The place for women of the nineteenth century was the home -- cooking, sewing and cleaning. Education was for men. When Ellen Swallow read of the plans to open a woman's college, she vowed that she would one day attend and at the age of 26, she entered Vassar. Ellen excelled in all her studies, but she was especially intrigued by chemistry. With a determination and an ambition unheard of in women of her day, she gathered letters of recommendation from her Vassar professors and applied to the newly-founded Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As an outstanding student, she counteracted the fact of her sex and won acclaim from her professors. Ellen Swallow married a professor and went on to become the first woman chemist in America. A moving and inspiring story that is history as well as personality.