10 Everyday Items You Didn't Know Were Invented By Women

March 07, 2016 | Decor | News & Culture


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We tend to go through our everyday lives without really stopping to think who is responsible for the many gadgets and items we use today. In honor of International Women’s Day, here is a list of 10 everyday items you didn’t know were invented by women!


1. The first computer


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Grace Hopper and Howard Aiken both constructed the first computer in 1944. Computers back then aren’t as slim and compact as they are today. The original computer took up an entire room!


Grace also fashioned a device that helped computers translate into language into code – And yes, this means she was one of the pioneers of the creation of the programming language!


2. Folding cabinet bed


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Ever wonder where the Murphy bed came along? Though Sarah E. Goode didn’t actually invent it, she did get the ball rolling by inventing the world’s first folding cabinet bed. It saved a ton of space and maximized spaces in small homes.


A functional desk by day and a bed by night!


3. Solar house


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Biophysicist Maria Telkes invented the first full solar house in 1947. Heat was generated through an invention of a thermoelectric power generator. To capture energy, she used a mixture of Glauber’s salt and sodium salt of sulfuric acid to store heat for days with no sunlight.


4. The foot-pedal trash can


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Lilian Gilbreth was an inventor of improved everyday items. She added the foot-pedal to the regular trashcan to make waste disposal much easier and fuss-free. Apart from the foot-pedal trashcan, she also improved refrigerator doors by adding shelves!


5. Windshield wipers


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Mary Anderson invented the first manual windshield wipers in 1903. Drivers were initially skeptical as they thought it was much safer to drive with snow and rain obscuring their vision. Her idea later took off when Cadillac started putting them with every car model! And…the rest is history.


6. Disposable diapers


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Marion Donovan’s invention was a real game changer in the world of parenting. Diapers are now a necessity for every new parent and baby!


The original waterproof diaper was first sold at Saks Fifth Avenue. After selling the patent to a corporation for $1 million, she then created a disposable version a few years later. Ever heard of the brand Pampers? She’s responsible for it!


7. Dishwasher


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Ahh…the dishwasher. The one invention that has saved us that extra 15 minutes at the sink and preserving our soft hands from getting rough!


Josephine Cochrane patented the first dishwasher in 1886. The contraption was a combination of high water pressure, a boiler, a wheel, and a wire rack. Though she has never used it herself, it sure made the lives of her servants way easier!


8. Modern electric refrigerator


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Here’s one amazing invention that has kept our food fresh past their regular expiry dates. It’s all thanks to Florence Parpart! The modern electric refrigerator singlehandedly replaced the icebox – keeping our meats and vegetables fresh and ready to cook at any time.


9. Paper bag


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We get these paper bags when going shopping or even buying take-out from McDonald’s! An American cotton mill worker, Margaret Knight, first invented it in 1868. She fashioned a machine to make bags with a flat square bottom so that it could hold more items.


Although her idea was initially stolen and patented, she eventually won the lawsuit fair and square. You go girl!


10. Ice-cream maker


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Nancy Johnson, who first applied for the patent in 1843, made the yummy treat possible. Back then, ice cream freezers were hand-cranked and had a center paddle to churn the ice cream mix around. Though electric ice cream machines have since surfaced, the original ones invented by Johnson are still being sold today!



So there you have it! Bet you didn’t know that these amazing women invented these nifty items.


Even though women continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement, gender parity still has much to catch up on in various parts of the world. Apart from celebrating the many successes that have been achieved, both men and women can do their part in Pledging For Parity. Commit to take action today!




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