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International Women’s Day


This is the day for all women around the world to ROAR and to celebrate the cultural, political and historical achievements of ALL women.

So to honor our sisters on this special day, I thought you might be interested in a few things that we wouldn’t have today without a woman behind it:


This one blew my mind. Did you know that during World War II actress Hedy Lamarr presented the US Navy with a patent for a spread-spectrum radio, which is considered the precursor to today’s WiFi.


The Hair Brush

During the late 1890s Lyda Newman, and African American woman living in New York, pioneered the use of synthetic bristles and filed for patent in 1898.



Elizabeth “Lizzie” Magie came up with the first version of this game and patented it in 1908. But, a man took the credit. Figures!

Coffee Filters

You can thank Melitta Benz, a German housewife for no grounds in your cup of morning joe. She patented the coffee filter in 1908.


Disposable Diapers

Thank Marion Donovan for this!


Foot Pedal Trash Can

If you are like me you don’t think about the sequence of things when you want to toss something into the trash. When your hands are full it can be messy. But thanks to Dr. Lillian Gilbreth, you can put your feet to good use and avoid a catastrophe. Oh, she also invented shelves for refrigerator doors. One smart lady!


Street Sweeper Machine & Refrigerator

Thanks to Florence Parpart you don’t have to dodge trash on your street during your morning run. She also invented the refrigerator to replace the icebox, so can also thank her for not getting salmonella.


The Paper Sack

The original design for a bag made of paper looked more like an envelope. It just didn’t work for sandwiches and chips. So Margaret E. Knight engineered a sack with a flat bottom. Yay! They are also good in case you hyper-ventilate or want to make a puppet.


No, I don’t have a Kevlar vest hanging in my closet, but because of the work of Stephanie Kwolek and her work with polymers the bulletproof vest exists. Kevlar is also used in ski helmets and suspension bridgesso just think about how many lives have been saved because of Stephanie!


Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ending this illustrious list of brilliant women on a “sweet” note. In 1938, Ruth Graves Wakefield, who ran the Toll House Inn, baked the first batch of chocolate chip cookies. Sheer Genius!

We’ve come a long way baby!

Happy International Women’s Day!

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This work by Anel “Pookie” Ryan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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