Discipline: Literature

Edna Yost

Discipline: Literature
MacDowell Fellowships: 1929, 1930

Edna Yost (1889-1971) was born in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania and wrote articles, poems, short stories, and books. She was one of the first authors to write books focusing on the achievements of women in science, such as American Women of Science (1943), American Women of Nursing (1947) and Women of Modern Science (1959). She also worked with Lillian Moller Gilbreth to research and write about ways to improve the environment for people with disabilities.

Yost taught mathematics and English at Johnstown High School in Johnstown, Pennsylvania from 1913 to 1916. She then moved to New York City.

Yost became a member of the Woman's Press Club of New York City. She was involved in public health work for wounded service men. She served on the executive of the War Work Council of the Young Women's Christian Association from 1917 to 1919, and was an editorial assistant on the YWCA's Association Monthly. She worked as an editorial assistant on the American Journal of Public Health, published by the American Public Health Association, from 1919 to 1921. She also did editorial work for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in New York from 1921 to 1925. She wrote articles for the Dictionary of American Biography as well as magazine articles, poems, short stories, and books.

She spent summers at MacDowell in Peterborough, New Hampshire in 1929 and 1930.

In 1944, Yost worked with Lillian Moller Gilbreth, the first woman engineering professor at Purdue University, to research and write about improving the environment for people with disabilities. Their work was directly relevant to injured service men returning from World War II. They published two books, Normal Lives for the Disabled' (1944) and Straight Talk to Disabled Veterans (1945). The books argued that it was possible for disabled persons to have a productive working life.



Edna Yost worked in the Mansfield studio.

The Helen Coolidge Mansfield Studio was donated by graduates of the Mansfield War Service Classes for Reconstruction Aides. Helen Mansfield helped found the New York MacDowell Club. The small, shingled frame structure with stone foundation was originally fronted on the west side by a neat white picket fence and gate, a garden, and a stone pathway…

Learn more