Marilyn Much / Investors Business Daily
Lukens was proprietor, or CEO, of the Brandywine Iron Works in 1825 through 1847. Later she became a silent partner with her son-in-law Abram Gibbons. She fully retired in 1850. During that time, Lukens not only got the business out of debt, she also strengthened its reputation for making quality boiler plates (the pieces of iron that were formed together to create boilers for steam technology) and built it into a powerful force in the industry. Fortune inducted her into the Business Hall of Fame in 1994.