women in history: female inventors
In school we learn about the great accomplishments of men in world history, but rarely do we hear about the thousands of women from around the globe who have contributed to the advancement of technology and society for the past two centuries.
In recognition of International Women’s Day, TheRickiLakeShow.com honors only a few of the many female geniuses whose inventions changed male-dominated industries.
First Disposable Cellphone: American Randice-Lisa Altschul created the world’s first disposable cellphone in 1999.
Nursing Bottle: Helena Ottonia Flodinfrom Sweden invented the first nursing bottle in 1891.
Windshield Wiper: Mary Anderson invented the windshield wiper in 1905. By 1916, Anderson’s creation was standard in all American cars.
GeoBonde®: Patricia Billings invented GeoBonde, the non-toxic, indestructible and fireproof building material. The sculpture artist originally created it for her works of art, but she eventually adapted it for the construction industry.
Modern Ironing Board: African-American Sarah Boone made an improvement to the ironing board in 1892. She designed a more narrow and curved board that was suitable in ironing women’s sleeves.
Nystatin: Rachel Fuller Brown patented the first anti-fungal antibiotic cream known as Nystatin with her male partner.
Pyrotechnic Flare: In the 1871, Martha J. Coston took her husband’s idea after he passed and figured out how to make the first pyrotechnic flare, which the navy used as maritime signal flares.
Disposable Diaper: New Yorker Marion Donovan made the lives of many mothers just slightly easier starting in 1950 by not having to wash dirty diapers.
Discovered Radium: Marie Curie aka Madame Curie discovered radium and advanced x-ray technology in early 1950s.
Petroleum Refining: Edith Flanigen invented the modern petroleum refining method and was considered the most inventive chemist of all time.
Liquid Paper: Bette Nesmith Graham, a single mother and secretary created the liquid paper known as White-OutTM in 1956. Not only a great inventor, she gave back to the community by setting up two foundations to help women find careers. Her other claim to fame is creating a 60s heartthrob, Mike Nesmith from The Monkees.
Bra: Mary Phelps Jacob, a New York socialite, should be called a hero for eliminating the use of tight corsets in 1913 and introducing us to the modern brassiere.
Kevlar: Used in bullet proof vests, Stephanie Louise Kwolek was the founder of Kevlar in 1966, which is five times stronger than steel minus the weight. It has saved countless policeman.
Scotchgard: Found in your carpet and furniture, Patsy Sherman discovered the material used to protect stains with her co-worker while working at 3M. In 1973, both took out a patent for their invention.
Hair Products: Madame Walker, a working class St. Louis woman in the early 1900s invented a method to soften and smooth African-American hair.
Car Heater: Canadian Florella L. Kinsman was responsible for the creation of the car heater in 1881.
Electric Brush: Mary McMullin from Middlesex, England came up with the idea of an electric brush in 1884.
Windmill: English woman Sarah Jane Rollason invented the windmill in 1894.
Cough Medicine: Canadian born Marie Melina Lamontague invented the first cough remedy back in 1885.
Wood Preservation: Back in 1888, French woman Elisabeth D’Escalone, along with a male partner, created the composition used for preserving wood.
Countless other women inventors made lives easier for all of us. For more information on other female geniuses, go to About.com’s Women Inventors page.