Female, Denmark/US, born 1893-10-08, died 1956-03-23

Associated with the firms network

Knauer, Henry J., Architect; Northman, Edith Mortensen, Architect; Smale, Clarence J., Architect

Professional History


Draftswoman, Eugene Rushton Wheelon, Construction Engineer, Salt Lake City, UT, 1918-1920. (Wheelon would later relocate to fast-growing Los Angeles, where he died in 1936.) Draftswoman, Henry John Knauer, Architect, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1920-c. 1925; Chief Drafter, Clarence J. Smale, Architect, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1925-1930.

Principal, Edith Northman, Architect, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1931- . She received her certificate to practice architecture in California in 1931. Northman worked with Los Angeles-based Union Oil Company, designing more than 50 service stations up and down the Pacific Coast.

A classified ad appeared in the Los Angeles Times, 09/16/1934, noting her office address at 3052 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA; Northman served as a technical advisor on the 1937 United Artist's film "Woman Chases Man."

During World War II, she worked as an architect with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


Northman offered two classes at the Los Angeles Adult Education Center at the Los Angeles High School, entitled: "Floor Plan Drawing, Plan Reading, Specification Reading," in 10/1945;

Professional Activities

Member, Women's Athletic Club, Los Angeles, CA. Northman was very active in the Women's Athletic Club in Los Angeles and the Business and Professional Women's Club of Los Angeles.

Member, Altrusa Club, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1943.

Member, Pleiades Club, Pasadena, acting as the Head of the Committee on Vocational Information in 1946.


High School/College

Graduate, High School, Haugersund, Norway, c. 1911; two years of coursework, Studio School of Arts, Atelier Frede Aamodt, Denmark; coursework in architecture, University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, CA, 1927-1930.



Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Northman moved between Denmark and Sweden during her first nine years, as her father was Danish and mother, Swedish. They mvoved to Norway when she was nine, but came back to the town of Haugersund, Denmark, where she graduated from high school. She attended two years of art school in Copenhagen before emigrating to the US in 1914, the first year of World War I. She and her family moved to Brigham City, UT, initially, where she found work in a library between c. 1915-1917. She relocated to Salt Lake City in 1918, working as a draftswoman for the MN-born construction engineer Eugene Rushton Wheelon (1874-1936).

She moved to Los Angeles in 1920 to regain her health. She landed employment soon after arriving with architect Henry J. Knauer, who obtained his certificate to practice architecture in CA in 07/1921. Early in his career, Knauer may have been open to having a woman assist him in his new office.


Northman's father was Jens Michael Mortensen a Dane, her mother, Judith Carolina Nordman, a Swede.

Associated Locations

  • Copenhagen, Hovedstaden Denmark (Architect's Birth)
    Copenhagen, Hovedstaden Denmark

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  • Salt Lake City, UT (Architect's Death)
    Salt Lake City, UT

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PCAD id: 1296

Callan, Mary Ann, "Women Succeed as Architects", Los Angeles Times, B1, 11/24/1948. "B.F.W.C. to Seat Officers Tonight", Los Angeles Times, A5, 6/19/1947. Wilson, Bess M., "Washington and Lincoln Will Be Pleiades Topic", Los Angeles Times, A6, 2/11/1946. "Special School Courses Beckon Home Builders", Los Angeles Times, 14, 10/7/1945. "Business Club Leader to Be Feted", Los Angeles Times, B2, 6/18/1944. "Altrusans Elect Staff", Los Angeles Times, D7, 7/25/1943. Wilson, Bess M., "Board to Meet", Los Angeles Times, A10, 12/5/1941. "Architects in Convention Will Discuss Defense Topics", Los Angeles Times, A1, A2, 10/10/1941. Wilson, Bess M., "B.P.W.C. to Install New Chief and Staff", Los Angeles Times, A6, 6/18/1941. "Women's Athletic Club Hails Gains of Year", Los Angeles Times, A12, 5/26/1941. Wilson, Bess M., "Professional Women to Study Subversion", Los Angeles Times, A6, 11/12/1940. "Business Women Meet Tomorrow", Los Angeles Times, E6, 10/29/1939. "Musical Salons Opening at Sierra Madre Today", Los Angeles Times, D14, 12/17/1939. "Professional Club to Hear Officials", Los Angeles Times, A5, 1/16/1940. "Georgia Farmer Heads Business Women's Group", Los Angeles Times, A6, 5/19/1941. "Athletic Club Elects Today", Los Angeles Times, A6, 5/3/1941. "Olive Jones to Address B.P.W.C.", Los Angeles Times, A10, 4/11/1941. Wilson, Bess M., "Athletic Club Due for Program Treats", Los Angeles Times, A6, 1/3/1941. Wilson, Bess M., "Yule Mood Will Rule Business Club Rally", Los Angeles Times, A7, 12/12/1940. "Danish Farmhouse Style", Los Angeles Times, 17, 6/8/1941. "Danish Farmhouse Style", Los Angeles Times, I7, 06/08/1941. "Apartment to Be Built", Los Angeles Times, E9, 01/22/1928. "Multiple Dwelling Program Has Total of around $419,000", Los Angeles Times, E2, 1/24/1937.