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10 brilliant inventions by women you probably didn’t know about

Throughout history, a good number of women have made invaluable contribution to the world despite facing the gender based discrimination.

Today there are so many inventions that were made by women, but you know which they inventions are? Here is a list of items we use on daily basis which you probably didn’t know were invented by women

1. CCTV Camera – The 1969 invention by an African-American woman by the name Marie Van Brittan Brown has become standard security featues many years later in homes and works places worldwide. Brown, who died in 1999 at the age of 76, cited the inspiration for her invention as the long time it would take for police to arrive at a house after being called by residents.

The suspects are demanding to be supplied with the footage alongside other crucial documents including photographs. FILE PHOTO

2. Refrigerator – Florence Parpart invented the modern electric refrigerator in 1914. She won a second patent for the modern refrigerator, rendering the icebox obsolete for those with access to electricity. It is believed that Parpart’s then fiancé was highly skilled in electrical circuitry and assisted in the design of the first prototype.

3. Disposable baby diapers – In 1946, Marion Donovan inspired by her father’s factory, which she often visited as a child, began to formulate a way to improve the task of changing children’s diapers leading to her invention of disposable diapers.

A baby in diapers. FILE PHOTO
A baby in diapers. FILE PHOTO


4. Bullet proof material – In 1964, while working for DuPont Company, Chemist Stephanie Kwolek accidentally invented the bullet proof material while she was trying to find a strong yet lightweight fiber for car tires. With her research she ended up creating a new fiber that was five times stronger than steel, one that would take a bullet for you. A year later, DuPont patented the fiber under the name Kevlar, which is now used in everything from bulletproof vests to military helmets to racing sails.

5. Paper bag – In 1868, cotton miller worker Margaret Knight invented a machine that folded and glued paper to form the flat-bottomed brown paper bags that is familiar to shoppers today across the world. Knight built a wooden model of the device. A man named Charles Annan, who was in the machine shop where Knight was building the device, saw and stole her design and patented it. Knight filed a successful patent interference lawsuit and was awarded the patent.

Brown paper bag. PHOTO | COURTESY
Brown paper bag. PHOTO | COURTESY

6. Wi-Fi – A wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide high speed network and internet connection was invented in 1942 by Hedy Lamar during the World War II for radio controlling torpedoes. Lamar invented the Spread Spectrum wireless  a communications system that was originally intended to prevent the communication of confidential information to the wrong parties. As a result of this invention, wireless technology was born.

7. Dish washers – In 1886, Josephine Cochrane wanted a machine that would wash her dishes faster than her servants, and be less likely to break them. Her device, which involved a motor turning a wheel inside a copper boiler, was the first automatic dishwasher to use water pressure. After she was granted a patent for her dishwasher, she marketed the machine to restaurants and hotels and raised money to set up her own factory KitchenAid.

8. Liquid paper – Wite out is a common item in most Kenyan offices. It is but just one product of liquid paper that was invented in 1958 by Bette Nesmith Graham, a single mother who worked as an executive secretary for the chairman of the board at the Texas Bank and Trust in Dallas. Before the delete key, Graham secretly used white tempera paint to cover up her typing errors. She spent years perfecting the formula in her kitchen before patenting Liquid Paper in 1958. Gillette bought her company in 1979 for $47.5 million.


9. Car windscreen wiper – On a Winter day in 1903, Mary Anderson was visiting New York City when she noticed that her driver was forced to open his window, just to the clear the snow from his windscreen. Every time the window was open, the passengers in the car got colder. Anderson started drawing her solution of a rubber blade that could be moved from inside the car, and in 1903 was awarded a patent for her device. The idea was later adopted by car manufacturer Henry Ford and later became standard on cars.

10. COBOL Computer Software – Considered one of the first modern programmers, Dr Grace Hopper a scientist with the US navy, invented COBOL (1959), the first user-friendly business computer software program. She was also the first person to use to term ‘bug’ that is still in use today, to describe a glitch in a computer system.