10 Brilliant Things Invented By Women That Changed The World

What would the world be without GPS or WiFi? Without some of the women on this list, the world could be a more dangerous place. Less safe. Less interesting. Your eye-glasses (if you wear glasses) coul

What would the world be without GPS or WiFi? Without some of the women on this list, the world could be a more dangerous place. Less safe. Less interesting. Your eye-glasses (if you wear glasses) could have been blurry, less clear than they are now. Movies wouldn’t look the same. Between 1790 and 1984, only 1.5% of the patents created came from women. Today, that number has jumped to 20%. In a world filled with men, these are the inventions which stand out the most. They’re not things you would associate with women.

Inventions are fascinating. They come about after many years, decades, or centuries of evolution. For instance, Anna Connelly was a woman inventor. She invented a fire escape. But it was nowhere near the external-staircase fire escapes we use today. Around then, many people invented fire escapes which actually look like our modern day ones.

But the women on this list made remarkable contributions to the world of technology. And their lives outside of science were often just as remarkable. Not only were they expert scientists, they were pioneers; they first of their kind. More times than not, they were immediately recognized for their contributions to the world. Sometimes they had to fight.

Without these inventions, the world would have been different from what it is now. These are 10 Brilliant Things Invented By Women That Changed The World.

10 A Woman Invents Paper Bags


Margaret Knight, dubbed “Lady Edison,” was a prolific inventor. She received anywhere from 27 to 87 U.S. patents. When she was 12 years old, she had an idea for a stop-motion device, one that could shut off machinery in factories, preventing workers from getting injured. Because she was young and poor, she didn’t have many resources to compete in the patent business. At age 30, Knight had to fight for her first patent (the paper bag), after having the idea stolen from her.

9 A Woman Invents Invisible Glass


8 A Woman Invents Beer

We don’t know who invented the first formula for beer. But women were the first brewers, servers, and sellers of alcohol in society. Drinking beer at the local bar has origins with all signs pointing to women. Since the dawn of man, women were definitely brewing and selling a lot of beer. For thousands of years, we knew them as “brewsters” or “ale-wives.” This dates far back, 7,000 years ago, to ancient Mesopotamian and Sumerian civilizations. Brewers held the only profession deriving social sanction and divine protection from female goddesses - Ninkasi, Siris, and Siduri to be exact.

7 A Woman Invents The Circular Saw


Shakers were an 18th century religious sec; a firm institution within their community was “equality of the sexes.” Tabitha Babbitt was among the first few people credited for designing the circular saw. Two other Shakers were also rumored as inventors of the saw. Babbitt is also credited with inventing spinning wheel heads and false teeth, as well as speeding up cut-nail production - the same nails we buy at Home Depot today.

6 A Woman Invents Monopoly

Two designers have the credit for inventing Monopoly - Charles Darrow and Elizabeth Magie. At the time, Magie was a writer, comedian, actress, and an engineer. Monopoly was at first used for educational purposes, a way to show the economic consequences and ill effects of land monopolies and prove the value of an economy that rewards wealth creation. In the beginning, the game was also used to promote women’s rights.

5 A Woman Invents Solar Heating Systems

Mária Telkes was a pioneering scientist who worked on solar energy technologies. She was one of the founders of solar thermal storage systems. She designed the first solar heating system, which was utilized on the Dover Sun House. This was the first of the many solar panels we see on the roofs of homes and businesses today. The system used solar power to generate heating inside the home. Dr. Anthony Nemethy, a cousin of Mária Telkes, occupied the house with his family, living in the home for three years before the system failed.

4 A Woman Invents Wireless Technology


Once named “the most beautiful woman in the world,” Hedy Lamarr was a famous and fortunate Hollywood actress. She married the third richest man in Austria, Friedrich Mandl, in 1933. She was also intelligent. While Hedy and Friedrich attended prestigious business meetings, she learned about applied science. Bored of acting, she decided to help in the war effort.

3 A Woman Invents Computer Programming Language


Grace Hopper was a leader and innovator of computer programming language. "Programming language" is the basic building block for computer software, allowing humans to tell computers what to do. Grace Hopper worked as a programmer on the first computer, specifically the Harvard Mark 1 in 1944. She led the way in the field of software development concepts, making massive contributions in the shift from primitive to advanced computing technologies. She advocated the idea of a machine-independent programming language. Her development, COBOL, was one of the first high-level computer programming languages.

2 A Woman Invents Kevlar (Bulletproof Vests)


Stephanie Kwolek was a chemist at DuPont for over 40 years. She developed the synthetic fiber Kevlar in 1965. Kevlar is five times stronger than steel. This super amazing fiber has over 200 useful applications. Today, it’s used as military personal armor like combat helmets, ballistic face masks, and bulletproof vests. Fire fighters, police officers, and SWAT teams use Kevlar everyday. It's lighter and thinner than equal gear made of traditional materials.

1 A Woman Invents The Dishwasher


Josephine Cochran was wealthy and entertained at home often. But after-party clean up was a mess. Servants had an enormous load of dishes to do. In 1850, Joel Houghton designed a hand-cranked dishwasher. L. A. Alexander improved it with a gear mechanism. But both devices sucked. When Josephine’s husband William died, she became motivated to finish her design. She wanted to develop a dish washing machine that actually got the job done.

Josephine designed her dishwasher in a shed behind her house with an assisting mechanic. She designed separate compartments for plates, cups, and saucers. And her design was the first to use water pressure. Josephine patented the “First Practical Dish Washing Machine” in 1886. Later, she won first prize for “best mechanical construction, durability and adaption.” By word of mouth, she started getting orders from restaurants and hotels. A factory opened 10 years after her first patent.


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10 Brilliant Things Invented By Women That Changed The World