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10 women inventions we use everyday

In 1871, Charles Anan and Margret Knight were involved in a fierce legal battle. A battle for the patent of a machine that could make square-bottomed bags. Charles Anan argument was, “no way could a girl invent such a brilliant invention!” The same girl invented a safety device, at the age of 12, which is still being used in cotton mills today.

 

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Galileo, Graham Bell, Steve job, we all know at least one male inventor. Very few people can name at least one female inventor.  The truth is, women have equally contributed to ground-breaking inventions in both science and technology. Ever imagined how life would be without women inventions?

It is raining outside. I am playing monopoly online with my friend, Derik. I receive a call from an unknown number and it turns out to be my electricity company. They inform me that I will not be having electricity since there’s a truck that has rammed into our local Transformer station. With the mains off, the house is so cold. I am wishing I had a solar heating. I reach for the refrigerator to get something to eat, scoot! Nothing in there!

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So I have to drive 3 kilometres to the convenience store. It is a bliss to be in the car and I immediately turn on the car heater. As I reverse from the garage, my car wipers are caught by a loose cable. I have to drive in the rain without wipers. As Murphy’s Law would want it, I hit and overrun a barrier protecting the local fishing dam. There was water all over my windshield, I didn’t see it. Luckily, the safety crew was still around. I was rescued by three men in Life Rafts and handed over to the waiting EMTs. I survived without a scratch since I had my Kevlar bike-riding vest.  Thank God, I hate syringes and needles. The EMTs drop me at the convenience store. I head directly to the bar and asked for a pint of beer to calm my nerves. It was a long day.

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Of course, that was a fictional story. But it highlights some of the inventions by women. Inventions we use on a day-to-day basis. To celebrate Women’s History Month, let us look back at some ingenious inventions by women that make our lives safer, easier, and more enjoyable.

  1. Monopoly – invented by Elizabeth Maggie in 1904 as the Landlord’s game

  2. Caller ID - Dr Shirley Jackson’s scientific research allowed others to invent the portable fax, solar cells, touch tone telephone, fibre optic cables, and the technology behind caller ID and call waiting.

  3. Residential solar heating - Dr. Maria Telkes and Eleanor Raymond built the home entirely heated by solar power in 1947.

  4. Electric refrigerator - Florence Parpart is the brains behind the modern electric refrigerator in 1914.

  5. Car heater – the car heater was invented by Margaret A. Wilcox in 1893. She also designed a combined dish and clothes washer.

  6. Car wipers -  Mary Anderson was the first person to receive a patent for a car cleaning mechanism

  7. Life Rafts - Maria Beasley invented the life raft in the late 1800s

  8. Kevlar - Stephanie Kwolek invented the super-strong Kevlar fibre

  9. Syringes - Letitia Geer invented a medical syringe that could be operated with only one hand in 1899

  10. Beer - Jane Peyron, suggests women were the first to develop, sell, and even drink beer.

Happy women’s history month to everyone. We are grateful of the mark you have made in the world of science and technology and we celebrate you. We know the world wouldn’t have survived this far without beer *sips beer*.

 

25 April 2016

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