When one speaks or thinks of inventors, the image that comes to our minds is that of some man tinkering about with a genius idea in his workshop. But unknown to many, some of the most basic things that we use daily were invented by women.Check out the 10 great inventions you didn’t know were made by women:.
10. Windshield Wipers
The windshield wiper blades are essential equipments used to clean debrisis from the windshield. Mary Anderson, an American invented the automatic car window cleaning device called the windshield wiper in 1902. She was visiting New York in winter when Anderson observed how a man had to keep his double front window open to avoid it getting jammed by falling ice pellets. With a brilliant idea she returned home and hired a designer. After creating a working model for the windshield wiper, she got it patented. Besides being an inventor, Anderson was also a viticulturist, real estate developer and rancher.
Kevlar is the para-aramid synthetic fiber material used in bullet proof vests. Other than vests the Kevlar has found usage in a number of other things like bicycle tires, racing sails, underwater cables, boats, skis, brake linings, space vehicles, parachutes and materials for constructing buildings. Stephanie Kwolek (1923 – 2014) was an American chemist who invented the Kevlar for a company called DuPont. The poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide better known as Kevlar is a synthetic fiber of exceptional strength and stiffness. Once the discovery was made a team got involved in finding out the practical applications of Kevlar. In a career spanning for 40 years, Kwolek altogether obtained 28 patents for her various inventions.
8. The Fire Escape
These days it’s a mandatory safety codes for certain buildings to have fire escapes installed outside. This emergency exit is a mode of escape in the event of a fire or any other kind of emergency. A rudimentary form of the fire escape existed before an American inventor named Anna Connelly registered a patent for it in 1887. Her steel exterior staircase served as a prototype to the modern ones. In the 1990’s many newly constructed buildings began using Connelly’s fire escape that was both cost-effective and safe.
7. Chocolate Chip Cookies
When Elizabeth Magie invented Monopoly, she named it The Landlord’s Game. This earliest version was designed to show how monopolising land and using the land value tax as a remedy is a bad idea. When the intriguing board game caught people’s attention, Magie applied for a patent and was granted it in 1904. Magie also invented a number of other games like Bargain Day, King’s Men etc. In a span of something over a century monopoly is still a popular board game and various version of it exists including spin-off board games and card games. Besides being an American game designer, Magie was a writer, poet, stage actress, comedian, engineer and a feminist.
5. Thermoelectric Power Generator
Born in Hungary, Mária Telkes was a pioneering scientist. She moved to America for her Ph.D. in physical chemistry. She has been long working on solar energy technologies. In 1947 Telkes created the first thermoelectric power generator. And soon with architect Eleanor Raymond, she designed and developed the first solar-heated home. Her remarkable invention earned her the nickname “sun queen”. In 2012, Telkes was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Believe it or not, according to an article published in the Telegraph, beer was a product of women’s innovation and for thousands of years they alone operated the breweries. Jane Peyton, an author has long been doing researches on the history of beer. She says that the drink which is now almost exclusively marketed to men was believed to be a gift from goddesses. The Vikings were known to use ale for setting fire and terrorise European kingdoms. The ale too was made exclusively by women. It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution when with the advent of new technologies women were no longer required and were removed from the brewing process.
3. The Square-bottomed Paper Bag
Margaret E. Knight did not exactly invent the Paper Bag, it was already there. She invented a machine that attached flat square bottoms to the paper bags. First she built a wooden model of the machine but before she could built a working iron model, her design was stolen by someone name Charles Annan and patented. However, in 1871, Knight managed to file an interference proceeding and got the patent for herself. Regarded as “the most famous 19th-century woman inventor”, Margaret E. Knight has made a number of contributions to our modern world including the window frame and sash, numbering machine, devices relating to rotary engines etc.
In a perfect demonstration of how one must take care of one’s own things when the servants stop giving an eff. Josephine Cochrane invented the most commercially successful dishwasher after getting tired of her servants breaking her fancy dinner sets. “If nobody else is going to invent a dish washing machine, I’ll do it myself!” she had said. When Cochrane was 44, her husband died which allowed a lot of time in her hands to concentrate on relieving housewives from their daily duties after every meal. She called them the “Cochrane Dishwashers”.
1. Correctional Fluid
Think of the old days when there was no computers, no Microsoft Work when people had to type out an entire page if they made one mistake. Bette Nesmith Graham worked as an executive secretary but she wasn’t very good at typing. One day while watching workers paint one of the bank windows she observed them applying layers of paints whenever they made a mistake, Graham came up with the idea of correctional fluid. She secretly used the paint for five years before finally marketing it.