The Life of Emma Allison

The 1876 Centennial Exhibition Women's Pavilion Steam Engineer

Emma’s Death

UPDATE: I visited the state hospital this summer and all the grave markers have been removed from the graves but the cemetery for those who died at the hospital is still there. It was almost dug up by a company that purchased the land decades ago for a golf course.     Emma Allison Marchand died on August 17, 1914, 100 years ago. She  died in a state mental hospital […]

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Old News-New News

I have spent the last months doing extensive research on Emma’s life. I have learned more about her family (especially her siblings); have found a letter in the Library of Congress from her to Carl Schurz, the Secretary of the Interior: see his reply to her); believe she befriended a famous Native American woman who was lecturing in San Francisco; have discovered she used several different names; found out she […]

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Emma married A.D. Marchand

UPDATE: Emma claims to have lived in the United States before the Centennial, and to have come into the country in 1872 on a later census form. Still no evidence that this was the case. Today I found proof that the Emma Allison who married A.D. Marchand in 1887 in California is the same Emma Allison who worked at the Centennial Exhibition. This proof opens up a lot more questions […]

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The Baxter Steam Engine with Flowers

Emma Allison was the engineer of a six horsepower Baxter steam engine. The engine itself is not generally mentioned in accounts of Emma’s work but this article, from Pacific Rural Press, Volume 12, Number 13, September23,  1876, gives a delightful description of how Emma decorated it. It also confirms that she spoke to people about moving to California after the Centennial.      

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Who was A.D. Marchand?

After a great talk at the 2013 Steampunk World’s Fair about Emma Allison and her fate, I thought more about the man she may have married later in life, A.D. Marchand. Someone in the audience had asked what I knew about him and to this point very little. But I have learned that if you keep doing the same search online, you can get different results because so much new […]

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