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10 Revolutionary Women-Made Inventions

Date : 14 August 2020

In celebration of Women’s Month this August we are paying tribute to the dedicated, innovative and intelligent female masterminds behind 10 revolutionary inventions that our lives would not be the same without today.

From popular household appliances like the dishwasher to family-favourite boardgames like Monopoly – these life-changing inventions would not have existed if it were not for the ingenuity of these 10 wondrous women.

1. The Dishwasher

Inventor: Josephine Cochran

In the year 1875, Josephine Cochran, an American housewife, invented the first working automatic dishwasher.

Although other dishwasher prototypes did exist, her design was the first to properly clean dishes. While other prototypes made use of special scrubbers to remove dirt, Cochran’s design made use of water pressure.

Her design then went on to become the first commercially available dishwasher.

2. Monopoly

Inventor: Elizabeth Magie

Originally known as “The Landlord’s Game”, Elizabeth Magie is the inventor behind popular board game “Monopoly”.

The game was designed to demonstrate the economic impacts of monopolism with the goal being to obtain wealth. In 1904, Magie received the patent for the board game.

In 1932 the revised version of “The Landlord’s Game” was patented under the name “Monopoly”.

3. The Electric Refrigerator

Inventor: Florence Parpart

For centuries people have been looking for ways to preserve food, and in 1914 Florence Parpart invented the first Electric Refrigerator – today an essential appliance in every household.

Her design was successfully marketed and continuously improved over the decades.

4. Wireless Transmission Technology

Inventor: Hedy Lamarr

Have you ever wondered where the idea for popular wireless transmission technologies came from? Hedy Lamarr, Austrian-American actress, director and inventor, laid the groundwork for WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth technology.

During WW2, Lamarr learned that radio-controlled torpedoes could easily be set off course through jamming. This is when she came up with the idea for a frequency-hopping signal that could not be tracked or jammed.

5. Thermoelectric Power Generator

Inventor: Maria Telkes

Known for her contributions to solar energy technologies, Maria Telkes - Hungarian-American biophysicist, scientist and inventor – is one of the founders of solar thermal storage systems.

She became well-known for creating the first solar-heated system for her home in 1947 in which special salt was melted by the sun which released heat into compartments between the walls.

6. The Space Rocket Propulsion System

Inventor: Yvonne Brill

Thanks to the innovation of Yvonne Brill, an American-Canadian jet propulsion engineer, rocket propulsion has been revolutionized.

Where traditional propulsion systems required different types of fuel and added restrictive weight, the hydrazine resistojet, invented by Brill in 1974, streamlined all the systems to use only one fuel source.

Monopropellant thrusters are now the new standard and is even used in self-propelling satellites.

7. The Home Security System

Inventor: Marie Van Brittan Brown

Marie Van Brittan Brown, American Inventor, was inspired by the slow response calls by police in her New York neighbourhood. As a result, in 1969 Brown took matters into her own hands and invented a home security system with closed-circuit television.

This system allowed the user to view the other side of the front door, to unlatch the door via remote control and hear the caller’s voice. If the user felt unsafe, all they had to do was press a button which would contact the police.

Brown’s invention is still been used in businesses and homes today.

8. Space Station Batteries

Inventor: Olga Gonzalez-Sanabria

Puerto Rican scientist and inventor, Olga Gonzales-Sanabria, is responsible for inventing the long-cycle-life nickel-hydrogen batteries that enable the International Space Station power system.

The International Space Station relies on solar power but does not receive solar energy for a third of its rotation as the Earth is blocking the sun’s rays.

These special batteries designed by Gonzales-Sanabria in 1980, help to keep the Space Station powered up during the dark portion of its rotation.

9. Stem Cell Isolation

Inventor: Ann Tsukamoto

The co-patented research conducted by Ann Tsukamoto, American inventor, scientist and stem cell researcher, in 1991 led to vital breakthroughs in cancer research and has saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

Tsukamoto was one of the first scientists to isolate blood-forming stem cells. Thanks to her research, bone marrow transplants have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

10. The Mark I Computer

Inventor: Grace Hopper

In 1944, Grace Hopper designed Harvard’s Mark I computer which weighed a total of five tons and was the size of a room. Hopper was also responsible for inventing the compiler that translated written language into computer code.

She coined the terms “bug” and “debugging” in this time when she was forced to remove moths from the machine.

Imagine a world without computers! But thanks to Hopper we never have to.


What are your thoughts on these revolutionary women-made inventions? Do you know of more women-made inventions? Share your thoughts in the comments section on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.