In 1887 a 23 year old young woman named Elizabeth Cochrane arrived at the New York World newspaper asking for a job. At that time, the newspapers didn't hire women for serious reporting. But the Chief Editor took pity on her and asked her if she was willing to go undercover and report on Blackwell Island Insane Asylum. He told her she would have no contacts inside and would receive no help until after ten days inside, at which time the3y would send an attorney for her release. Blackwell's Island was known for housing the criminally insane as well as innocents who were declared insane. Elizabeth agreed to the deal and went in under the name Nelly Bly. The rest was history. She became the 1st female investigative reporter for a major newspaper and her fame spread round the world- even more so when she piloted a balloon solo around the world.
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