Gallery Submission: Isaiah Koeninger
Nellie Bly Image


Nellie Bly was a late 19th and early 20th-century American journalist. She was born on May 5, 1864, as Elizabeth Jane Cochran. Her work in journalism started when she was a teenager, and she later adopted the pen name Nellie Bly while working for the Pittsburgh Dispatch in 1885 as a reporter. She is most famous for faking mental illness for ten days in order to be admitted into an insane asylum on Blackwell's Island. Her findings were then published by the New York World in a series of six articles titled Ten Days in a Mad-House. This quickly made her one of the most famous American journalists of her time, and her hands-on way of reporting became the foundation of what is now investigative journalism. Her success wasn't limited to journalism, however. She married a millionaire by the name of Robert Seamen in 1895 and later inherited his manufacturing company when he died in 1903. During her time running the company, Bly patented several inventions related to the oil industry, and some of these inventions are still used today. Near the end of her life, Nellie Bly went back to journalism, writing articles about World War I and the Women's Suffrage Movement. She died from pneumonia at the age of 57 on January 27, 1922, while still working as a writer.

Clearly, Nellie Bly is an important historical figure, especially when it comes to social issues and a particular branch of English studies, that being journalism. She was also a feminist and supportive of the fight for equal writes between men and women, but she never outright identified with the movement. It's a shame that she isn't more well known since she has had such a lasting impact on this country. After all, we still use some of her patented inventions, and we conduct journalism completely differently now thanks to the methods she used. While these are two specific fields that people don't think about much, both of them greatly impact everyone in this country.



Mihaly, Abigail. “Nellie Bly to Join Franco, George Washington at Airport.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 4 Mar. 2020,

“Nellie Bly with the Female Suffragists - Washington DC Convention of 1896.” Women's Suffrage and the Media, 14 June 2017,

Norwood, Arlisha R. “Nellie Bly.” National Women's History Museum, 2017,


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