Life Changing Inventions by Women - In Celebration of Women's History Month
In honor of Women’s History Month, we wanted to learn about, and share with you some fascinating technology and products that were invented by women with the goal of improving lives. Here are our top 10. Some of these items we were familiar with, but didn’t know the story behind. We know there are many, many more than just these ten. Please share your favorites in the comments so that we can keep adding to this amazing list!
This story was featured on Home Business Magazine
We have Fashion Freedom
Who: Eri Kikunaga
Eri Kikunaga invented Chrysmela after she lost an earring she received as a gift from her then-boyfriend. They got in a big fight because of the loss and broke up. Eri then vowed to solve the 5000-year-old problem of lost earrings once and for all. Inspired by the three-point contact system in mechanical pencils, she designed Chrysmela, the World's Most Secure Earring back, but it was too difficult to make with the level of precision required. After 200 high tech factories said NO, a manufacturing company Number 201 said YES, and a leading market product was born.
We see better
What: Laserphaco Probe
Who: Patricia Bath
In 1981, Patricia Bath conceived of the Laserphaco Probe - a surgical tool that uses a laser to remove cataracts. She filed for a patent in 1988 and became the first African American female doctor to receive a patent for a medical purpose. Bath's device and technique has been used to restore the sight of some individuals who had been blind for over 30 years and is still used worldwide today.
We Work Faster and More Efficiently
What: Computer Program
Who: Ada Lovelace
Did you know the first computer program was written before computers were even invented? In 1843 Ada Lovelace wrote a theoretical sequence of operations to solve a mathematical problem using an 'Analytical Engine' or a computer - essentially, the first computer program. Although her status as the first programmer is debated by some, she is the first to articulate the potential of the computer for applications beyond calculations and mathematics.
What: Computer Programming
Who: Grace Hopper
Grace Hopper, a Navy admiral and mathematician, developed the first computer language compiler called A-0 in 1952 which translated mathematical code into the language of computers, binary. In 1953, despite being told it cannot be done, she began working on a English-language compiler, Flow-Matic which was completed in 1956. In 1959, Hopper was asked to be a part of the Conference on Data Systems Languages and is widely recognized for her part in designing COBOL which was the first user-friendly business computer software programming language.
Our Lives are Safer
Who: Stephanie Kwolek
Stephanie Kwolek was a chemist at the DuPont company when she accidentally invented Kevlar. Her invention has been used to create bullet proof vests and body armor that have saved the lives of armed service members and law enforcement members. However, that's not all. The fiber is also found in airplanes, mobile phones, sailboats and firemen boots!
What: Home Security System
Who: Marie Van Brittan Brown
Marie Van Brittan Brown was a nurse, and her husband Albert was an electronics technician. Both had irregular hours and Brown often felt uneasy at home at night. To combat this, Brown took matters into her own hands and invented the modern security system. Her system was equipped with CCTV, 2 way microphones, a panic button, and a remote that allowed her to lock/unlock the doors from a distance. In 1969 she and her husband received a patent for the home security system - the first of its kind. Brown was subsequently featured in the New York Times and received an award from the National Scientists Committee for her work.
Confidence is Key
Who: Sara Blakely
Prior to starting Spanx, Sara Blakely was a door to door fax machine sales person with only $5000 in personal savings. When getting Spanx off the ground, Blakely wrote her own patent, found her own manufacturer and even designed her own packaging! A brand for women, by women, Spanx has revolutionized the shapewear industry. In 2012, Blakely was named the world's youngest self-made billionaire by Forbes Magazine and one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People.
Life is Sweeter
What: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Who: Ruth Wakefield
The iconic chocolate chip cookie was invented in the late 1930's by Ruth Wakefield who ran the Toll House Restaurant in Massachusetts. The recipe for the first chocolate chip cookie was published in Wakefield's 1938 cookbook "Tried and True" and was intended to be served with ice cream!
We Know Ourselves Better
What: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Who: Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers
Most of us have taken some form of a personality test for work, for fun, or for our dating profiles.Odds are, you've taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®️ invented by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. The mother daughter duo had a desire to help individuals celebrate their differences and used Carl Jung's ideas as a springboard. Although some have criticized its accuracy and consider it a pseudoscience, it can be a lot of fun, especially when comparing your results with others.
Read more about the mother-daughter duo and the World’s Most Popular Personality Test on Huffpost.com
Women Can Make the First Move
Who: Whitney Herd
The "women first" online dating app Bumble went public this month in time for Valentines Day and raised a whopping $2.15 billion. Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder and CEO of Bumble launched the app in 2014 with the goal of changing the online dating landscape by catering to women. Wolfe overcame hard times at Tinder to make a comeback, belatedly joining the competitive online dating market to now becoming a female billionaire.