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 

Rosalind Franklin

If you paid attention in your high school biology class, you probably remember the names Watson and Crick. They’re the ones who won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Medicine for modeling the structure of the DNA molecule, and explaining how the shape lends itself to replication. The thing is, they stole the credit from a woman named Rosalind Franklin.

These men were co-workers of hers who disliked her. They thought that women should be assistants, not scientists. In those times, women weren’t allowed in the cafeteria and were forced to leave the building during lunch (so that men could have their guy-time, I assume), and during that time Watson and Crick stole Rosalind’s notes and then took credit for her discoveries.

The Story of 5 Women and Their Incredible Inventions

Disheartened, she signed away her rights to continue working on DNA so that she could to get out of her work contract and move to another city, putting this betrayal behind her. By the time “The Double Helix” was written, Franklin was portrayed almost as a villain in the book. Watson describes her as a “belligerent, emotional woman unable to interpret her own data.”

Although she went on to make important discoveries about viruses that laid the foundation of modern virology, it is only in the past decade that Franklin’s contribution has been acknowledged and honored. While you may not have used her discoveries directly, you have this discovery to thank for many life-improving (and crime-solving) advancements. Today, there are many new facilities, scholarships and research grants –especially those for women– named 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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