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Bet you didn’t know a woman invented..

. the feather duster:

Susan Hibbard patented the feather duster in 1875. Her husband, George Hibbard, tried to claim the patent was his, but the court awarded the patent to her. Like a Victorian-era man would invent a feather duster!

. . the automatic dishwasher:

Josephine Garis Cochran invented and patented the first automatic dishwasher in 1889. It was first shown at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, and later became associated with KitchenAid.

. . the microelectrode:

Ida Henrietta Hyde invented it in the 1930’s. She was the first female to be a member of the American Physiological Society. The microelectrode revolutionized neurosurgery.

. . the windshield wiper:

Mary Anderson, an Alabama woman, invented it in 1903.

. .the bra:

Mary Phelps Jacobs invented it in 1914, freeing women from the corset and paving the way for the flappers of the 1920’s. She made the first one from two silk handkerchiefs and a ribbon.

. . the chocolate chip cookie:

It seems like there should have always been chocolate chip cookies, but they were actually invented by Ruth Graves Wakefield, who was the proprieter of the Toll House Inn in Wakefield, Massachusettes, in 1930.

. . a serum that saved thousands of babies:

Hattie Elizabeth Alexander, who was a pediatrician as well as a microbiologist, developed a serum that worked against a type of influenza that had a 100% mortality rate on babies. She patented it in 1932. In 1964, she became the first woman president of The American Pediatric Society.

. . a communication system that helped combat the Nazis in World War II;

Actress Hedy Lamarr, with George Anthiel, invented that in 1941.

. . the disposable diaper:

Marian Donovan invented the first disposable diaper in 1950. She couldn’t get a major manufacturer to back it, so she started her own company. In 1951, she sold it and her patents for one million dollars.

. . Liquid Paper (whiteout)

Bessie Nesmith, the mother of Michael Nesmith of the Monkees, invented the typewriter correction liquid in 1951.

. . the Apgar Scale:

This scale, which is used to determine the health of newborn babies, was created by Dr. Virginia Apgar in 1953.

. . Scotchgard:

Patsy Sherman invented Scotchgard in 1956.

. . the home diabetes test:

Helen Free invented the first home diabetes test in 1958.

. . Kevlar:

Stephanie Louise Kwolek invented this material, used for bulletproof vests among other things, in 1964.

And that’s just a sampling of what women have contributed! How many of these did you know?

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