History of Women Inventions
“Have no fear of perfection; you’ll never reach it.””Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood” said marie curie. In the 1920’s women began to grow more independent.
This would change the role of women’s lives forever. Many of the inventions by women were not even recognized although they were used almost every day. Inventions like the windshield wiper, computer software, stem cell isolation, the square- bottomed paper bag, and kevlar, brought us where we are today. Women deserve the same recognition men receive. During the early 1800’s, women were generally trapped in their homes and would only perform indoor duties. Society had given them a role such as “housekeepers”.
Women were housewives for their families; The role as housewife were to bear children, take care of young ones, as well as “submitting” to the husbands. Socially, women were considered weaker socially, women were considered a weaker hence an equal to their men an equal to their men counter parts counterparts. Women had no control of their lives. Everything was entirely controlled by the men in the society. First women had to deal with their fathers and brothers because they would control them when they were still young, and when they finally got married, their husbands would control them. A stereotypical expectation of a women’s key purpose was to look for a husband,give birth, and take care of their husbands throughout their entire lives.
It was a shame for a women to remain single; in fact, single women were scorned and pitied by the society. when a woman got married property ownership from her father’s house was shifted to the husband. The husband had the right to access everything that a woman had, as well as her own body. For these women, marriage is a lifelong commitment. Women were not supposed to divorce; they were expected to live with their husband even if it meant to live in a miserable marriage. Divorce was highly punishable and the women would always fall a victim.
This not only undermined their physical requirements, but also destroyed their opportunities of having any kind of freedom. It restrained their voice of influence thus giving them no hope of attaining social recognition. Women were not allowed to venture into any other activities apart from taking care of their family. The husband was the sole breadwinner of the family. The only source of finance was the husband, and the only chance for women to be economically protected was for them to marry men who were financially secure.
This made women more dependent on men and if for any reason the man died, they would be left with no source of income apart from their husband’s savings. The society looked at women as if they were asexual beings; people with neither feelings nor a life of their own. By 1870, women learning at schools had improved drastically. There were additional schools for girls and lots of colleges also admitted women for advanced courses. At the end of 1880, women had made up approximately one third of the total population of students in the united states. During this time, women attained more legal rights with the establishment of more movements and acts.
For instance, the married women property act allowed married women authority over their own properties. Her property was hers and not her husband’s. This was the time that many women started to invent things that would be very important in the society. The windshield wiper invented by Mary Anderson was one of the important inventions. In 1903, Mary Anderson noticed drivers stopping to clear snow and ice off their windshields.
So she decided to come up with the windshield wiper- an arm with a rubber blade that could be activated without getting out of your car. She applied for a patent in 1904, and was issued in 1905.1 when she received her patent, Anderson tried to sell it to a canadian manufacturing firm, but the company refused: the device had no practical value, it said, and so was not worth any money. Though mechanical windshield wipers were standard equipment in the passenger cars by around 1913, Anderson never profited from the invention. The square- bottomed paper bag, was invented by Margaret knight.
Margaret knight decided to invent this because she realized that paper bags without square bottoms weren’t all that useful, so she invented a machine to cut and attach flat bottoms to bags. Before she could patent the iron version of her machine, a man namedCharles Annan stole her design, claiming that no woman could think of something so complex. Knight filed a lawsuit against him and proved that the prototype was in fact hers. She gained the patent in 1871.For many women inventors in years past, the invention process was twice as difficult because, in addition to the hardship of inventing, they also faced the “skepticism” of a worldthat didn’tbelieve women could create something of value.
Fortunately, over the years, that perception has been blown out of the water by women inventors like Margaret E. Kight, who were willing to fight for the accolades and recognition they unquestionably deserved. Grace Hopper invented the computer software. “The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It’s simply larger than it needs to be.
It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.” said Grace Hopper. Dr. Grace Murray Hopper is a computer scientist that invented (COBOL). She invented the first user- friendly business computer software program in the 1950s.
In 1969, she was awarded the first ever computer science man of the year award. Fun fact Grace Hopper’s work with computers helped NASA communicate with Apollo astronauts, and still helped scientists keep track of far flung spacecraft. “She was known as ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘The first lady of software’,[Hopper] was at the forefront of computers and programing development from the 1940s through the 1980s.” Hopper’s work helped make coding languages more practical and accessible. In general, Hopper helped contribute to the field of computer programing, which without Apollo would never have been possible. Another important invention was the stem cell isolation, invented by Ann Tsukamoto.
Ann is one of two people who got a patent in 1991 for a process to isolate the human stem cell. Her work was led to advancements in comprehending the blood systems of cancer patients and could eventually lead to a cure. The patent for this process was awarded in 1991. A fact about the stem cell is that they are located in bone marrow and serve as the foundation for the growth of red and white blood cells. Ann Tsukamoto’s work has led to great advancements in comprehending the blood systems of cancer patients and may have one day lead to a cure for the disease. According to the U.
S. National Institute for Health: “stem cells have two important characteristics that distinguish them from other types of cells.” Kevlar invented by Stephanie Kwolek is one of the five inventions in this paper that is used the most today. Stephanie Kwolek’s research with chemical compounds led her to invent the kevlar. Kevlar is the material used in bulletproof vest and that is a reason why it is one of the most popular inventions today. Stephanie got it patented in 1966.
She made the unexpected discovery that led to the creation of synthetic fibers so strong, not even steel bullets could penetrate them in 1965. Her discovery made way for Kwolek’s invention of industrial fibers that today protect and save thousands of lives. “A really strong woman accepts the war she went through and is ennobles by her scars” said Carly Simon. This quote shows how a women learns a lot from her experience and will accept reality and will also make sure she doesn’t make the same mistake again. In the male dominated society, women were not given the rights they deserved, but now drastic changes have been made.
Women are not only able to make a difference now and stand equally with men , but they have proved to be equally worthy of doing anything and everything. While woman should be more acknowledged for their inventions than men, woman inventors should be recognized for their inventions because although women in the 1800s were treated as housewives we have come a long way. Some inventions that are important and that are still used today is the windshield wiper, the square- bottomed paper bag, computer software, stem cell isolation, and kevlar. Women have gone through a lot of struggles to get to where they are today and deserve to be acknowledged for that. Women were angered at that time when people said that all they could be are “housewives”.