13 Inventions By Women That Changed The World!
Today we celebrate women and acknowledge the contribution they have made to our world. From women who have fought oppression and slavery to those who have battled to give us a voice. The feminists, the activists and all the mothers who have raised the generations before us. To the women who are still living in countries where being female means you don’t matter. We will never stop fighting for you. To the women who teach our children, look after our sick and govern our nations. The battlers, the fighters and the friends who make our lives brighter.
International Women’s Day is a celebration of all the women in our past, those who are present with us today and for the generations of strong independent women we are raising today. Young girls who are growing up knowing they are perfect just the way they are. To know they can become whatever they like and contribute to the world in any way they choose.
While we still have a way to go- it’s great to acknowledge just how far we’ve come. It wasn’t that long ago that women weren’t allowed to vote, weren’t able to become astronauts, couldn’t run in marathons or even serve on the front line. But look at us now! As Beyonce says…”Who run the world? GIRLS!”
So let’s take a step back in time and reflect on some of the amazing inventions developed by women that have truly made our lives better!
1. The car heater
The first car heater, which directed air from over the engine to warm the chilly toes of aristocratic 19th-century motorists, was invented by Margaret A. Wilcox in 1893. She also invented a combined clothes and dish washer, which is just genius!
One of the most famous board games of all time was invented by Elizabeth Magie in 1904 under the original name The Landlord’s Game. It was completely ripped off by Charles Darrow 30 years later, who sold it to Parker Brothers. The firm eventually tracked down Magie and paid her $500 for her troubles. Nice.
3. The fire escape
This device, which saves so many lives and provides a platform for smokers, was invented in 1887 by Anna Connelly.
4. Residential solar heating
Physicist and solar-power pioneer Dr. Maria Telkes teamed up with the equally talented architect Eleanor Raymond, to build the first home entirely heated by solar power in 1947.
5. The medical syringe
In 1899, Letitia Geer invented a medical syringe that could be operated with only one hand. Which was handy as the doctors back then probably had a cigarette in the other!
6. The modern electric refrigerator
Florence Parpart invented the modern electric refrigerator in 1914. In 1900, Parpart also received a patent for a vastly improved street-cleaning machine, which she marketed and sold to cities across America. She totally cleaned up!
7. The ice cream maker
Nancy Johnson invented the ice cream freezer in 1843, patenting a design which is still used to the current day, even after the advent of electric ice cream makers. We can’t thank you enough Nancy!!
8. The dishwasher
Thank God for Josephine Cochrane who invented the dishwasher in 1887. She marketed her invention to hotel owners initially and eventually opened her own factory.
Marie Van Brittan Brown’s system for closed-circuit television security, patented in 1969, was intended to help people ensure their own security, as police were slow to respond to calls for help in her New York City neighbourhood. Her invention forms the basis for modern CCTV systems used for home security and police work today.
10. The paper bag
Margaret Knight fought hard to receive a patent for a machine that could produce square-bottomed bags in 1871. She was embroiled in a long legal battle with a fellow machinist, Charles Anan, who tried to steal her work by arguing that such a brilliant invention could not possibly have been invented by a girl. Whatever dude!
11. Central heating
Every time you get home and click on the central heating you have Alice Parker to thank who invented the gas powered system in 1919. Her particular design was never built but went on to inspire the central heating systems of the future.
The chemist Stephanie Kwolek invented the super-strong Kevlar fibre, used to make bulletproof vests. Kwolek’s invention is five times stronger than steel, and also has about 200 other uses.
Here’s one you’ll love! Beer historian Jane Peyton claims that ancient Mesopotamian women were the first to develop, sell, and even drink beer. While it may be hard to pin down exactly who, thousands of years ago, “invented” the beer we know and love today, it’s safe to say that ancient women all over the world were for sure fermenting something. So cheers to all the Sumerian goddesses! The entire human population thanks you!
Photos: Google images