Think of a great scientist and note down the name in your mind. Now say it aloud. Is it a woman? 95% of the people, when asked to name a scientist, can only think of someone like Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton. For centuries, women have been sidelined to housekeeping or other domestic work. You would be surprised to know that some of the major universities like Oxford University or Cambridge University didn’t even accept women in the first place! In spite of all odds, some women broke through patriarchal barriers to deliver some of the best inventions to mankind.
Take note of these women of profound intelligence who have changed our lives for the better
1. Margaret Knight
Invention: Paper Bag Assembler
Ever wondered how people used to manufacture shopping bags in earlier days? By hand! Workers (usually women) had to painstakingly assemble each piece of paper shopping bag by hand to cater to the needs of thousands of stores and millions of people. This process was slow, laborious, and often resulted in injuries. Margaret Knight was born in the 19th century and was an astute scientist who was also nicknamed ‘Lady Edison’ for her simple yet ground-breaking invention. Belonging to Maine, Knight started working in a textile mill early in her life. The idea of a machine that cut, folded, and assembled paper bags came to her after she saw a fellow worker get injured
2. Mellita Benz
Invention: Coffee Filter
Had it not been for Mellita Benz, we would have been sipping bitter coffee with coarse particles in it. Till the 20th century, there was no system in place for filtering or brewing coffee. In the beginning of the 20th century, a housewife, Mellita Benz invented an amazing system for filtering ground coffee and turning it into a beverage. She used a thick absorbent paper and turned it into a two-part filtering system that we still use today. So whenever you enjoy your latte, thank Mellita for her invention!
3. Katharine Burr Blodgett
Invention: Non-Reflective Glass
The world would have never captured a single photograph had Katherine Burr not invented the non-reflective glass. This breakthrough invention was used for everything ranging from movie projectors to computer screens. If you can chill out on the beach wearing your sunglasses (yes, even that uses non-reflective glass), it’s all because of Katherine Burr.
4. Stephanie Kwolek
The most important thing for the safety of soldiers and policemen is a Kevlar. This bulletproof vest has saved the lives of thousands of people who used to risk their lives without any protection. Stephanie, through her knowledge about polymers and molecular chemistry, invented a synthetic material that could prevent bullets from passing through. The material was then used to develop bulletproof vests, military helmets, and other protective gear. This invention included the name of Stephanie Kwolek in the National Inventors Hall of Fame and won her many awards.
When you have a strong willpower, nothing can stop you from achieving your goals. These amazing women inventors deserve a bow for transforming our lives and making it better.