7 Incredible Things You Probably Didn't Know Were Invented By Women
Let's be completely honest here: Women are (and always have been) f*cking badass, but history's given them zero credit for anything.
Whether it's Rosalind Franklin, the chemist who enabled James Watson and Francis Crick to figure out the structure of DNA, or Marie Curie, who is literally the only person to win a Nobel Prize in TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SCIENCES -- the incredible contributions women made to the world haven't been focused on enough.
Name three women you know who invented things. I know I sure can't -- unless Betty Crocker counts. (She was a totally real person who, like, invented the brownie, right?)
So, for the good of (wo)mankind and to save us all from the embarrassing truth that we don't know anything about women in history, here are seven amazing things you probably didn't know were invented by women.
Yep, around 1965, Stephanie Kwolek invented Kevlar while working for DuPont USA as a chemist. She reportedly worked there for 15 years in the same position before her breakthrough, which saved literally thousands of lives in the time since it was invented.
The chief executive of DuPont at the time of Kwolek's death about two years ago called Kwolek “a true pioneer for women in science.”
Working in the same lab for 15 years without promotion and going on to invent a groundbreaking, life-saving technology? If that's not being a pioneer, I don't know what is.
2. Satellite propulsion
So many satellites orbit Earth every day, and so many innovations, like the GPS, stem from the ability to keep those satellites in orbit. Any time your GPS rescues you from lostness, you can thank Yvonne Brill because she literally invented the rocket science to keep satellites in orbit.
Oh, and Brill managed to study rocket science, despite being excluded from her university's engineering program for, you guessed it, being a woman.
3. Computer program
A computer program is basically just an explicit set of instructions telling a machine what to do to achieve a certain result. Ada Lovelace was a mathematician who, through her notes in the 1840s on a proposed mechanical computer, wrote the first set of instructions for a computer, aka the first computer program.
In her notes, Lovelace reportedly anticipated this machine would eventually be able to create music, graphics and be used for science and personal use alike.
Yeah, I'll bet you didn't know some English noblewoman basically figured out what computers would do like a zillion years before they even existed.
It's probably hard to believe, but Monopoly was based on a game called The Landlord's Game, invented by Elizabeth Magie in 1904. She basically wanted to show how terrible unfettered capitalism is. I'm sure if she were still alive, she would not appreciate the essential theft of her game and the subsequent extreme profit made by Parker Brothers.
But, Monopoly is more or less Magie's invention, so thank you, Magie, for helping me pass many hours and for wrecking many of my friendships over the years.
5. Windshield wiper
Don't you just love being able to drive when it's raining? Until Mary Anderson came along and invented the windshield wiper, presumably nobody could.
According to her 1903 patent, Anderson really thought the problem through. Her wiper blade was detachable and exerted equal pressure along all points of the blade. Seems pretty genius to think to solve this problem, if you ask me, seeing as cars weren't widely available until the Ford Model T came out five years later.
Believe it or not, people used to have to wash ALL of their dishes by hand. Unbelievable, I know. At least, that was until Josephine Cochrane decided she wasn't going to get her hands dirty anymore.
She built the first dishwasher sometime around the 1870s, and the world hasn't looked back. My dishes personally thank you, Mrs. Cochrane.
7. The chocolate chip cookie
In 1938, the owner of the Toll House restaurant practically singlehandedly added a food staple to the American diet, and my waistline has never been the same since.
This is not a part of the official list because it's not exactly a thing per se, but yes, YOU wouldn't exist without a woman. It sounds silly, but the world doesn't even give women props for literally birthing humanity, so let's all try not to forget that fact, too.
Anyway, these are only some of the most well-known and verifiable things that wouldn't exist without women, and I dread the thought of all the uncredited innovations and contributions made by women throughout history.
So, people everywhere, let's stop with this nonsense and finally give all women the props and treatment they deserve. Equal pay is a good start -- just sayin'.
Citations: Stephanie L. Kwolek, Inventor of Kevlar, Is Dead at 90 (The New York Times), Yvonne Brill, a Pioneering Rocket Scientist, Dies at 88 (The New York Times), 18 Inventions By Women That Changed The World (BuzzFeed), Sweet Morsels: A History of the Chocolate-Chip Cookie (The New Yorker)