5 Things You Didn’t Know Were Invented By A Woman!
We continue to honor the ladies that make our lives better during Women’s History Month! Check out these 5 things that were invented by a Woman.
A Woman named Elizabeth Magie created “The Landlord’s Game” —teaching players about the unfairness of land-grabbing, the disadvantages of renting, and the need for a single land value tax on owners. She patented the board game in 1904 and self-published it in 1906. Nearly 30 years later, a man named Charles Darrow redesigned the board design and sold it to Parker Brothers as “Monopoly”. The company bought Magie’s patent for the original game for $500 and no royalties.
2. THE DISHWASHER
Patented in 1886, the first dishwasher combined high water pressure, a wheel, a boiler, and a wire rack like the ones still used for dish drying. Inventor Josephine Cochrane never used it herself, but it made life easier for her servants. Every modern mom thanks her!
3. THE FOOT-PEDAL TRASH CAN
Lillian Gilbreth improved existing inventions with small, but ingenious, tweaks. In the early 1900s, she designed the shelves inside refrigerator doors, made the can opener easier to use, and tidied up cleaning with a foot pedal trash can. Gilbreth is most famous for her pioneering work in efficiency management and ergonomics with husband Frank. Two of their 12 children, Frank Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth, humorously wrote about their home/work collaborations in the book Cheaper by the Dozen.
4. WINDSHIELD WIPERS
Drivers were skeptical when Mary Anderson invented the first manual windshield wipers in 1903. They thought it was safer to drive with rain and snow obscuring the road than to pull a lever to clear it. Then in 1917 Charlotte Bridgwood, invented an automatic version with an electric roller. It didn’t take off, either. But by the time Anderson’s patent expired in 1920, windshield wipers were cleaning up. Cadillac was the first to include them in every car model, and other companies soon followed.
5. COMPUTERS !!
Women in computer science have a role model in Grace Hopper. She and Howard Aiken designed Harvard’s Mark I computer, a five-ton, room-sized machine in 1944. Hopper invented the compiler that translated written language into computer code and coined the terms “bug” and “debugging” when she had to remove moths from the device. In 1959, Hopper was part of the team that developed COBOL, one of the first modern programming languages.