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7 Inventions by women you might not have known about

Updated: Oct 27, 2021

For centuries, women have had trouble being seen as equals. This affects the probability of their ideas and inventions being taken seriously. However, we use so many of said inventions in our day-to-day lives. We often take these creations for granted and we don’t realize how significant it is that they were made by women. Items such as white-out, medical syringes, life rafts and so much more were created by amazing female leaders. For example:


1) Windshield Wipers












In 1902, a woman named Mary Anderson realized how dangerous it was to drive in the rain and began to work on a windshield wiper prototype. Of course, since she was a woman in the early 1900s it was difficult for her to sell her genius invention and her patent eventually expired. Then, in 1922, a similar invention was created and Cadillac began to include windshield wipers on their vehicles. Though it seems this invention is often overlooked, when you think about it you realize how necessary they truly are. Not only would driving in bad weather be horrible but getting bugs and other things off your windshield would be far more difficult and probably unpleasant.


2) Double Helix DNA

Double Helix DNA was originally discovered by Rosalind Franklin, a British Biophysicist. Unfortunately, the credit is normally given to James Watson and Francis Click who even won a Nobel Prize for their supposed “discovery.” It was not until recently that Franklin started to get credit for her work. This discovery was really important to mention because women often are underestimated and ignored when it comes to the STEM field. We are often taught about men in science and their great discoveries, but not about women. This can make girls feel discouraged by leaving them with little to no female role models in STEM. Finally, Franklin is getting the credit she deserves, and we can properly learn about the true discoverer of Double Helix DNA.


3) Life Raft

In the early 1880s, Maria Beasley made a new and improved version of the life raft. Not only was it fireproof, safer, and more practical, but her invention was so successful that it was even used on the Titanic and saved almost 1,000 lives. Later, in 1882, she updated her previous version of the life raft and received a new patent. Not only was this a useful invention and fantastic accomplishment, but Maria Beasley has also created many other things such as foot warmers and a stream generator, as well as a barrel-hooping machine–which is used to put the hoops on barrels. Beasley’s invention made her a small fortune and aided in the construction of up to 1,500 barrels a day. Her stream generators were also very successful and patented in 1886. They were used to extract energy from moving bodies of water. She even made an improved version of the foot warmer and got a patent for it in 1878. Beasley was considered a professional inventor and an extremely influential woman. Maria Beasley is a great role model and achieved several amazing things, especially considering her times. She’s truly a great inventor.


4) Medical Syringe

The medical syringe was invented by Letitia Geer in 1899. Before her invention, Blaise Pascal’s version of a medical syringe was used for centuries. Pascal’s invention was much more difficult to use and required the use of both hands. Greer’s version is far more similar to the ones we use today. With this one-handed syringe, operations were made easier and safer. Her medical syringe was given a patent the same year it was invented. She made a big and important step in the medical field. Like Rosalind Franklin, Greer is a fantastic role model for women and girls. Though most likely someone would have come up with the one-handed syringe by now, without Letitia Greer who knows how much longer they would have had to use a double-hand syringe.


5) Bulletproof Fiber