#WomenWhoRock: How Women Are THE Ultimate Creators
In the words of Ms. Ariana Grande, “God is a woman,” which explains how the world was created in just six days. Since the beginning of time, women have been the most influential aspect to mankind. It’s only right we get the whole month of March dedicated to celebrating history and achievements of women worldwide.
When we think of famous inventors, often, only men such as Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell come to mind. In fact, a quick Google search of ‘famous inventors’ brings up 20 different men before it mentions a woman.
Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000) was an American-Austrian actress and inventor of an extraordinary new communication system that could intercept radio waves with the use of “frequency hopping.” Alongside her partner George Antheil, she introduced her invention to the U.S. military (whom initially rejected her ideas per usual) due to its ability to direct torpedos to intended targets during World War II. It was until 2014 that Lamarr was officially recognized by the National Inventors Hall of Fame and dubbed “The Mother of Wi-Fi.” (1)
Where would we be without Wi-Fi? The world would survive but without Mary Anderson (1869-1953) we most likely would not. Anderson is credited with inventing windshield wipers, then referred to as a window cleaning device, after a snowy trolley ride in New York City. The driver would have to stop and clean the windshield by hand every few feet. At first, the invention was written off as being a distraction to drivers but by 1916, 13 years after her patent, windshield wipers were standard on most motor vehicles. Mary Anderson never saw any profit from her invention but was recognized in 2011 by the National Inventors Hall of Fame. (2)
If you were lucky enough to have a dishwasher in your kitchen as a kid, you can thank Josephine Cochrane (1839-1913) who is credited for inventing the first commercially successful dishwasher in 1886 after the many failed attempts of past male inventors. In a shed behind her house, she created a machine that she would later go on to unveil at the 1893 World’s Fair. Hotels and large restaurants loved the invention but it wasn’t until 1950 that it caught on with the general public. Cochrane then founded the company KitchenAide to manufacture her machines and simplify housework for us all. (3)
This last inventor got fed up with the slow response of police personnel in her hometown Queens, New York. Marie Van Britton Brown (1922-1999) and her husband Albert Brown worked different hours, so when Mrs. Brown was home alone during odd hours of the day and night, she needed a solution for security. By attaching a camera on the door connected to a monitor in the bedroom with a two-way microphone, she could identify visitors without worry. Any unwanted people would be met with an alarm to signal neighbors and watchmen. The patent was filed in 1966 by Mr. and Mrs. Brown because as a black woman; on her own, it would have been nearly impossible to sell an idea to a male dominated business world. (4)
These are only a few contributions women have gifted the world. Moms can thank Marion Donovan for the invention of disposable diapers and women of color are forever indebted to Sarah Breedlove a.k.a. Madame C.J. Walker for her invention of hair care products. May the same spirit of inspiration find us all and continue to let people know WHO RUN THE WORLD, GIRLS!