1963, Margret Rey and her husband moved to Cambridge and settled in a home near Harvard Square. Hans died in in 1977. Soon after, Margret was approached by Alan Shallek who persuaded her to collaborate on a series of short films for television that began to appear on the Disney Channel in 1980. Margret contined to write and teach. In 1979, she was appointed at Brandeis University as a professor of Creative Writing. In 1989, she established the Curious George Foundation to benefit children's creativity and animal and environmental welfare. Rey was also a long-time supporter of Longy School of Music and founded a center of alternative medicine at Beth Israel Hospital. She died on December 21, 1996 at the age of ninety, ten years before PBS began its new series of programs based on Curious George. Donna Friedman and Hillel Stavis opened the Curious George Goes to Wordsworth store at the corner of Brattle and J.F.K. streets in the summer of 1996. Rey visited the store and was apparently pleased with the idea for the Curious George themed store, which sells children's books and toys. The de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississppi, Hattiesburg holds the H. A. and Margret Rey Papers.
Dinitia Smith, “How Curious George Escaped the Nazis” NY Times September 13, 2005
Louise Borden, The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H. A. Rey (Houghton Mifflin. 2005)
Finding Aid to the H.A. and Margret Rey Papers, De Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, University of Southern Mississppi, Hattiesburg, http://www.lib.usm.edu/~degrum/html/research/findaids/DG0812f.html?DG0812b.html~mainFrame
Margret Rey biography, Greenville Public Library web site, Greenville, R.I., http://www.yourlibrary.ws/Childrens_Webpage/e-author52001.htm
Amy Miller, "Curious George moves into Harvard Square," Cambridge Chronicle, July 25, 1996.
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(Swallow) Richards (b. December 3, 1842 in Dunstable, MA, d..
March 30, 1911 in Boston)
Professor of Sanitary Chemistry and Home Economics
Ellen Swallow was born in the small town of Dunstable, MA to Fanny and Peter Swallow. She attended Westford Academy in Westford, MA, graduating in 1863. After studying and then teaching in Worcester, she went to Vassar College, which had just opened at an advanced level, graduating in 1870. She then had the opportunity to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a special student, the first woman to be accepted at any scientific school. In 1873, she received a second bachelor’s degree from MIT and a master’s degree from Vassar. She continued to study at MIT and to work under John Nichols on practical problems, such as water safety for the state. In 1873 she married Robert Hallowell Richards, a professor of mining engineering at MIT.
With the help of the Women’s Education Association of Boston, Ellen Richards established a Woman’s Laboratory at MIT in 1876 under the directorship of John M. Ordway, which offered training to women in a wide range of sciences; Richards was named an instructor at the laboratory. When women were admitted as MIT undergraduates to regular laboratories in 1883, the women’s laboratory closed. Richards was then appointed an instructor in sanitary chemistry and continued to work in the field of sanitation and home economics (a field she helped establish) until her death. She also created a Center for Right Living in her home in Jamaica Plain, testing foods and promoting sanitation. She published two widely cited books, The Chemistry of Cooking and Cleaning (1882) and Air Water and Food from a Sanitary Point of View (1900).
References: Notable American Women Vol 3; Ogilvie, Marilyn and Joy Harvey Dictionary of Women Scientists (2000); Ancker, Jessica Scalzi, Domesticity, Science, and Social Control: Ellen Swallow Richards and the New England Kitchen (1987).
