Oct 18, 2013

Inventions by Women

Josephine Cochrane invented the dishwasher. She was angry that hired domestic help continually broke and chipped her fine china. Cochrane's dishwasher used high water pressure aimed at a wire rack of dishes, she received a patent for it in 1886. During this era, most houses didn't have the technology of a hot water system to run such a machine, but Cochrane persisted and sold her idea to hotels and restaurants. Eventually dishwashers moved into households as more and more women entered the workplace.

Admiral Dr. Grace Murray Hopper was stationed at Harvard after WWII, where she worked on the development of the IBM-Harvard Mark 1, the first large-scale computer in the U.S. Dr. Hopper invented the compiler, which translates written language into computer code. She coined the term "bug" for a computer problem, and co-developed COBOL, the first user-friendly business computer software program. As a woman inventor, she won numerous awards, including the National Medal of Technology in 1991. Dr. Hopper had received honorary degrees from 30 universities.

Mary Anderson noticed a problem with cars of her time and in 1903 she invented windshield wipers. It was the ingenious squeegee on a spindle attached to a handle inside the car. To clear the windshield, the driver would pull down on a handle. Ten years after she patented the device, another woman, Charlotte Bridgwood first patented the automatic windshield wiper in 1917, called the 'Storm Windshield Cleaner'. The reason we call it a windshield is because that is what it actually does, shields us from wind.