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.


Lillian Gilbreth

Lillian Gilbreth is known for many things, but perhaps most of all as one of the first women to “have it all” – a career as well as twelve children. It’s Lillian Gilbreth you have to thank for inventions such as the foot-pedal trash can and refrigerator door shelves. Also known as the mother from Cheaper by the Dozen, we’re guessing her 12 kids had something to do with her desire to make everything efficient.

She and her husband wrote several books together (we’re guessing she did most of the writing), however, Lillian was never named co-author because the publishers were concerned about the credibility of the books should it be known that a woman was one of the authors – despite the fact that Lillian had a doctorate and Frank had not attended university.

The Story of 5 Women and Their Incredible Inventions

When her husband died suddenly of a heart attack at age 56, she became a single mother. Her attempt to forge on with the couple’s consulting business was put in jeopardy, as some companies refused to do business with a woman. Not one to be discouraged, she forged on and became quite successful.

The Story of 5 Women and Their Incredible InventionsLillian is not only an inventor, but also a psychologist, management consultant, known as the ‘Mother of Modern Management’, and became the first female professor at Purdue’s engineering school. During her lifetime, this brilliant woman received many awards and honors, including twenty honorary degrees. She was the first female member of the Society of Industrial Engineers, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the first woman to receive the Hoover Medal for distinguished public service by an engineer, and was the first female psychologist to have a United States postage stamp issued in her honor.

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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: 102 Comments

  1. Kristen Wright

    I wouldn’t blame the history during those times because even education was being restrained for women. That woman should just stay home and take care their husbands.

    • Sasha Smith

      yes, youre right. We are just so lucky that today we can now express ourselves with the same respect given to men. Nowadays we can now studies, work and even vote. I just wish other talented and gifted girls will be given the opportunity to shine. 🙂

  2. Kenya Cordova

    If only people would just stop the criticism about women. We would all be proud of the accomplishments of both genders made.

  3. Well, there was a lot of style of clothes that were made for men yet are now being worn by women.

  4. Betty Whitmer

    I can’t believe that women invented these amazing things! And it’s cool that these inventions weren’t all girly things.

  5. Geraldine Pettigrew

    I felt so lucky to be a woman after seeing these brilliant inventions and at the same time offended because of what those selfish men did who stole those ideas and credited it for themselves,

  6. Manuel Delgado

    It seems that women have made a lot of contributions to the discoveries and inventions in the history of civilization. 😲

  7. William Dean

    Is there a women’s history month? Because I’ve already found men get way too much credit for women’s inventions, conventions, & discoveries.

  8. Joyce Shealy

    Throughout history, so many men stole women’s ideas and received credit for their work and inventions. It’s so pathetic

  9. Earline Wilham

    Learning about women in the history of inventions is fascinating – who knew that women were would invent these such great things!

  10. Chelsea Handley

    This is why we think all inventions were made by men. Because women have been systematically erased from history. And even stole their inventions and were credited from those who’ve stolen it.

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