Women often hold the credit for many of the inventions that shaped the modern world. Though women now patent holders have risen fivefold since 1977, there still a long way to go until women are very much represented as inventors in their respective fields. To compile a list of every single thing that women have invented is next to impossible, though it is not beyond the capacity of humans to dream big and create. From cooking utensils to automobiles, women have been inventing things since time immemorial. To compile a top-50 list of things all women have invented, we did a little research and posted it on 24/7 Wall St. Below are the 50 most significant inventions women have made:
Some of these inventions were born out of necessity. Others were born out of a creative streak and the desire to see something new. Still others were born out of a need for something better and an inventive spur of thought. In the case of some of the inventions listed here, it is likely that some of the inventors had a personal reason for coming up with the invention.
A sewing machine is one of the earliest inventions of women. It paved the way for the sewing machines of today, such as the machine that makes permanent the hemline in a shirt by sewing the fabric permanently, thereby eliminating the need for buttons or Velcro. This kind of invention is often listed in the patent application. In fact, many of the early patents for clothes were applied for by women.
When thinking of what could have been invented by a woman having nothing more than her Davenport sewing skills, consider the invention of the division camera. It was a camera that Davenport designed that used light to reveal the contents of a box without opening the box itself. She patented her idea, and the division camera became the standard camera for most of American women until the invention of the digital camera changed the landscape. Nevertheless, the division camera remains popular today, and it shows no signs of dying down.
A watch is a very important invention, but it was not invented by a woman. It was created by Christopher Columbus. He may have been influenced by the spinning clock, which he saw while sailing across the ocean. Spinning clocks are still in use today, although they are now powered by batteries. The watch mentioned above did not use any moving parts, and the watchmakers of the past may have been content to let this simple invention rest happily in the pages of history rather than receiving a credit for one of the world’s most important inventions.
Women have contributed many great innovations to the world, but there are many more inventions listed in the patent records than men. Of course, there is no way for us to know just how many important inventions were made by women. Some of these inventions were likely planned, but others were accidentally created by a woman. The invention of the electric shaver has been credited to several different women over the ages, but no woman is responsible for making the razor and the vacuum cleaner. Women do, however, deserve credit for some of the things they invented in the area of science and technology. The invention of the electric shaver is a perfect example of an invention that wasn’t planned but nevertheless made an incredible difference in the world.