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: 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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