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.

By 

Margaret Knight

Love shopping? Well then you should know that you have Margaret Knight to thank for all those shopping bags. Paper bags used to be shaped like envelopes. That is, until Margaret Knight decided that she’d like a bag with a flat bottom and redesigned them. When she realized that folding bags this way by hand was difficult, she proceeded to invent the very first machine to make paper bags.

The Story of 5 Women and Their Incredible Inventions

After she created the machine and the bags, she gave a demonstration to a friend and fellow machinist named Charles Anan. He promptly stole her ideas and plans, and filed a patent, pretending to be the inventor. She found out when she tried to file her own patent and was rejected. She sued him and won (her years of notes helped), going on to found the first paper bag making company.

The Story of 5 Women and Their Incredible Inventions

Margaret, “at the age of seventy, is working twenty hours a day on her 89th invention,” reported the New York Times on October, 19, 1913. How inspiring!

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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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