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7 Impressive and Life-Changing Things You Didn’t Know Were Invented by Women!

Science in The World presents you: life-changing things you didn’t know were invented by women!

Even though women faced discrimination due to their gender and the stereotypes present in society, saying that they couldn’t do the same things men could, countless brave and smart women proved everyone wrong.

A lot of them made contributions to the world that are beyond price, and if we’re being honest, our world would’ve looked a lot different if they weren’t adventurous, fearless, and determined in showing off their capabilities.

Speaking of that, in today’s article, we’ll talk about all the things you didn’t know were invented by women. From the first drugs that were able to ease the symptoms of leukemia to bulletproof fabric, we rounded up 7 fantastic things for you.

Without further ado, let’s start this short journey of things you didn’t know were invented by women because they were life-changing and deserved to be talked about. Here are their stories:

things you didn't know were invented by women
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1. Gertrude Elion

We start off our article by saying a couple of words about one of the most intelligent women out there. The first drug that was created to treat major diseases like AIDS, leukemia, and herpes was actually created by a smart woman named Gertrude Elion, who was helped by her colleague, George Hitchings.

The scientists developed a fantastic method known as “rational drug design”, which was a game changer in the medical domain, revolutionizing the way drugs were made.

Even though she was helped by one of her male colleagues, we can say that drugs for treating severe health issues are part of the things you didn’t know were invented by women. Thanks to their fantastic research, Elion and Hitching managed to successfully interfere with cell growth. This amazing thing led to the invention of the first effective drugs for treating dangerous illnesses, like leukemia.

Gertrude Elion didn’t stop there, because her curiosity and her hunger for knowledge helped her discover azathioprine, which was an immunosuppressant that made it possible for people with fragile immune systems to receive organ transplants.

2. Stephanie Kwolek

Bulletproof fibers are also among the things you didn’t know were invented by women. This happened in 1965 when a talented and smart woman named Stephanie Kwolek developed a synthetic fiber that was incredibly strong; it was actually bulletproof.

In 1964, American chemist Stephanie Kwolek started working at the DuPont Company, and her team was centered on finding a tough but lightweight fiber for tires.

365 days later, Mrs. Kwolek impressed everyone when she created a new fiber that was around five times stronger than steel. Can you believe that? The DuPont company patented the fiber the same year she discovered it and gave it the name Kevlar.

Even though not a lot of people are aware that this synthetic fiber is one of the things you didn’t know were invented by women, the fiber she came up with is still used today in racing sails, bulletproof vests, and military helmets.

Her discovery was so appreciated that Stephanie Kwolek became the fourth woman to be promoted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

3. Dr. Grace Murray Hopper

Computer programming is also among the things you didn’t know were invented by women. Incredible Dr. Grace Murray Hopper is considered one of the first three modern programmers, thanks to the fact that she made innovative breakthroughs in the development of computer languages.

Mrs. Hopper was a rear admiral in the US Navy, and she’s incredibly popular for inventing COBOL in 1959, which is a common business-oriented language. Her invention was the most used computer language in the world by the 1970s, and it was also the first user-friendly computer software for businesses.

In 2016, the talented Dr. Grace Murray Hopper was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest civilian honor in the US, and she received that thanks to her contributions to the field of computer science.

4. Mary Anderson

We’ll now talk about windshield wipers because they’re also one of the things you didn’t know were invented by women. Mary Anderson was an Alabama native, and during one snowy day in New York City in 1902, she was distracted by the heavy snow that kept distracting her from the road.

Reverend Sara-Scott Wingo, Anderson’s great-great-niece, said that the woman was riding a streetcar on the day when the brilliant idea came to her head.

When she saw that the snow caused severe traffic jams and there was no ideal way to clean windshields at the time, her mind started thinking about different ways they could wipe them without involving the driver.

Now let’s fast-forward to 1903: the talented woman received a patent for her incredible new window-cleaning device, and the car industry was never the same. There are many other things you didn’t know were invented by women, so don’t go anywhere and keep reading!

things you didn't know were invented by women
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5. Elizabeth Magie

Believe it or not, “Monopoly” is one of the things you didn’t know were invented by women. It was actually Elizabeth Magie who came up with the idea of inventing and playing a game like this in 1904, but she named it “The Landlord’s Game”.

We can’t tell for sure if her idea was a hit or a miss when she launched it, but we know for sure that the game was later copied and sold as the popular and fun “Monopoly” 30 years later.

The idea behind the game was that she wanted to teach people about different things that were important in society, such as unchecked capitalism, monopolies, and the potential danger of accumulating large sums of wealth at the expense of others.

Even though she was granted a patent for the educational and funny game in 1904, things didn’t happen the way she imagined them to. A couple of decades later, in 1935, Charles Darrow, an unemployed heating salesman, put his hand on a copy of Magie’s board game and sold it to the Parker Brothers.

In the end, that same year, when the Parker Brothers received the copy from Darrow, Elizabeth Magie decided to sell her patent to them for only $500. Now let me ask you a question: is this popular game one of the things you didn’t know were invented by women or not?

6. Josephine Cochrane

We still have a couple of things you didn’t know were invented by women to talk about, and now it’s time to let Josephine Cochrane have the stage.

This brilliant woman came up with the idea of the first commercially successful dishwasher in the 1880s. She was lucky to be wealthy, but although she has many servants to take care of the household for her, she wanted to invent a device that could do the dishes faster than her staff could. And she did; Mrs. Cochrane managed to invent the gadget that she wanted.

She then received a patent for her incredible work, which she marketed to hotels and restaurants. Josephine Cochrane was a woman of business, and she later founded a successful company for her dishwasher machines, which eventually became KitchenAid.

7. Dr. Katharine Burr Blodgett

Okay, now we’re at the end of our list of things you didn’t know were invented by women, and this time, we’ll say a couple of words about one of the most talented engineers the world has ever had, Dr. Katharine Burr Blodgett.

She made plenty of meaningful contributions to surface chemistry, like the invention of non-reflective or “invisible” glass. She was very passionate about science and other important domains, and she was the first woman to receive a doctorate in physics from Cambridge University.

She was so determined to come up with something that was significant and influential that when she created non-reflective coatings for eyeglasses, she actually improved the lenses that were used in cinematography.

But that was not all, because, during World War II, Dr. Katharine Burr Blodgett also made significant improvements to the smoke screen, which was a major aid in protecting brave soldiers from toxic smoke exposure.

There you have it: these were 7 things you didn’t know were invented by women. If you want to read more about this topic, I recommend you check out this book because it tells the stories of all those amazing things you didn’t know were invented by women. You can get it here!

Until next time, here’s another amazing article for you to check out: 10 Unusual Scientific Facts That Made Us Say: WOW!


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