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:
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.