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.


And here are twelve more women who also deserve to be recognized, and in many cases were:

The Story of 5 Women and Their Incredible Inventions

Bette Nesmith Graham: Bette proved herself to be a better inventor than typist when she got sick of re-typing pages and created liquid paper to cover up her errors. She started selling it in 1956 and sold her company to Gillette Corporation in 1979 for $47.5 million dollars. We’re just glad someone on this list got some recognition for their brilliance.

Melitta Bentz: Scooping coffee sludge out of the bottom of your mug is the worst, and thanks to Melitta and her invention of the paper coffee filter, you never have to. In this finals week, my classmates and I have nothing but gratitude for the woman who made our coffee addiction possible

Maria Beasley: In the late 1800s, Maria decided that someone should probably do something about all the people dying at sea, so she invented the life raft. Now if only the people on the Titanic had listened…

Mary Jacob: Between the tight shape and whalebone material, early bras were basically designed by Satan. Mary decided that it would probably help if bras were, y’know, actually shaped to fit women’s anatomy. So, she invented the far comfier modern bra and sold the patent to Warners for a small sum.

Sarah Goode: Goode was the first African-American woman to get a US patent in 1885 for her foldaway bed. She didn’t stop at practicality, though — Goode made sure all the beds were pretty, too.

Stephanie Kwolek: If you’re a super secret agent who’s survived getting shot, you have Stephanie to thank. She invented Kevlar, the material used in bulletproof vests. If not, you can thank her for cables, tires, and the knowledge that, should you ever switch careers, she’s got your back.

Virginia Apgar: The Apgar Test used to check a baby’s Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Respiration after birth is thanks to Virginia. She must’ve learned from all the other women inventors who watched a man take credit for their inventions, because she put her name all over it.

Katharine Blogdett: Katharine invented the non-reflective glass used in stuff like camera lenses, telescopes, and eyeglasses. It’s her you have to thank for that picture your friend took at an angle that makes you look like you have ten chins. Thanks, Katharine!

Women of Ancient Mesopotamia: Ah, beer. The classic sidekick of any douchey frat boy, it’s always there to throw a misogynistic ad at us. But once upon a time, beer was actually the women’s domain. Mesopotamian women are credited for the creation of beer, and most ancient civilizations thanked a goddess rather than a god for their beverage.

Mary Anderson: When Mary invented the windshield wipers in 1903, everyone thought it would be too much of a distraction for the drivers. By 1916, everyone figured out that not being able to see is a tad more distracting, and her invention became a standard fixture.

Ruth Wakefield: In the best accident of all time, Ruth ran out of baking chocolate. She used chunks of chocolate instead, hoping they would melt. Instead, we got the chocolate chip cookie, proving that procrastinating on the grocery shopping can have some positive side effects after all.

Josephine Cochrane: After Josephine noticed that her servants chipped her dishes, she started washing them herself. When that got old, she invented the dishwashing machine to do it for her. If that’s not the best reaction to any annoying chore ever, we don’t know what is.
And for all the women who still haven’t gotten the credit they deserve – we salute you, and we promise to honor you by continuing the feminist movement to ensure that women are marginalized less and less as years pass.

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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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