Women have been at the forefront of a majority of inventions and discoveries throughout the ages. Breaking stereotypes and boundaries in all fields of work, Women have made their mark in history and created a difference in the world. Let’s take a look at some of the inventions that would not have been possible without the help of strong and determined women.
Solar Heated Homes
One of the most prominent problems facing the society today is the need for alternative and renewable energy sources that can power a house, an office, a company and a city. In 1940, along with Eleanor Raymond, Dr. Maria Telkes solved this issue by inventing the first solar heated home. MIT researchers in the Department of Metallurgy, these women developed a home heated entirely by the sun, constructed for a sum of $20,000.
Women have ruled the science and technology world since the first computer was designed. Dr. Grace Hopper, a rear admiral in the US Navy, invented the first user friendly business computer software program and helped in designing Harvard’s Mark I computer, a five ton, room sized machine in 1944. She also coined the term ‘bug’ and ‘debugging’ when she had to remove moths from the device. She is also credited with inventing the compiler that translated written language into computer code and for designing COBOL, one of the first modern programming languages.
The first computer programmer ever known, Ada Lovelace was inspired by Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine. In 1842, she wrote an article describing the Analytical Engine by the Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea with several early ‘computer programs,’ as well as strikingly prescient observations on the potential uses of the machine. Although she passed away at the young age of 36, her notes became one of the critical documents to inspire Alan Turing’s work on the first modern computers in the 1940s.
The Car Heater
Cars have become one of the most used means of transport. People living in the northern hemisphere can thank Margaret A. Wilcox who invented the first car heater in 1893. Her device directed warm air from over the engine to warm the chilly toes of the aristocratic 19th century motorists. Her design paved the way for other scientists to create improvised car heating systems commonly used today.
The Electric Refrigerator
It is easy to store food for days today because Florence Parpart invented the modern electric refrigerator in 1914. Parpart was a highly experienced entrepreneur who was successful in marketing and selling her refrigerators, developing her own advertisement campaigns and managing production operations of additional refrigerators.
While you cannot buy happiness, you can come pretty close to it, thanks to inventor Nancy Johnson. In 1843, Nancy invented and patented the ice cream freezer that is still used to the current day. The machine sold like hot cakes and within no time close to 70 improvements were made, making ice cream an affordable luxury and launching the ice cream industry.
Laying the foundation for WiFi and GPS technology used widely today, Hedy Lamarr proved that women can be much more than just a pretty face. During World War II, Hedy, who also happened to be a world famous film star, invented a secret communications system for radio controlling torpedoes which employed ‘frequency hopping technology,’ to create a signal that could not be intercepted. Despite having patented her idea, she signed it away to the Navy, never making a dime out of it.
Ever wondered how people in the old days would survive the cold harsh winters without any central heating? Central Heating systems as we know of them today, would not have existed if not for Alice Parker’s idea to use natural gas to heat a personal home. In 1919, Alice invented a system of gas powered central heating which later on inspired the central heating systems of the future. Her invention revolutionized how people heat their homes and reduced the risk of high fires from the wood burnt in traditional furnaces.
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