The Story of 5 Women and Their Incredible Inventions - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog

Inspiring Women

The Story of 5 Women and Their Incredible Inventions

Their amazing stories …and the men who stole all the credit.


We all know names like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, but what about all the women inventors whose creations we use every day? Women invented windshield wipers, the first computer program, life rafts, the paper bag, Kevlar, fire escapes and, mind you, chocolate chip cookies. If good ideas had only come from people who looked like the founding fathers, then a wealth of advances and joys might have been delayed or missed entirely.

The Story of 5 Women and Their Incredible Inventions

Hedy Lamarr: goddess and genius

The following women, whose inventions changed the world, rarely got credit. The sad truth is that we live in a world where men are respected for their accomplishments and women are routinely taken advantage of. In fact, in most cases men they knew stole their credit and fame. That’s why it’s all the more important that we share this article and give these amazing, yet underappreciated, women the credit they’re due.

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr, once dubbed “the most beautiful woman in the world”, was a lonely movie star who fled Austria to the US during the war. She was so lonely, in fact, that she spent her evenings alone, surrounded by engineering books, inventing everything from a better tissue box to a new traffic signal.

The Story of 5 Women and Their Incredible Inventions

But it was her system of frequency hopping that she invented during World War II to assist the US Navy, that is still used today in wireless communications technology like Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi.

The Story of 5 Women and Their Incredible Inventions

Her frequency hopping system helped win America the war, but when she first approached the US Government with her ideas, she was scoffed at and told to stop her ‘silly inventing’ and instead use her beauty to raise money for the war. She signed over her patent to the government for no money at all. Right after she did so, others took her ideas and ran with them, taking full credit.

It took 50 years for her to finally get the credit she deserved, and yet all her obituaries talked about was her beauty, with only a passing mention of her invention.

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A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she spends most of her time in France, NYC, London and Switzerland, and travels extensively around the world. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 71 Comments

  1. Hena Taylor

    The photographers should thank them. I am not familiar with their names, but I am thankful for their inventions.

  2. Jonathon Swift

    In behalf of the men of this generation, I am sorry for the loss accreditation, and I am thankful that you did these inventions that until now we are using.

  3. Lusi Martin

    Apgar is being smart on it. If someone would take the credits, well sorry for you because the name itself is based on her Surname. Haha!

  4. Honey Smith

    Margaret Knight is a lifesaver too! I can’t imagine myself using an envelope type bag for my clothes that I bought.

    • Jessi Agusta

      Haha! That’s what I am thinking too. How hassle it is to bring envelope type of bags when going to the mall.

  5. Bela Christo

    Can you believe that the things that we usually use for our everyday lives are being invented by women? Lol. We should be proud!

  6. Anila William

    I enjoyed reading this. Now I know that the inventors are not just male, but there are female inventors too.

  7. Robert Patel

    This made me speechless for a minute. I don’t know what to say, but I am very sorry. These people, especially Magie, deserves to be known.

    • Cristina Joseff

      They paid them $500 for the patent. $500? Can you imagine how small is that?

  8. Nancy Smith

    These women give a lot of contribution to our life. Can you imagine your life without their inventions? I wish some of them gets the accreditation that they deserve.

  9. Thank you, Mary Jacob! I don’t know how to live without those comfortable bras. Can you imagine wearing other shapes of bras? Lol

  10. The inventor of the Monopoly deserves more, but those men get what she deserves. I wish they live a happy life. They did not deserve all the money and fame that they got from someone’s work.

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