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Frances Allen de Ford

Doctor Frances Allen de Ford pioneered hygiene initiatives in the malaria-ridden, working-class Kensington district of Philadelphia. De Ford was raised in a philanthropic family with a tradition of social work, though she chose to help her community through the rather nontraditional path of medicine rather than the typical women’s work of education or volunteerism. She graduated Women’s Medical College in 1887 and opened a practice with her husband in their home in the Kensington district of northeast Philadelphia, known for its mills and shipyards. Working at a time when germ theory was just coming into its own, de Ford campaigned for better hygiene conditions and initiatives to reduce the malarial infection rate. She continued her family traditions by encouraging her daughter Miriam to volunteer at the suffrage headquarters in Philadelphia, beginning her on a lifelong crusade for women’s rights. De Ford continued to practice medicine until 1918, when she lost her hearing.

More on Frances Allen de Ford
Date of Birth
April 5, 1855
Place of Birth
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date of Death
January 9, 1937

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Frances Allen de Ford." (Viewed on December 13, 2018) <>.


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