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.


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: 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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