|Despite the success
of Amos Eaton's demonstration with his 1835 "ladies' course," no further
attempts to instruct women at Rensselaer occurred for the next century.
However, the first woman to formally apply for admission, Elizabeth R.
Buswell, did so in 1873.
According to an October 4, 1873 newspaper clipping in a scrapbook compiled by E. Ray Thompson, Director Charles Drown encouraged Miss Buswell to drop her application. He informed her that "the Institute makes no discrimination in regard to sex, but ... Miss Buswell's position as the only lady student would not be pleasant. If three or four other ladies were willing to join with her, it is probable they would be welcomed." Apparently Miss Buswell did not press the matter.
Although Mr. Renshaw's proposal was defeated, twenty-five years later his solution to the problem of wartime depletion of available students would finally open the doors of Rensselaer to women.