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association of women industrial designers

  introduction
anna keichline  

The career accomplishments of Anna Wagner Keichline (1889-1943) are an inspiration. Click through these pages to discover the record of an inventor, architect, suffrage advocate and patriot who did not allow herself to be limited by conventional attitudes and expectations or legal rights. The historical context of her accomplishments is what makes them so unique.

In the early 1900's it was unheard of for a woman to earn an architecture degree and actually practice the profession, to patent inventions, publish technical articles, become a Secret Service Agent, own, drive and repair an automobile, have an exceptional personal income, and own a business. In 1920, she became the first woman to be registered as an architect in Pennsylvania.

Only recently, women themselves, have been recording their own design history. Books such as Feminine Ingenuity by Anne L. Macdonald (1992), the Goddess in the Details exhibit and catalog by AWID (Association of Women Industrial Designers, 1994), and the Bard Graduate Center's exhibit and book Women Designers in the USA: 1900 - 2000, Pat Kirkham, editor, have documented the work of women designers and inventors.

  femine ingenuitygoddess in the detailswomen designers in the usa 1900-2000
 


These histories contain details of Anna's inventions of 1912 -1927. Her inventions reflect her concern for ergonomics, efficiency, ease of use and designing safer products; fundamentals of what would later be termed the profession of 'industrial design'.

Visiting the following pages will acquaint you with Anna's pioneering spirit and success; much of it achieved at a time before women had the right to vote. I am immensely grateful to my great-aunt Anna for her wisdom, tenacity and the legacy she has left for me to discover. My most sincere thanks to AWID for highlighting her record.

Nancy J. Perkins FIDSA AWID
copyright 2001 Perkins Design Ltd.

 


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If you would like to order the complete Anna Keichline series, it is available on a CD-ROM. Each CD is $10 ($7.50 and $2.50 shipping and handling). Please use PayPal (internet money transfer) and send the funds to our goddess@ awidweb.com address.