Rebecca Lukens (1794-1854) was the proprietor (CEO of today) of Brandywine Iron Works & Nail Factory from 1825 – 1847. Her father, Isaac Pennock, a Quaker, started the company in 1810.
Rebecca, being a Quaker joined her father’s business because the Quaker faith taught that all children, boy or girl were to be educated equally, therefore Rebecca had great knowledge of her father’s business dealings and was well prepared for what her future would entail.
Rebecca’s husband, Dr. Charles Lukens who she married in 1813 took over Brandywine Iron Works & Nail Factory, but by 1825, Charles had passed, and Rebecca took over the company.
Her story should be celebrated everyday along with the Carnegie’s, Rockefeller’s, Vanderbilt’s and all the other barons of the day, she was was actually one of the first. Steel was rolled out in 1881, 27 years after her death.
To learn more about the Rebecca Lukens and her amazing achievement as a human, not just a women, click here.
Fun Fact: In the mid-1990s, the mill – the Lukens Steel Company – was considered the oldest continuously operating steel mill in the U.S. In 1994, Fortune magazine named Lukens America’s first female CEO of an industrial company and inducted her into the National Business Hall of Fame.