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 traveling around Europe, with pied-a-terre's in Zurich, London, Milan and Lyon, France. 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 life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 121 Comments

  1. Cindy Frazier

    Maria Beasley is a life saver. Thanks to you, you saved a lot of lives!

  2. Karla Alvarez

    I will let my daughter read this. This should be at school too. A lot of people doesn’t have any idea who these women are, and men are underestimating women. This is a proof that women are not that easy.

  3. Kelly Osborne

    Informative article. Keep posting articles like this because we learn a lot from this. Some of these can’t be taught at school.

  4. Myron Stephens

    Women of Ancient Mesopotamia?? They are the inventors of the beer?!! Hail to them!!

  5. Jodi Thornton

    Those men should’ve known better! They took a big piece of those women’s lives! Let’s all be aware on who invented these amazing things. Thank you to those women who shared their ideas to the world. They could have improved their lives and lived it easy if those men didn’t steal their inventions.

  6. Marsha Reed

    There should be more originality in people. They need to stop stealing ideas.

    • Maggie Lawrence

      I didn’t know this until today. Honesty is the best policy.

    • Lydia Erickson

      At least we all know now that those ideas weren’t from those men.

    • Patricia Mann

      They just oppressed these women because of their lack in decency!

    • Maxine Hanson

      It’s so hard to be original nowadays as other people may have had that idea already. But then directly stealing other people’s ideas whilst fully aware that you are about to steal them is a different story.?

  7. Catherine Lewis

    Those men just ranaway with the money those women deserved. Sometimes it’s not even just because of money, it’s the act itself that’s disappointing!

  8. Bernadette Garza

    Wow, that’s a lame move. Women are so creative that men had to steal their ideas.

  9. Pam Reyes

    Isn’t it easier to be nice? And just acknowledge good deeds and not steal people’s ideas? I don’t get it.

    • Michele Adkins

      Their ideas were awesome in general, which is why those men felt the need to steal their inventions.

    • Tara Norman

      Now we know what they did and that’s even funnier.

  10. Myra Sullivan

    Informative stuff! Some of us need to be aware that this still happens nowadays.

    • Terri Ferguson

      It does and it’s really sad that we keep on going back to the roots of evil. Just sad.

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