Inventions have made our life much easier. From not having to read in the dark to being able to communicate with anyone in the world in an instant, life would have been a chore if it was not for these inventions. While names like Thomas Edison, Charles Babbage, and Wright Brothers are rapidly brought up in discussions when it comes to inventions that changed the world. There are many female names that get left out, because of intenionally wanting to discredit the female gender or just because people aren’t aware of them.
Just like male inventors, the world would be in the dark ages if it weren’t for these inventions, and they deserve to be celebrated just like their male counterparts. So, to celebrate Women’s History Month, here are seven inventions that were made by women.
- Medical Syringe by Letitia Geer
- Science Fiction by Mary Shelley
- Fire Escape by Anna Connelly
- Word Processor by Evelyn Berezin
- Electric Refrigerator by Florence Parpart
- Feeding Tube by Bessie Blount
- Home Security System by Marie Van Brittan Brown
While Syringes were already in use before Letita Geer, it was much more complex than what we know today. The syringe as we know it today was the brainchild of an American Nurse named Letitia Geer. It was in 1896 when Letitia filed the patent for a compact one-hand syringe. This made it easier for the doctor and even the patient to use the syringe. And thus, revolutionizing the healthcare industry forever.
It’s ironic that the science-fiction community has somewhat become a male gatekeeping community, when the birth of science fiction itself can be traced back to a woman. While most horror novels were populated by vampires, ghosts, and demons, the eighteen-year-old Mary Shelley had other ideas. Her novel Frankenstein involved a doctor using electricity to reanimate dead tissue, thereby inventing a whole new genre that continues to entertain us even today.
Who knows how many lives have been saved by Anna Connelly? It was in 1887 when Anna Connelly filed a patent for a steel exterior fire escape, which has since become a staple for buildings all over the world. The design was also cost-effective and improved public safety strategies. Sadly, not much is known about her today, and she has faded into obscurity.
Microsoft Word couldn’t have done it without Evelyn Berezin. In 1969, Evelyn Berezin and three of her colleagues founded Redactron. The company then went on to design the very first word processor named ‘The Data Secretary’ in 1971. The word processor had features like the ability to playback and record the typed text, the users could also edit and reprint their documents. This made the work of documentation much more efficient and easier.
Meet the woman responsible for making iceboxes a thing of the past and making sure that our food stays fresh, Florence Parpart. An ordinary housewife became a highly successful entrepreneur by visiting trade shows and promoting her new invention of the electric fridge. Sadly, very little is known about her today. Even though her invention has become a necessity in every household.
After the end of World War II, many soldiers returned home at the cost of their limbs. They became entirely dependent on their loved ones or caretakers. It was upon witnessing this palpable scenario that nurse Bessie Blount decided to invent a feeding tube. The recipient of the food had to bite down on the tube for the morsel to be delivered. This simple invention made many disabled people independent and restored their self-esteem.
Living in a neighbourhood with a high crime rate, Marie Van Brittan was often left alone at her house. She and her husband both had irregular working hours, which made her feel vulnerable. The idea that transpired in Marie’s mind would stop numerous crimes in the future. She invented a security system which included four peepholes, the sliding camera, television monitors, and two-way microphones. These items combined into a closed-circuit television system, also known as CCTV. Today, CCTV is used everywhere from malls to banks, and we have Marie Van Brittan Brown to thank for that.
Are there any other inventions we missed out? Let us know in the comments section below.