There is no dearth of women innovators and yet we hardly ever hear about them. From the chocolate chip cookies we are so fond of to the beer we drink and even paper bags, were all invented by women. Check out these 10 amazing women innovators and their inventions that changed the world.
#1. Grace Hopper- Computer Software
By Unknown (Smithsonian Institution) (Flickr: Grace Hopper and UNIVAC) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
While working in the US Navy in WWII, Read Admiral Grace Hopper changed the way computer programming worked. She is the woman behind the compiler which translates instructions into codes that computers can understand. She was also known as “Amazing Grace” and popularized the term “de-bugging”.
#2. Dr. Fiona Wood- ReCell
Dr. Fiona Wood along with a medical scientist Marie Stoner came up with a way to revolutionize the treatment of burn victims. In 1993, they came up with a method to grow skin tissue directly instead in a culture flask. This lead to launch of ‘ReCell’ which is a spray-on solution of skin cells.
#3. Elizabeth Magie- Monopoly
By Lucius Kwok [CC BY 2.5], from Wikimedia Commons
The most popular board game and also the cause of endless family arguments was invented by Elizabeth Magie in 1904. She named it ‘The Landlord’s Game’ which was a critique to the unchecked capitalism. Ironically, it has ripped off by Charles Darrow and sold to Parker Brothers. The firm then tracked down Magie and paid her $500.
#4. Mary Anderson- Windscreen wiper
We may obliviously use wipers while driving in snow or rain. But the invention came from Mary Anderson who was traveling to New York in 1903 and noticed that the driver had to open the window every time to remove the snow. Though she won the patent for her invention, car companies were reluctant to use it.
#5. Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson- Caller ID and call waiting
By Shirley_Ann_Jackson_-_Annual_Meeting_of_the_New_Champions_Tianjin_2010.jpg: World Economic Forum (Qilai Shen)derivative work: Gobonobo [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, an American theoretical physicist is the reason we have features like caller ID and call waiting. Not only that, her research has also led to invention of portable fax, fiber optic cables and solar cells.
#6. Josephine Cochrane- Dishwasher
The idea of an automatic dishwasher first came to Josephine Cochrane when she wanted a machine that could wash dishes faster than her servants and not break them. She patented the invention in 1886 and opened her own production factory.
#7. Dr. Maria Telkes- Solar Heated Home
By New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Dr. Maria Telkes worked at MIT on its Solar Energy Research Project in the 1940s. This is when she came up with the idea of a solar-heated room along with an architect friend named Eleanor Raymond.
#8. Letitia Geer- Medical Syringe
The reason why your doctor can inject you with just one hand today is because of a woman called Letitia Geer who invented this medical syringe in 1899.
#9. Stephanie Kwolek- Kevlar
The lightweight, high-tensile Kevlar which is used by military was invented by DuPont chemist Stephanie Kwolek. The fabric is fives times stronger than steel and can even take a bullet. It was invented while she was trying to perfect a lighter fabric for car tires. DuPont patented it in 1966.
#10. Nancy Johnson- Ice Cream Maker
Though we use the electric ice-creams makers now but the original design was proposed by Nancy Johnson who invented a hand-operated ice-cream maker in 1843. It consisted of three components- a wooden pail on the outside accompanied by a tin cylinder on the inside and a paddle connected to the crank.