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These 5 breakthroughs (invented by women) changed the world!

Published on: 07 August 2015

History is filled with many discoveries and inventions by women, yet another example of how women get things done. In honour of Women’s Month, we would like to recognise five women whose inventions improve our lives in significant ways. 

Windshield wipers

Windscreen wipers

In the very early 1900s, vehicles had to drive with their windows down in order to see where they were driving. Mary Anderson changed this with the invention of the windshield wiper; which became a standard in all American cars by 1916.

Monopoly

The Landlord's Game

One of the most famous board games of all time, Monopoly was originally called “The Landlord’s Game”. Invented by Elizabeth Magie Phillips in 1904, the game was a critique of the injustices of unchecked capitalism and the tragic effects of land-grabbing.

The modern refrigerator

Refridgerator

In 1914, Florence Parpart won a patent for the modern refrigerator, rendering the icebox obsolete for those with access to electricity. This was not her only patent as Florence also received a patent for a vastly improved street-cleaning machine in 1900, which she marketed and sold to cities across America.

Medical syringe

Medical syringe

Letitia Geer invented the medical syringe in 1899 with a specially designed plunger handle that enabled the doctors to inject medicine with one swift movement.

Telecommunications Research

Dr Shirley Ann Jackson

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, a theoretical physicist and famous inventor, has been credited with making many advances in science.  Her breakthrough scientific research enabled others to invent the portable fax, touch tone telephone, solar cells, fibre optic cables, and the technology behind caller ID and call waiting. Dr. Jackson was also the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. from MIT.

Watch this entertaining video which gives a great visual history lesson on how women get things done!

We salute these ladies, and all women who make improvements to our lives – whether through scientific breakthroughs, or just lending a helping hand. Have a fantastic Women’s Day!