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15 inventions you didn’t know were invented by women

ORIGINAL ARTICLE : Purple Clover by Ileana Paules-Bronet (

Daily life wouldn’t be the same without these inventions! Throughout history, women have had a huge impact on people’s everyday lives. In fact, many of the products we use every single day were invented by women.

1. FIRE ESCAPE : The first fire escape was invented by Anna Connelly in 1887. Can you imagine what we would do if we didn’t have a safe way to get out of a building during a fire?

2. MODERN SYRINGE: In 1899, Letitia Geer invented a one-hand-operated medical syringe. Although syringes existed before that, Letitia’s invention allowed doctors to use just one hand to operate syringes.

3. KEVLAR: Stephanie Kwolek invented Kevlar in 1966. She actually created the material accidently while trying to create a new fibre to be used in tyres. Kevlar is now used for tennis rackets, ropes, cable, parachute lines, skis and bulletproof vests.

4. MODERN PAPER BAG : Paper bags used to look a lot like envelopes. It wasn’t until Margaret Knight invented a machine to attach flat bottoms to the bags that they became what we think of as the modern paper bags. Margaret got the patent for her machine in 1871.

5. MONOPOLY : The original version of Monopoly was called “the landlord’s game”and was invented by Elizabeth Magie in 1903. In the 1930s, Charles Darrow ripped off her game and sold it to Parker Brothers at Monopoly. When Parker Brothers found out Charles Darrow had stolen her idea for Monopoly, they tracked down Elizabeth and paid her for the patent.

6. FOOT PEDAL TRASH CAN : Lillian Gilbreth, who is famous for being the inspiration for the movie “Cheaper by the Dozen”, came up with a number of household inventions. Lillian and her husband had 12 kids, so efficiency was everything. According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, “two of her most well-known inventions were the shelves inside refrigerator doors, including the egg keeper and butter tray, but also the foot-pedal trash can”.

7. ICE CREAM MAKER : Nancy Johnson invented a small hand-cranked ice-cream maker in the 1840s and got a patent for it in 1843. Although there are more efficient ice cream makers now, many still use some of the elements from Nancy’s original design.

8. WINDSHIELD WIPER : In 1903, Mary Anderson invented the first windshield wipers. Before that, drivers had to get out of their cars to wipe off their windshields in the rain/snow. Nobody appreciated her invention at the time, but in 2011 she was posthumously inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame.

9. DISPOSABLE DIAPERS : In 1951, Marion Donovan invented a waterproof diaper cover to keep soiled cloth diapers from leaking. A few years later, she created the first-ever waterproof disposable diapers.

10. DISHWASHER : Josephine Cochrane, a wealthy woman born in 1839, was frustrated that her servants kept chipping her fine china while washing it, so she came up with a design for an automatic dishwasher. In 1893, she presented her dishwashing machine at the Chicago World Fair.

11. RETRACTABLE DOG LEASH : Mary A. Delaney invented the first-ever retractable dog leash in 1908. She wanted dogs to have some freedom while they were walking with their owners, but not so much freedom that they could run away or get into trouble.

12. LIQUID PAPER : Bettie Nesmith Graham worked as a typist in the 1950s when she came up with a typewriter correction fluid originally known as “Mistake Out”. When she began her own company, she changed the name of the paint-like substance to “Liquid Paper”.

13. CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES : Ruth Graves Wakefield was working at the Toll House Inn in the late 1930s when she created the chocolate chip cookie by adding chopped-up bits of a Nestle’ bar to cookie dough. The cookie was a huge hit, and it caused a spike in sales in Nestle’ bars. Later, Nestle’ started marketing chocolate chips specifically for cookies, and they made a deal with Toll House to print the cookie recipe on the package.

14. CCTV : In the 1960s, Marie van Brittan Brown created a home security system that was the basis for the modern-day closed-circuit systems used by police and security.

15. CAR HEATER : Margaret Wilcox invented the first car heater in 1893. The original heater directed warm air from the engine over the drivers feet.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE. In the coming years, women are sure to come up with more incredible inventions. The little girls of today are the inventors of tomorrow!