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Roe (b. 1904 in Denver CO, d. June 1991 in Tucson, AZ)
Clinical psychologist, educator
Anne Roe, was a psychologist and second wife of the evolutionary biologist George Gaylord Simpson, whom she married in 1938. She was educated at the University of Denver and obtained her doctorate in psychology from Columbia University in 1933. Although working as a clinical psychologist. Roe accompanied her husband on some of his field expeditions to Venezuela, helping to collect mammals for the American Museum of Natural History. When he moved to Cambridge to take up a position at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology in 1959, she was appointed research director and lecturer at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and was named professor in 1963. She founded a Center for Research on Careers at Harvard and served as its director from 1963 to 1966, retiring as emerita professor in 1966. During this period, she spent her winters in her home in Cambridge and her summers in New Mexico After both husband and wife experienced heart attacks for which they were hospitalized, they retired to Tucson in 1967 where she was named adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Arizona. During her lifetime, she wrote more than 100 books and articles, including The Making of a Scientist (1952) which examined creativity in science. She was awarded a Lesley College honorary degree. Roe died in Tucson Arizona in 1991.
New York Times Anne Roe obit June 4, 1991
Super, Donald E., “Anne Roe 1904-1991”, The Counseling Psychologist, Vol. 20, No. 4, 734-736 (1992)
Wrenn, Robert L., "The Evolution of Anne Roe," J Counseling & Development 63: 267-75, Jan 1985.
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Elizabeth (Hubble) Roorbach (b. March 30, 1882 in West Huntington,
Ontario, Canada d. March 1, 1964 in Cambridge, Massachusetts)
Teacher, civic activist, political reformer, women’s rights advocate
Anne Roorbach was born on March 30, 1882 in the farming community of West Huntingdon, Ontario, Canada to George Taylor Hubble and Matilda Catherine Ashley Hubble. Anne attended Syracuse University on a scholarship, graduating cum laude in 1903 with a Bachelor of Philosophy degree. She taught English at several high schools in upstate New York and afterwards moved to Philadelphia where she taught at William Penn High School.
Anne Hubble pursued graduate studies at Radcliffe College in 1910-11, and in 1912 she married George Byron Roorbach, an instructor at the University of Pennsylvania. Soon after, George Roorbach was made Professor of Commercial Geography at the university. The couple raised four children (three girls and a boy) in Philadelphia until the First World War, at which time George Roorbach joined the U.S. Shipping Board, a part of the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. Following the war, he was offered a position as the first Professor of Trade at the Harvard Business School, continuing also to consult for the government on Reciprocal Trade Agreements. In 1919, the family moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts where another son and daughter were born. George Roorbach died suddenly from a heart attack on May 23, 1934, while in Washington, D.C.
While living in Cambridge, Anne Roorbach became very active in civic affairs. By 1930, she was an officer in the Cambridge League of Women Voters and subsequently served in various positions as Committee Chair, Director, and Vice President until 1950. She joined the Cambridge Tax Payers Association, led by Grace Johnson and others, which worked to reform Cambridge city government by introducing proportional representation (Plan E form of government), a change that was voted into law in 1940 and finally instituted in 1942. In 1945, with continued challenges to Plan E, the association became the Cambridge Civic Association, within which, as an active member, Roorbach served as a mentor to young women, among them Pearl Wise, who went on to play a significant role in city government.
In addition to her political work, Anne Roorbach served as a director of the Cambridge YWCA, and was instrumental in the installation of a swimming pool in the facility. She was an active member of the Cambridge Historical Society and also served the Unitarian church, the First Unitarian Church (now the First Parish Church, Unitarian Universalist), as deacon and as the chair of various committees. She was interested in the Harvard museums, and published a short article on the glass flower collection in 1937.
Throughout her life, Anne Roorbach was an ardent believer in women’s rights and conveyed those beliefs to her six children, E. Howard, Elizabeth H., Carolyn R. (Dunbar), Anne R. (Wallace), Jean A. (Domovs), and George Brett. The family lived in several homes in Cambridge including 86 Sparks Street and 74 Avon Hill Street. Her residence was 8 Craigie Circle, Cambridge when she died on March 1, 1964 at the age of eighty-two.
Nomination and family information provided by George Roorbach.
Obituary, The Boston Herald, March 2, 1964.
Obituary, Boston Traveler, March 2, 1964.
Roorbach, Anne. “Harvard’s Glass Flowers.” American German Review, June 1937, 14-17.
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