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December 17, 1894

The New York Times published a letter from “An Occasional Correspondent” dated “Gentilly, France, Nov. 29, 1894”:

“The New-York Times has already noted in its columns the work done by Miss Ida Welt, a young Vassar girl, at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Miss Welt there devoted herself to chemistry, and, after passing the best examination, began some theoretical work which seems to have made her prominent not only in the small Swiss metropolis, but also in the great French one.

“Miss Welt continued her researches under Prof. [Charles] Friedel, the foremost French chemist at the University of Paris, and has lately published, under the auspices of the Académie des Sciences, in the October and November numbers, the result of her investigations under the title, “Researches on Dissymetrical Hydrocarbons.” Miss Welt is the only woman chemist in Paris, and is attracting much notice on account of her thoroughness in the most abstruse departments of theoretical chemistry. Her Alma Mater, as well as all her countrywomen, may be justly proud of the distinction won by an American girl in the centre of European intellectual life.”

The youngest of four sisters, the elder three of whom were physicians, Ida Welt ’91 continued her researches, holding one of the first privatdozent appointments granted to a woman at the University of Geneva and carrying out research on the preparation of olefins and acetylenes at the University of Heidelberg laboratories of Friedrich Kraft.

She returned to New York in 1899, joined the American Chemical Society, and taught for many years before returning, before the Second World War, to Geneva.

The Years