Women Inventors have played an important in our technological advancements. Yet, all to often the conversation of past great inventors usually doesn’t sway far from the name of Edison, Ford, and Franklin. Well, here are five lovely ladies that you just might find interesting.
Margaret Knight – If you lived at a time before Margaret Knight invented the flat-bottom paper bag then you would have walked around with something that looked more like an envelope. Margaret Knight saw a chance to innovate and created a machine that would result in the flat-bottom paper bags that we use today. This invention came to light in 1868. A man by the name of Annan saw these paper bags and realized their potential. He was so impressed that he even tried to patent the design. However, Margaret Knight was no pushover so she filed a lawsuit and won. She won that patent fair and square in 1871 which was just fitting since it was her invention in the first place. She is certainly one of the toughest women inventors ever.
Adeline D.T. Whitney B – Adeline D.T. Whitney was an anti-suffrage author and while most kids do not read her works anymore, they do still make use of the wooden alphabet blocks she patented in 1882. They have been helping kids learn the ABCS for decades now. It is good to have her in the list of women inventors though she might not be the best role model.
Elizabeth Magie – For those of you who enjoy hours and hours of fun playing Monopoly, who do you thank for the game? The person you should thank is a woman by the name of Elizabeth Magie since she created “The Landlord’s Game” and it wasn’t just because she wanted to have fun. As one of the top women inventors, she had a bigger reason. The reason she invented the game was so she could help spread the economic theory of Georgism. This was one way of helping players come to terms with how unfair land-grabbing was and how renting was disadvantageous. It would also help players realize the need for a single value to be levied on owners. If you think about it, it doesn’t sound like so much fun. Elizabeth Magie then went on to patent the game in 1904, and in 1906 it was published. It wasn’t until 30 years later that a man named Charles Darrow redesigned the game and went on to sell it to the Parker Brothers. The company bought the patent from Magie for a measly $500 and did not give her any royalties.
Mary A. Delaney – If you have ever thanked the heavens for your retractable dog leash as you take your dog out for a walk then you ought to give Mary A. Delany your thanks as well. This dog owner from New York City came up and got a patent for the very first ever retractable dog leash way back in the year 1908. Back then, the leash would attach to the collar and would even help keep the collar in place as it gave the dog some extra room to move around. 11 years later, a man named R.C. O’Connor came up with the first child leash and applied for a patent.
Katharine Blodgett – Katharine Blodgett was the first ever female scientist to join General Electric. Her invention was invisible glass and she did it by finding a way to transfer very thick monomolecular coatings to metals and glass back in 1935. The result was glass that had almost zero glare and distortion.