Women are creators by nature. After all, women can create life! And when it comes to things we can’t live without, women have played a role in inventing and creating many things we all enjoy daily.
You can thank women for many, many things from scientific breakthroughs to simple solutions to common problems. In this article, we’ll focus on things created by women that we still use almost every day.
Here are 14 Things Women Created That We Can’t Live Without:
Next time you use any of these things women created, remember they were envisioned and designed by pretty spectacular women!
Grace Hopper was a computer scientist and a rear admiral in the United States Navy. In 1944, she designed and programmed Harvard’s Mark I computer. This computer was the size of an entire room, weighing in at five tons. She also invented one of the first compilers, a computer software that translates one programming language into another.
2. Coffee Filters
Did you know that before Melitta Bentz came around, people just accepted bitter, gritty coffee? Melitta invented the common coffee filter that you use in your coffee machine every morning.
She was the first to use a thick piece of absorbent paper rather than a cloth to filter her coffee, a process which she patented in 1908. Her company is still running today!
It takes a woman to know a woman, right?
Sick of tight corsets that she couldn’t breathe in, Caresse Crosby whipped together the beginnings of a modern bra from two handkerchiefs, ribbons and pins in 1910. She acquired a patent for her design in 1914 and created a business, then sold the woman-created patent to Warner Brothers Corset Company.
4. Hand-Cranked Ice Cream
In 1843, Nancy M. Johnson added a simple, but revolutionary, tool to the outside of an ice cream bucket – a crank. The traditional method at the time was extremely labor intensive, and required users to manually scrape the insides of the ice cream bucket.
Johnson’s crank allowed ice cream to be made more efficiently, and helped make ice cream a dessert staple.
That’s right, boys! Despite all the big trucks and “hot babes” in beer commercials, beer was the creation of women. What’s more, beer is ancient, with one of the very first mentions of beer being in a poem to the brew goddess Ninkasi in Mesopotamia. I’ll take one goddess beer, please!
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6. Menstrual Cups
Back in 1937, menstrual pads and tampons were bulky, inconvenient things. American actress Leona Chalmers invented the very first menstrual cup out of latex rubber that allowed women to wear “thin, light, close fitting clothing” without worrying about the pins and buckles associated with what was available at that time.
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7. Windshield Wipers
In 1903, Mary Anderson saw a huge problem and created the solution. On a cold New York winter day, Anderson thought it was silly that the driver had to open his window to clear the snow off the windshield.
She designed and patented a pair of rubber blades that could be operated from inside the car, but never profited from her invention. Car companies believed the blades would be distracting to drivers for many years before this woman-created invention became a standard safety feature.
8. Home Security Systems
You can thank Marie Van Brittan Brown for today’s home security systems. As a nurse who was often home alone in a city with rising crime rates, Van Brittan Brown came up with a way to attach a motor to a camera that allowed her to see who was on the other side of her front door.
She also came up with a monitor for her bedroom that was equipped with an alarm button.
9. Dishwashing Machines
Josephine Cochrane loved to entertain, but she wanted a way to wash dishes quicker while also reducing the chance of breaking dishes. She created a motorized wheel that turned inside a copper boiler, and was the first dishwashing machine to use water pressure. She patented her invention in 1886.
10. Circular Saws
The circular saw was invented by . . . wait for it . . . a weaver! Tabitha Babbitt saw workers cutting wood with a two-man pit saw that only cut when pulled forward. She suggested that the workers use a circular blade instead, and attached a prototype to her spinning wheel in 1813.
11. Paper Grocery Bags
Did you know paper bags used to be more like oversized envelopes? That made them pretty inefficient to use. Margaret Knight was a cotton mill worker who invented the machine that gives paper bags a flat, square bottom in 1868.
This woman-created idea was almost stolen by Charles Annan, a (rude) man who tried to patent her design before her. But! She filed a lawsuit against him and won the patent in 1871. She went on to receive twenty-six other patents throughout her lifetime.
12. Retractable Dog Leashes
New York City resident Mary Delaney wanted a leash that would allow her dog to roam free at times while still being able to bring her close on those busy city streets. She patented the very first retractable dog leash in 1908 to the joy of pet owners everywhere.
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13. Non-Reflective Glass
Katharine Blodgett was a chemist who was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in physics at Cambridge University as well as the first woman hired by General Electric. She is responsible for the molecular makeup of non-reflective glass that we now use in glasses, cameras, movie projectors, windshields, computer screens, and much more!
14. Liquid Paper
We have it so good now with our backspace button, but that wasn’t a thing for Bette Nesmith Graham.
A secretary in the 1950’s, Graham would cover her type-writer mistakes with her own blend of white tempera paint. She spent years perfecting her formula before receiving a patent in 1958. Come 1979, she sold her company to Gillette for a whopping $47.5 million!!
A Huge Thanks to These Women-Created Gifts and Many More!
Women are incredible, and there are so many more woman-created things that we simply don’t have the time or space to list them all. A huge thank you to these women who created revolutionary, everyday things that we still use and love today!
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