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Olive Dennis (1885-1957) was an American engineer whose design innovations changed the nature of railroad travel. In 1920, she became only the second woman to obtain a Civil Engineer degree from Cornell University. She was hired by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad to design bridges, and soon became the railroad’s first “service engineer.”

Her innovations improved passenger train travel for all customers, including reclining seats, stain-resistant upholstery, ceiling lights that could be dimmed at night, air conditioned compartments, and individual window vents (which she patented) to bring in fresh air while trapping dust outside. The B&O launched a special passenger train, the Cincinnatian, that incorporated all of her innovations.