Hamilton, Alice (1869–1970)

Alice hamilton (1869–1970) shaped the field of industrial medicine in the United States beginning in the Progressive Era through research on the urban environment. She advanced knowledge of the health effects of chemicals, particularly lead, and successfully campaigned for protections such as workers' compensation and basic environmental standards. Hamilton staunchly supported labor movements, especially in their crusades for health and safety. Decades before the birth of modern environmentalism, she criticized industrial practices that harm human health.

Hamilton was born in 1869 and grew up in Fort Wayne, IN, in a close-knit and well-to-do family. She earned her medical degree—when women doctors were rare—from the University of Michigan. Upon joining the faculty at Northwestern University in 1897, she moved into Jane Addams's Hull House in Chicago. Settlement ...

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