Women have contributed so much to technological advancements. They have invented, created, co-invented and co-created so many things. One thing is common about these inventions: they were very practical and were born out of a valid need.
Here are some of the inventions you did not know women brought to the fore. Of all the many things invented by women, here are five things you didn’t know they were responsible for creating.
1. Computer software
Grace Hopper, upon joining the US Navy during the Second World War, was assigned to work on a new computer called the Mark 1. She was behind the compiler, which could translate instructions into code. The helped computers read and made programming quicker. In turn, that further revolutionised the way computers worked. She also helped popularise the term “debugging” that is still used on computers programmes today. She came by it after a moth was removed from inside her machine. For this, she was often referred to as “Amazing Grace”.
2. Wireless transmission
Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and CDMA are popular technology that we use daily. But most people are not aware that they owe their gratitude to a woman for this innovation. American composer George Antheil worked with Austrian-American and Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr to develop a Radio guidance system. It spread spectrum and frequency, helping technology to defeat the jamming threat by axis powers. This is contrary to popular belief that the US army invented it. They adopted the technology from them in the 1960s. A lot of people also found it unbelievable that a composer and an actress were responsible for this invention.
3. Central heating system
Alice H.Parker, an African-American woman, was responsible for the invention of a natural gas-powered central heating system to heat a personal home. She invented the system as far back as 1919. The invention became the foundation for modern heating systems.
4. Windscreen wiper
Mary Anderson worked on a rubber blade instrument that one could move from inside a car in 1903. She came up with the invention on a cold winter’s day. She noticed that her driver was forced to open his window to clear snow from their windscreen. Anderson realised the more he opened the winder the colder it got. She got the patent for her device in the same year. The invention, however, proved unsuccessful with car companies. They thought it would distract drivers, so she never profited from her invention. But it has since become the standard on every vehicle.
5. Home security system
Marie Van Brittan Brown, a nurse who was often home alone, came up with an idea that would make her feel safer. She and her husband Albert developed the first home security system in the 1960s. This was in response to the rising crime rates and slow police responses at the time. It was quite a complicated device at the time. It had a camera powered by a motor which moved up and down the door to look through a peephole. She also had a monitor in her bedroom with an alarm button.