Starting from computer algorithms, fire escape and life rafts to windshield wipers, women have invented many such things that permanently solved the problems people eventually face every day.
Unfortunately, despite the great contribution of women inventors to every sphere of life, only a few of them have got the recognition they deserve.
This International Women’s Day , let’s celebrate the great women inventors of all time that changed the world for the better!
1. Marie Curie (Radioactivity)
The Polish physicist Marie Curie won two Noble Prizes, the first in history for her phenomenal contribution to physics, making her one of the most noteworthy women inventors of all time. She was only 44 years old when she propounded the theory of radioactivity (she also coined the term). She was also the first woman professor at Sorbonne University.
Madam Curie invented two radioactive elements, polonium and radium, and the technique to isolate radioactive isotopes. Despite knowing the health hazard of constant radiation exposure, she continued her work that redefined the cancer treatment and ensured X-rays to World War I frontlines.
She died at the age of 66 from aplastic anaemia, a condition in which the patient’s body cannot produce new blood cells.
2. Dr Shirley Jackson (Telecommunication Research)
The Theoretical physicist Dr Shirley Jackson was the mastermind behind the technology used in caller ID and call waiting feature! She was the first black woman to get a PhD degree (1973) from the Massachusetts Institution of Technology.
Her breakthrough research on subatomic particles at Bell Laboratories paved the way to invent solar cells, the touch-tone telephone, portable fax and fibre optic cables.
3. Elizabeth “Lizzie” Magie (Monopoly)
Magie, a feminist and economic thinker, curated The Landlord’s Game (1904) and patented it. It was a criticism against monopolist land acquisition and unchecked capitalism.
After 25 years later, Charles Darrow, a Pennsylvanian salesman, modified some of its elements and visuals and sold it to Parker Brothers.
Fortunately, the company knew about the original game and bought Marie’s Monopoly patent to avoid any competition. However, only a handful of people know about inventor of the popular board game.
4. Stephanie Kwolek (Kevlar)
While watching an action film and the hero got shot in the chest and opened the shirt to reveal the bulletproof vest, have you ever wondered what would happen if this vest was not invented!
Well, Stephanie Kwolek made it possible through her ground-breaking invention of Kevlar. She was working at DuPont and assigned to make a super durable fibre. During such an experience, she invented Kevlar in 1965.
Although she invented it accidentally, it was made popular almost instantly and widely used in sporting equipment, spacecraft and tires besides bulletproof jackets.
5. Amalie Melitta Bentz (Coffee Filter)
All coffee lovers worldwide owe a tribute to Amalie Melitta Bentz, who invented the coffee filter!
Dissatisfied with too bitter coffee, she was experimenting with different techniques and eventually invented a coffee filter in 1908. She also started her own company that mass produces coffee filters named Melitta. The business still exists globally with more than 5800 employees.
Did you know about all the women inventors and their creations discussed today? Comment below!