Mothers of Invention

In honor of International Women’s Day today, (Tuesday, March 8, 2011) and this year’s UN theme – Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women.” – here is Guerrilla Girls On Tour’s! list of some of the most important inventions by women.


The
hand-crank ice cream freezer – patented in 1843 by Nancy Johnson.

The commercial oven – Emeline Hart, a member of the Shaker community, 1876.

The vacuum canning process – Amanda Theodosia Jones.

The clothes wringer – Ellen Eglin who sold her patent rights for a pittance rather than market it herself because she thought that if people knew a black woman invented the wringer, white women would not use it.

The modern intravenous drip – Justine Wanger.

The trash can with a step-on lever to open the lid – Lillian Gilbreth (shown in photo), best known for designing a model kitchen for the handicapped and the first woman elected to the National Academy of Engineers.

The dishwasher – Josephine Cochran, 1889.

The rotary washing machine – Margaret Plunkett Colvin, 1871.

The flat-bottomed paper bag – Martha Knight, 1870. She was also the

the first woman in the U.S. to fight and win a patent suit.

Liquid paper – Bette Nesmith Graham

You go girls!

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