Emily E. Tassey 1823-1899
Inventor, born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, on December 15, 1823, the daughter of Hugh Rowland and Hannah Evans. Educated at Steubenville Seminary, she taught in the McKeesport School before her marriage to William D. Tassey, a lawyer, in 1845. She raised three children alone after her husband's unexpected demise in 1857. Tassey taught in the public schools of Pittsburgh and McKeesport, and in the Pittsburgh High School. She was well known for her "business ability" and less so for her five known patents pertaining to ships or waterways which she obtained between 1870-1880. No mention is made of her inventions in either her obituary or any other public record.
As early as 1835 McKeesport (located 14 miles from Pittsburgh) was an important boatbuilding center on the Monongahala River at the mouth of the Youghiogheny. Tassey's first patent was for an improved appratus for raising sunken vessels which she received in July 1876. In December of that year she received three other patents on the same day for an Improvement in siphon propeller-pumps; for Propulsion of vessels; and a Dredging machine. The pump is designed to "provide means of discharging large portions of water--as from a coffer-dam--into the river."