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Clara Barton, Entrepreneur

By Linda Lewis

Glancing through the St. Louis Post Dispatch newspaper, I found that March was Women’s History Month.  I was intrigued by an article featuring Clara Barton.  What caught my eye was that she was one of the first women to work for the US government and that she was a clerk for the US patent office.

We have probably all heard that Albert Einstein once worked for a patent office, but I never heard that mentioned about Clara Barton.  Both of these people were characterized by creative excellence.  It makes sense to me that creative people are going to be drawn to inventors and inventions.

Clara Barton’s entrepreneurial spirit seems boundless as she did the following:Clara Barton

  • Founded a free school in New Jersey
  • Worked for the Patent Office in Washington D.C.
  • Organized and established battle field hospitals during the Civil War
  • Organized and established the Office of Missing Soldiers
  • Was involved in the Women’s Suffrage movement
  • Traveled to Switzerland where she learned of the Red Cross, and returned to America to establish the American Red Cross

Clara recognized a pressing human need and did something practical to address it. In the month before his assassination, President Abraham Lincoln wrote: “To the Friends of Missing Persons: Miss Clara Barton has kindly offered to search for the missing prisoners of war. Please address her . . . giving her the name, regiment, and company of any missing prisoner.”

 It’s easy to think that there are not many Clara Bartons these days, but that simply is not true.  At CreatiVenture Law, we have the opportunity to daily meet entrepreneurs who recognize a need and do something about it.  These are exciting days of great creativity and enthusiasm, and it is joy to be a part of it.

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