January 31, 2017

Rebecca Lukens (1794–1854) born Rebecca Webb Pennock was an American businesswoman. She was the owner and manager of the iron and steel mill which became the Lukens Steel Company of Coatesville, Pennsylvania. Fortune Magazine called her "America's first female CEO of an industrial company" and its board of editors named her to the National Business Hall of Fame in 1994. She married Dr. Charles Lukens in 1813. He soon entered the iron business, and together the Lukens leased the mill from her father. Starting in 1816 they lived in "Brandywine Mansion," which is now located within the Lukens Historic District. Charles experimented with new products, such as rolled steel plate, in the early 1820s. The steel plate was used to construct the first metal hulled steamboat in America, the Codorus, and was later used as boilerplate in steam engines and locomotives. Charles died in 1825, leaving Rebecca in charge of a company near bankruptcy. An inheritance dispute and the Panic of 1837 further complicated matters. Terracina She ran the company until 1847, making it into the country's premier manufacturer of boilerplate. During her retirement she wrote an autobiography for her grandchildren. In 1848, she built Terracina as a wedding present for her daughter Isabella upon her marriage to Dr. Charles Huston.

Source: Wikipedia

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