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Inventions by Women

It’s Fab Female Friday!

blocksWomen are amazing inventors! Unfortunately  just how many inventions we really are responsible for is lost in history. Why? Because men took the credit. Even in the USA! In fact, women were not permitted to get a patent in their own name until the late 1800’s.

Here are just a few women inventors.

1.Alphabet Blocks>>> Adeline Whitney: Poet and author of 20 children’s books.

crosby2.Brassiere>>>Mary Phelps Jacob: Although bra-like garments go way back in history ( as far back as ancient Rome), 19-yr old Mary  invented the 1st modern version from 2 silk handkerchiefs and a ribbon when the boning of her corset showed through her fancy ball gown.

3. Disposable Diapers>>>After WW2, Marion Donovan sewed up a plastic shower curtain to keep the bed sheets dry from the leaky kiddo. She had no takers for for waterproof diaper cover, until Saks Fifth Avenue debuted it in 1949.  Her next project, designing a totally disposable diaper made from super absorbent paper. Ten years went by before a company saw the genius of her invention. Female power triumphs because Marion went on to obtained 20 patents in her lifetime!

4. Circular Saw>>> Tabitha Babbitt invented the prototype for the circular saw used in saw mills. She never applied for a patent.

5. Medical Syringe>>>Letitia Geer ( Couldn’t find any information about her.)

6. Life raft>>>Maria Beasley received over 15 patents and earned quite a bit of money from them. The biggest money-maker was her barrel making machine; however, it’s the life raft invention for which she is most famous.

7. Fire escape>>>Anna Connelly was the first to design and patent the fire escape.

8. Windshield Wiper>>>Mary Anderson developed this after a trip to snowy New York City.  Wipers became standard equipment by 1916.

9. Dishwasher>>>Josephine Cochrane, bless her heart, decided her servants were breaking too many heirloom china pieces, so she designed an automatic dishwasher with wire compartments and water sprays.  Before long she was manufacturing and selling to hotels and restaurants, and finally homeowners.

10. Square-bottomed paper bag>>> Inventor Margaret Knight was perfecting the machine that would fold and glue a paper bag together when a man who saw the prototype stole her idea.

whiteout11. Liquid Paper/White out>>> Bette Nesmith Graham was prone to typing mistakes, and in those pre-word processor days that mean typing a whole new paper. An artist used to painting over mistakes, she applied the same idea to her typist job.

12. Chocolate Chip cookies>>>Ruth Wakefield stumbled upon this recipe when she added chopped chocolate to cookie dough in the hopes it it would melt to make chocolate cookies. Best cooking mistake ever made. Ever!

13. Home diabetes test:>>>Although Helen Free is known for her invention of this important  diagnostic test, the distinguished chemist invented many other home tests and lab procedures. During her 50-year career, she also managed to author several books, earn an MA in Management, be an adjunct professor, and become an advocate for science outreach programs.

14. Portable hair dryer>>> Harriet Stern

15. Leukemia drug>>>15-yr old Gertrude Belle Elion was inspired to find a cure when her grandfather passed from cancer. Even though she graduated with highest honors from college at only 19 years of age, 15 graduate schools rejected her application because of her gender! She volunteered as a lab assistant until a pharmaceutical company hired her. During the 39 years she worked for that company, she developed the chemotherapy to treat children’s leukemia—it also earned her the Noble Prize.

Related Posts: Amazing Amazons; Julia Domna; Marie Laveau; Boudicca; Cheng I Sao

Fab Female Friday:Boudicca

"Boadicea Haranguing the Britons" by John Opie

“Boadicea Haranguing the Britons” by John Opie

Bodacious Boudicca was the queen of the Icini tribe in Briton (the area is called Norfolk now) in AD 60.

After her husband, King Prasutagus died, Roman publicani (crooked tax collectors) and loan sharks infested the land demanding MONEY $$. No frail flower, Boudicca knew she was being played and manipulated by Roman thugs so she voiced her objections—loudly!

The Roman response? Boudicca was flogged (whipped)  and her daughters publicly raped and beaten.

Rightly incensed at this atrocity, the red-head Boudicci gathered her warlike people and led them in a revolt against the Romans where she devastated the 9th Roman legion. How did they do this? The stealthy Celts engaged in guerrilla style warfare, moving quickly through the dense forests and taking the slow-moving Romans by surprise.

Victorious— but still pissed off—she advanced on London, a hub for Roman trade.B1

The numbers are suspect but Boudicci’s army reportedly slew over 70,000 Roman citizens who were living in London.

The tide soon turned and the growing revolt against the Roman interlopers ended in tragedy when the over-confident, ill-armed Celts could not withstand the highly-trained, well-equipped Roman forces. The massacre was  vicious— men, woman, and children–no one escaped the carnage.

Reports differ over the death of this warrior woman. Some say  Boudicci committed royal suicide by poison ( the rage at the time). Others contend she became sick and died.

Boudicca: Bold. Powerful. Determined. Courageous. Fierce.
Legendary Queen and Fearless Leader.

To learn more about this Fab Female check out the University of North Carolina’s website at http://www.unc.edu/celtic/catalogue/boudica/catalog.html

Related posts: Fab Females

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