Einstein? Da Vinci? Yes, they were geniuses, but we shouldn’t forget that women were responsible for some of the greatest inventions of our time. From kitchen appliances to cookies, here are our top five:
1. Bullet Proof Vests
Stephanie Kwolek took a temporary job in order to save money for medical school when, in 1964, she developed a material that was as strong as steel but much more lightweight. It was called Kevlar and has since been used to manufacture skis, brake pads, suspension bridge cables, helmets, as well as hiking and camping gear. More importantly, however, Kevlar is used in the production of bullet proof vests. That’s one plan that wasn’t full of holes.
In the late 1950’s, high school dropout Beth Nesmith Graham was sick and tired of making typo’s. After watching painters fix their mistakes with another layer of paint, Beth decided it should work on paper too. She mixed water-based paint with a dye that matched her company’s stationary and took it to work. Lo and behold, it was an instant hit. She was even fired for spending too much time distributing her product “Mistake Out” – something that we have since come to know as Tippex.
3. Windshield wipers
Before cars were an essential part of our world, Mary Andereson went to New York City and came up with an idea to make the lives of tram drivers easier. She noticed that the drivers of the popular New York trams had to stop every few minutes in order to wipe snow off the front windows. After her trip, Beth went home, tied a squeegee to a spindle and attached it to a handle on the inside of her car. In 1903 she received the patent for her device and just like that windshield wipers were born. Thanks, Beth!
Josephine Cochrane’s servants kept breaking her heirloom china. So, being the savvy (albeit lazy) lady that she was, the socialite invented a machine that has since changed the lives of women the world over. Her dishwasher depended on strong water pressure aimed at a wire rack of dishes. In 1886 she received the patent, and the trusty dishwasher has become our favourite servant since.
5. Chocolate Chip Cookies
Everyone knows that chocolate makes you feel better – put it in a cookie and it’s even better! So we’re really grateful for Ruth Wakefield, a dietician and food lecturer who invented the chocolate chip cookie in 1930. She had run out of melting chocolate, so crumbed a Nestle chocolate bar instead, added it to the batter and voila , the lovileness that is a choc chip cookie was invented! Yum!
For more awesome inventions by women go here.
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