March is Women's History Month
March is Women’s History Month, and each week on Instagram, ACT has introduced a woman who made a mark in transportation history. Their contributions paved the way (pun intended!) for TDM as well as for women in every kind of transportation field.
- Susan Morningstar was one of the first women on record employed by a railroad. She was hired by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1855 to keep the interior of the train cars neat and clean. Their “feminine touch” was considered to be a way to attract more women passengers as well.
- Alice Huyler Ramsey was the first woman to drive coast-to-coast, from New York to California, in 1909. She, along with three female friends (none of whom could drive!), faced unpaved roads, curious and hostile locals, and all kinds of weather conditions, all while doing her own vehicle maintenance. She also founded the Women’s Motoring Club.
- Wilma Russey In 1915, Wilma became the first woman to work as a taxi driver in New York and was an expert garage mechanic.
- Helen Schultz aka the "Iowa Bus Queen," established the Red Ball Transportation Company in 1922, providing transportation by bus between Des Moines and Waterloo, Iowa. She leveraged her gender to market her bus company, becoming known nation-wide as the Bus Queen.
- Arcola Philpott In August of 1944, the Los Angeles Railway hired Arcola Philpott as its first African American train driver, male or female. Several weeks after she was hired as a “motormanette,” LA Railway hired several black motormen. Arcola’s career as a motormanette was only one amazing part of her extremely accomplished life.
These inspiring women are only a few among many in the United States who broke barriers and set records in transportation. We are honored to recognize them.
Visit ACT’s Instagram account for photos of each woman, and visit the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Timeline of Women in Transportation History to learn about even more amazing women.