We are used to hearing all about male inventors. More men are among the famous and proven creators, artists, sculptors, architects and researchers. Nobel prize winners are also mostly men.
According to statistics, at the end of the 20th century only about 10% of all patents in the world belonged to women inventors This is not because women are less creative, smart and capable to create, on the contrary. They have faced a number of difficulties since the dawn of civilization and have been fighting for the right to freedom and equality for centuries.
To inspire your day and to remind you how capable and creative women can be, we have prepared a small list of the most influential female inventions that changed our lives and continue to change them today!
Tree Cutting Circular
Probably few people know, and even few would have thought that exactly such a man's tool would be invented by a woman! Strange but true!
In the late 18th century, a religious sect known as the "Shakers" emerged. They are people who live on a communal basis and observe equality between the sexes - something atypical for that time.
Tabitha Babbitt, a member of this community living in Massachusetts, worked as a weaver in 1810. One day she observed two men cutting large logs with a handsaw. She thought the saw's motion was useless the moment one man wasn't pulling the blade. Tabitha decided it would be more efficient to not waste energy and keep the blade spinning constantly.
Thus was born the idea of a circular toothed blade that would be constantly moved by an actuator. Unfortunately, due to a request from the community, Babbitt was unable to apply for a patent for the circular despite "community tolerance".
The chocolate chip cookies we know today as “cookies”
These biscuits are one of everyone's favourites, especially lately. They are available in all shapes and with different flavors in shops and cafeterias.
The credit for their creation goes to a Boston nutritionist and he althy eating educator Ruth Wakefield.
She and her husband decided to leave Boston and settle in an old house that served as a customs house where passing horsemen had to pay tax and tolls when passing through.
Weary travelers passed by with their horses, grabbed something to eat on the way and continued. So one day the family turned the old house into a big inn, where visitors could enjoy the wonderful cookies with pieces of chocolate.
The idea for them came when, in 1930, Mrs. Wakefield was making butter biscuits in a hurry and decided to crush pieces of Nestle chocolate, which was already proven in the chocolate products market.
White Paper Corrector
Although today almost all of us use a computer, where it is much easier to correct technical errors electronically, there is also a white proofreader on almost every desk, which is our first assistant in correcting paper documents.
This ingenious "invention" came to the mind of a Texas typist named Beth Graham, who worked in 1950 as a secretary at the Bank of Texas. She watched with horror as her colleagues copied the wrong documents on a typewriter, which slowed down the work enormously. She herself had to do the same when she made a typo.
One day, Beth decided to mix white water-based tempera paint with regular white paint. She makes this amazing recipe in her kitchen, and after starting to apply it to her work routine, the mixture becomes widely popular among her colleagues.
Everyone started asking for a bottle of the genius product and so in 1958 Graham received a patent for his invention, which we still use today.
Computer Compiler and Computer Programming Languages
When we think of computer progress we think of men who became famous for the computer innovations they introduced - Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Alan Turing, Charles Babbage, John Atanasov.
But Admiral Grace Murray Hopper deserves real recognition for her role in the computer industry.
She joined the army in 1943 and was sent to Harvard University, where she worked on the first large-scale computer in the US, built by IBM. In 1950, Hopper developed a compiler that translated commands from the English language and turned them into computer code. This device helps programmers to more easily debug when writing various programs.
In addition, she led the development of the so-called Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL) - one of the first computer programming languages.
Admiral Grace Hopper has received numerous awards for her wonderful work, including having a US warship named after her.