Women’s contribution in our world invention ranges from clothing to medicine as well as mechanics. They have showed their genius by noticing things from the smallest scale of molecules to computers and war-fares. They have proved their mental agility and genius time and again. Here is a list of seven amazing inventions from different fields done by wonderful women throughout history:
Margaret Knight is called the ‘Queen of Paper bags’. Earlier people used only envelope like paper bags and it was she who introduced the flat bottom paper bags. She got her patent in 1871 which in itself was a fight against a guy who stole her idea as his own. He claimed that it was impossible for a woman to come up with such an innovative idea but, Margaret won the law suit by showing the designs she had made during the invention. She was a real genius with a knack to solve problems since the age of 12 when she invented a device which would stop all the machines if someone got caught in them. Overall she had been awarded about 26 patents during the course of her life.
Josephine Cochrane invented the first automatic dishwasher in 1887. Josephine belonged to a wealthy family with many servants and did not wash her dishes herself. Apparently, she invented the machine because her maids kept breaking her fine china which made her take serious action. Funny it may seem, but she said, “If nobody else is going to invent a dishwashing machine, I’ll do it myself.” Soon, her neighbors and friends too demanded her to make dishwashers for them too and called it the ‘Cochrane dishwasher’. She received a patent in 1886 and unveiled the invention in the World Fair in 1893. Initially, only hotels and restaurants invested in her idea but not much later she had started manufacturing her dishwashers and her company was called ‘Kitchen Aid’. But only much later after her death did her invention broke grounds in the market.
Yes, this was not developed by men who consider women as bad drivers. Mary Anderson solved the problem of stopping every few minutes to clean the windshield during rain and snowfall in the early 1900s. The driver had to pull a handle to clear the windshield. Amazingly, the wipers could be taken off after during summers when they were not in use. In fact the first automatic windshield was also invented by a woman, Charlotte Bridge in 1917.
Gas Heating Furnace:
No more did people need to chop wood or buy coal and clean the smoky furnace to stay warm during chilly winters. All thanks to Alice H. Parker, an African-American inventor of the central heating system- The Gas heating furnace. She was granted the patent in 1919. It was this invention, which lead to further research on central heating system which is widely used today in almost every household.
After decades of painful, rib breaking corsets, a woman fed up of this uncomfortable life came up with the modern concept of brassiere. Her name is Mary Phelps Jacob. She came up with the idea while she was getting ready for a party. She noticed that the whalebone of her corset was clearly visible from her dress’s neckline and suddenly came up with a brilliant idea. She used ribbons and two silk handkerchiefs to make the first cloth bra in the history of mankind. Obviously, her family and friends demanded her to make brassieres for them, too. Soon she knew that it could become a feasible business. She was awarded a patent in 1914. She set up her business under the name ‘Caresse Crosby’ and later sold the brassiere patent to the Warner Brothers Corset Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut who earned millions of dollars for over the next 3 decades. But apparently, Jacobs was not the first to invent bra. A woman, Marie Tucek patented the first brassiere in 1893 which had separate pockets for the breasts, straps and hooks. Jacob’s bra did not have cups and was much light weight. Yet, Jacob’s brassiere was the one which brought the real revolution.
Stephanie Kwolek is a famous name in the world of science. She wanted to pursue medicine and due to lack of funds she took a temporary research in DuPont where her research interested her so much that she decided to continue. In 1964, her group of researchers was working on a project to find a light yet strong fiber to create tyres. She was working on long molecule chains at low temperature and on deep analysis she came across a liquid polymer solution. She realized that it was five times stronger than steel. This polymer leads to the invention of Kevlar® which is resistant to corrosion, flames and wear, and it is the main ingredient in making of bullet proof jackets used by the army and law enforcement officers. It is also used in making high strength bridge cables, safety helmets, skiis and hiking gear. She had 17 patents to her name, during her life time.
Laser Cataract Surgery Device:
The device also called ‘the ’ was invented by Patricia Bath, an African-American ophthalmologist. She started her research in 1981 and the device was completed in 1986 and patented in 1988. This device uses laser to almost painlessly and quickly dissolve the cataract. It also cleanses the eye and allows insertion of a new lens. This device is now used internationally for cataract surgeries. Bath kept improving the device for any minor flaws and finally created a device which restored vision to people who were unable to see for decades.