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Big Nub Numismatics's Blog

20 Mar 2020

Women in Numismatics and in History

National Coin Week | Big Nub Numismatics

As I sat with my computer thinking of a woman to properly research for this years national coin week, a few names bounced around in my head. Marie Curie- A scientist known for her work in radioactive elements, Emmy Noether- A mathematician and theoretical physicist, and Joan Clark- a mathematician and cryptanalyst known for her work with Alan Turing. As I tried to decide which one to pursue, I looked just a tad deeper into each and when I looked into Joan Clark, I knew she was the one because not only was she a brilliant mathematician, but she was also a numismatist.

Her Professional career

Joan Clark was born on June 24th, 1917. At the age of 19 she was awarded a scholarship based her abilities that enabled her to attend Newnham College. There, she developed excellent skills in geometry and statistics. She was at the top of her class, but because she was not a man, the college did not allow her to further her education and she never received a full degree. But attending this college was not a total loss. One her teachers was employed at Bletchley park, a secret British military base dedicated to breaking the impossible enigma code of the Germans in World War Two. She rose to the top as one of the best decoders, and earned herself compliments and awards from prominent members of the British military and other mathematicians.


Numismatic Career

Joan Clark was a master numismatist in Scottish coinage. She published some of the best papers on scottish fourpence and 16th century gold coins. Because of this, she was awarded the British Numismatic Society's Sanford Saltus Gold Medal in 1986 (She was married at this time, so it is listed on their website as Joan E.L. Murray) . Her husband was also a numismatist who introduced the field to her.


https://web.archive.org/web/20161112055541/http://britnumsoc.org/mpandf/sanfordsaltus.shtml

http://www.bletchleyparkresearch.co.uk/research-notes/women-codebreakers/

Comments

Mike

Level 7

Bletchley were some.of thebhardeat workes in the war. They were given the challenge to breat the enigma code. The ones sinking tokns and tons of our shiping to the U.K. Also more. This woman i want to do some reserch on. Brilliant. Great blog Nub!!! Her mathamatics backgroud had a lot in saving lives and getting the aid the U.K.

Longstrider

Level 6

Very nice blog. I like this one. Makes me want to research her more. Thanks and good luck.

"SUN"

Level 5

Well thought out blog. Thank You.

Golfer

Level 5

Joan Clark sounds like a wonderful person who had a great career. Would also like to learn more about her life and Bletchley park. Thanks for the post, very interesting read.

Mokie

Level 6

Great Job B/N, those Men and Women at Bletchley Park saved tens of thousands of Allied and Axis lives by breaking the codes and shortening the war. This is a Woman I want to read more about.

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