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"Water [is] a national asset.… Preservation of quality of water for man's uses is a public duty.… The very life of the nation depends on its water supply.... The time is here, already come, when the preservation of the quality and quantity of such water as remains to us is of paramount importance."
-Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards, Class of 1873, MIT's first alumna and first female instructor, writing about the dangers of dumping industrial waste in rivers and on land in Conservation by Sanitation (1911).

"You cannot make women contented with cooking and cleaning, and you need not try."
-Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards, quoted in The Life of Ellen H. Richards (1912), by Caroline L. Hunt

"We may discount all the scare-heads about what will happen if women do thus and so. They have done nearly everything and the heavens have not fallen."
-Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards, quoted in We the Women (1962) by Madeleine B. Stern