Inventors are inspirational. Ida Henrietta Hyde was an inventor, educator, and physiologist. She is known for inventing a micro-electrode that can stimulate tissue chemically or electronically. Its small size allows it to inject or remove tissue from a cell.
Ida Henrietta Hyde was born on September 8, 1857 in Davenport, Iowa. She was the oldest of four children born to her parents, who were German immigrants and adopted the surname Hyde. Her father left the family, so her mother, brother, sisters, and she moved to Chicago to find work for her mother. The children went to public school. In 1871, the Great Fire of Chicago destroyed their home and the family business Ida’s mother had begun.
Ida, then 14, became a milliner’s apprentice to help support the family. She paid for her brother’s education at the University of Illinois. She read and learned about biology. In 1875-76 she attended night classes at Chicago Athenaeum. She then passed entrance exams for the College Preparatory School and entered the University of Illinois. Family issues led to her becoming an elementary school teacher in the Chicago public school system for seven years. In 1888, she enrolled at Cornell University. After earning her Bachelor of Arts, she accepted a biology scholarship at Bryn Mawr College. She became an assistant at Woods Hole Biological Laboratory. In 1893, she received a European Fellowship from what later became the American Association of University Women. She went to work at the University of Strasbourg. She went on to earn her Ph.D. at Heidelberg University. In 1896, she received her doctorate. She researched at University of Berne in 1896 and Radcliffe College in 1897. She then began working at the University of Kansas and studied at Rush Medical College before earning her M.D. in 1911.
Her studies, research, medical training, and her work teaching classes continued. In 1899, she became an Associate Professor at the University of Kansas. She became the first Chairman of Physiology and worked there for 22 years. Her research covered the nervous, circulatory, and respiratory systems of vertebrates and invertebrates. In 1902, she was elected into the American Society of Physiologists. She invented an intracellular micrpopippette.
Ida Hyde lectured and established a program of public medical examination of school children for communicable diseases. She was elected to the Kansas Medical Society and in 1918 was appointed State Chairman of the Kansas Women’s Committee on Health, Sanitation and National Defense. She promoted public health education. In 1927, she established a scholarship for women at the University of Kansas and endowed the Ida H. Hyde International Fellowship with the Association of American University Women.
Ida Henrietta Hyde died on August 22, 1945 in Berkeley, California. She worked for science, as well as, equality for women. Be inspired! Have a bright day!