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Early life in Pennsylvania; German background; training at Radcliffe College and Harvard College Observatory; staff positions at Harvard and Yale Universities and the Maria Mitchell Observatory. Comments on growth of research interests; the administration of the Harvard College Observatory under Harlow Shapley and Donald Menzel; ballistics research during World War II; women in science. Specific research areas discussed include spectroscopy, luminosity criteria, astrometry and variable stars. Also prominently mentioned are: Robert d'Escourt Atkinson, James G.
Family history. Margaret Harwood’s lectures at Maria Mitchell Observatory in Nantucket; B.A. from Barnard College, 1925; work with Harlow Shapley at Harvard University, 1926; funding of astronomy projects and Shapley’s other interests in phenomena of nature. M.A. from Radcliffe, 1928. Other female astronomers: Helen Hogg, Antonia Maury, Cecilia Payne Gaposchkin; marriage of the Gaposchkins. Her paper at dedication of Tonantzintla Observatory.
Elske van Panhuys Smith discusses topics including: her childhood in Monaco, Austria, Holland, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and the United States of America; undergraduate education at Radcliffe with Harlow Shapley; marriage to Henry Smith; graduate school in astronomy at Harvard University with Bart Bok; job interviews with Leo Goldberg, Jesse Greenstein, Carnegie Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM), Jack Evans; job offer at Sacramento Peak; reception from graduate professors concerning solar astronomy; family life and children in Alamogordo; High Altitude Observatory; fellowship at the Jo