10 Surprising Inventions and Discoveries by Women

Cheryl Brite March 12th 2015 Tech
Men aren’t the only ones who can invent and discover things in the world. Women have made a significant impact in the world of invention and discovery throughout history.

#1. The Submarine Telescope

Sarah Mather gave us a view of the ocean floor when she patented the submarine telescope in 1845. So before 1845 we didn’t even know the ocean had a floor.

#2. The Windshield Wiper

Mary Anderson invented the windshield wipers in 1902. It figures that a woman would invent a practical accessory to keep away the elements from sticking to the windshield.

#3. Organism Discovery

In 1905 Nettie Stevens came across an interesting discovery through several of her studies and found out that the sex of an organism was directly linked to its chromosomes rather than its environment. Whether we’re a human male or female or any animal like a grasshopper, chicken, or bee, what lies deep within our bodies decides our fate and our environment is just an afterthought.

#4. Radioactivity

Marie Curie discovered Radioactivity in 1910, which is ironic because it was the very thing that killed her in the end. I think we’ve all learned a lesson here to never carry around test tubes of radiation in our pockets for extended periods of time.

#5. The Turn Signal Light

Florence Lawrence invented the turn signal in 1914 and thank god she did or else we’d all be crashing into one another on the road. Unfortunately she didn’t patent the idea so she didn’t receive credit for the invention.

#6. Nuclear Fission

In the 1930’s Lise Meitner discovered Nuclear Fission while involved in her work in nuclear physics. Nuclear Physics, these two words alone intimidate me but Nuclear Fission occurs when the atomic nuclei splits into two, which led the way to the atomic bomb.

#7. Frequency-Hopping

Hedy Lamarr co-created this invention with George Antheil that involves the switching of frequencies during radio transmissions. She patented the invention with her husband’s last name in 1942 and while this action doesn’t seem like she’s fully acknowledging her part, her invention led the way to Bluetooth and other technologies that we use today.

#8. Lambda Bacteriophage

In 1951 Esther Lederberg discovered Lambda Bacteriophage, a virus that infects bacteria. As if bacteria weren’t threatening enough, a virus comes along to make it worse but the bacteria does look like it’s starring in a black and white film of horror.

#9. The DNA Double Helix

In the 1950’s Rosalind Franklin discovered the DNA Double Helix while she was working on X-ray diffraction images of DNA. Images really do lead to real life discoveries that can change the world.

#10. Pulsars

In 1967 Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered Pulsars, which are remnants of stars that become supernova. What an amazing thing to witness through a telescope or as an astronaut who is in the direct path of the Pulsar?


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