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6 Inventions you Didn’t Know were Made by Women

25 August 2021
6 Inventions you Didn’t Know were Made by Women -  august hoy

Modern technology has brought much convenience, ease and comfort to our everyday lives from appliances to the programmes on our computers.

But how many times have you actually wondered about who is responsible for the inventions that we have all come to love and rely on?

More so, how many of these inventions are made by women?

In celebration of Women’s Month, we have pulled up the archives to celebrate the women behind many of the world’s most important inventions to date.

Without further ado, here are six inventions you didn’t know were made by women:

1. The Windscreen Wiper

Inventor: Mary Anderson

Year Invented: 1903

On a cold winter’s day in 1903, Mary was visiting New York City. While driving she noticed that the driver would open the window and stick out his hand to clear the snow from the windscreen.

Apart from the inconvenience to the driver, Mary noted that each time the window was opened the passengers would get cold. This ignited an idea in which Mary’s solution to this problem was a rubber blade that could be fitted to the windscreen and controlled from inside the vehicle.

Later in 1903, her patent for her device was approved. However, her invention was not approved by car companies who believed that the invention would distract drivers. As a result, Mary never profited from her invention even when wipers became standardised for all vehicles.

2. The Dishwasher

Inventor: Josephine Cochrane

Year Invented: 1886

Josephine Cochrane was a frequent entertainer and, as such, her staff needed to wash and clean large loads of crockery and cutlery. Josephine felt that a machine could wash the dishes faster than her staff while reducing the risk of breakages.

She went on to invent the first automatic dishwasher which involved a motor turning the wheel inside a copper boiler using water pressure and heat to clean the dishes.

After her husband’s death, she patented her invention in 1886 and opened her own production factory to mass-produce her new invention.

3. The Kevlar Vest

Inventor: Stephanie Kwolek

Year Invented: 1965

Stephanie Kwolek, a chemist, is the great mind behind the invention of Kevlar – the lightweight fiber used in bulletproof vests and body armour.

Kevlar is five times stronger than steel and has saved millions of lives since its discovery in 1965. Nowadays, Kevlar can even be found in generic products from household gloves to mobile phones and even suspension bridges.

4. The Aquarium

Inventor: Jeanne Villepreux-Power

Year Invented: 1832

If you have a fish tank in your home you can thank Jeanne Villepreux-Power for coming up with the basic concept relating to a home aquarium.

Jeanne was a French naturalist trying to prove that the paper nautilus, a type species of octopus, does not discard shells from other organisms but rather grows its own shell.

In order to further observe the paper nautilus over an extended period of time to prove her theory, Jeanne invented a glass aquarium to house the marine creature.

5. The Life Raft

Inventor: Maria Beasley

Year Invented: 1882

Although the life raft already existed, Maria went on to improve the existing design by designing a life raft in 1882 by adding fireproof and collapsible guardrails for easy storage.

Her life rafts were the same that was used on the Titanic which saved the lives of over 700 people.

6. Wireless Transmission Technology

Inventor: Hedy Lamarr

Year Invented: 1941

During World War II, Hedy Lamarr, who was also an actress, created a special frequency-hopping communication system that could guide torpedos without being detected by enemy radars.

This groundbreaking work in wireless transmission technology is what has paved the way for the modern invention of wireless communication like Bluetooth, GPS and WiFi.


According to research, the number of female inventions has increased drastically from a mere 2% - 3% prior to 1965 to 12.7% between 1998 and 2017 making way for more women-made inventions over the years.

What other inventions do you know of that were made by women? Be sure to share your thoughts and comments with us on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.

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