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Christine Ladd-Franklin  1847-1930

Background

Christine Ladd-Franklin was the first American woman psychologist.  She graduated from Vassar in 1869,  earned her Ph.D. in logic and mathematics from Johns Hopkins University by 1882, but was not awarded the formal degree until 1926 when she was 78 years old. 

She was born December 1st in Windsor, Connecticut but was raised primarily in New Hampshire by her grandmother after her mother died and her father remarried. 

In adulthood, she married and gave birth to two children.  While one child died in infancy, the other, Margaret Ladd-Franklin, grew up to be a prominent member in the women's suffrage movement.

Contributions

While studying with Charles Pierce who was the first American Experimental psychologist, Ladd-Franklin  became the first woman involved in the three disciplines of logic, mathematics and psychology.  She eventually abandoned logic and math to become quite successful in the field of psychology.   Her primary contribution is now known as the Ladd-Franklin theory of color sensation that synthesizes the Young-Helmholtz and the Hering color theories.  She was a prolific writer who also remained involved in issues surrounding academe including and especially women's issues. 

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