Early Life: Born in Dundee, Scotland in 1857, Williamina Fleming immigrated to the United States at age 21.
Harvard Observatory: In 1879, she was hired by Dr. Pickering to be his second maid. In 1881, after recognizing her intelligence, he offered Fleming a job at the Harvard College Observatory (HC).
Scientific Contributions: Among her most significant contributions to astronomy was her preparation of the Henry Draper Catalogue of Stellar Spectra, the first extensive piece of research by an American female astronomer (though Pickering received most of the credit as director of the project). The Draper Catalogue (and Extension) was a monumental work of stellar classification, begun under Fleming in the 1880s and continued through 1940 by Annie Cannon. Today, it is still in regular use.