21 Things Invented by Famous Female Inventors

21 Things Invented by Famous Female Inventors

Men have always been praised and given credit for what they’ve achieved, but they’re sometimes given credit for the contributions women have made to the world. In reality, women have created a long list of products and inventions that we use every day.

However, the world is changing and it’s important to ensure that we keep on recognizing women for what they’ve accomplished. It’s crucial to mention some of the major inventions made by women in different fields that we don’t often talk about.

With that said, here are some of the most exciting inventions made by women.

The Apgar Score

This score is significant to every newborn as it determines if a baby requires resuscitation. It’s named after the woman who invented it, Virginia Apgar, who came up with the idea in 1952 to help with childbirth.

This woman made a very great discovery in the medical field, specifically pediatrics. It helps prevent various complications that arise immediately after birth. It is usually possible to detect complications early with this score, so the baby can be resuscitated early enough to avoid any danger.

It was appreciated by other medics at the time and it’s still used today to check for breathing, pulse rate, as well as the appearance and activity of the baby. It has contributed to the reduction of neonatal mortality and assists with detecting conditions like asphyxia early enough to attend to the baby.

Windshield Wipers

It’s almost impossible to drive without windshield wipers. They enable you as a driver to drive in various weather conditions. They can push frost and ice off your windshield and allow you to drive in the rain.

We’ve all had those moments where the rain is coming down so hard that we think twice about driving. Well, imagine not having windshield wipers. You wouldn’t be able to drive in the rain at all if it wasn’t for them.

The first windshield wiper was manual, and it was invented by Mary Anderson in 1903. The wiper was later developed further and was fixed to work automatically in cars.


Everyone knows the importance of diapers. Well, a woman created the first disposable diaper. Disposable diapers are important because they remove the stress of having to wash the diaper, which not many people enjoy doing.

This began in 1951 with Marion Donovan, the inventor of the first waterproof diaper. It was made of a material from a curtain. The diapers kept the bed and clothing dry while also preventing diaper rashes and chafing. Imagine having to wash your babies diapers every day!

Computer Technology

The computer is one of the most influential innovations when it comes to our lives today. Women were once thought of as not being smart enough to handle technology, but they’ve actually made a lot of contributions to computing.

Grace Hopper was involved in the making of one of the earliest computers, which was large and occupied a whole room. She later took part in the manufacturing of the modern computer’s computing program. It is also good to note that many women were involved in the making of many coding languages. Grace Hopper was involved in the invention of COBOL, one of the first modern computing languages.

Modern network servers in a datacenter

Solar Heating

This was a very important innovation that is used every day. It allows the utilization of a reusable source of energy, and at the same time, it does not cause any pollution. It was invented by Maria Telkes, who worked with the architect named Eleanor Raymond.

They built the first solar heating system in the year 1947. She was able to use this technology to heat a home in the winter.

Electric Refrigerator

The modern refrigerator was invented many years ago and can be accredited to a woman. It’s used every day by billions of people around the world. The electric refrigerator was invented by Florence Parpart.

She invented it back in the year 1914 and made it use electric power. We use the refrigerator to store our drinks, fruits, vegetables, meat, and many other products. This helps to prolong the life of food products.

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Space Station Batteries

The batteries we use in our normal lives aren’t able to work in space for a few reasons. But we do need compatible batteries that work in space, as they’re integral parts of space campaigns.

Olga D. Gonzalez-Sanabria, who is originally from Puerto Rico, invented space batteries in the 1980s. She’s the director of engineering at the NASA Glenn Research Center and is the highest-ranking Hispanic in the organization. Without her contributions, NASA would be unable to power the International Space Station.


Technology has made day-to-day living more efficient by adding various machines to our life. These machines do our work and help save our time and energy. One machine of note is the dishwasher, which is now seen in many homes. It washes the dishes and lessens the workload of caregivers in their day to day domestic work.

Josephine Cochrane, who was an entertainer, invented the dishwasher with the intention to wash the dishes faster than the servants without damaging them. She found that the servants would damage her expensive China and invented the dishwasher to counter that.

Cochrane’s husband was an alcoholic who left Cochrane with a huge debt after his death. This motivated Cochrane to patent the dishwasher and start selling it.

Home Security System (CCTV)

It is beyond debate that women are more at-risk of getting burglarized than men. Some women feel quite defenseless when they’re home alone, especially in the 1900s when there were no cellphones or internet.

Marie Van Brittan Brown, who was a nurse, often stayed at home alone. She was always nervous that someone would try to break in while she was home. Together with her husband Albert, Marie Van Brittan Brown invented the first home security system in the 1960s. Initially, the device was very complicated, with a camera that moved up and down the door.

She wanted to help people ensure their safety, as New York City police were always slow to respond to people’s calls for assistance in her area. CCTV is used today by businesses and some homes to protect us from criminals and document criminal activities on tape.

Stem Cell Isolation

Stem cells are perhaps one of the most important and useful inventions in the history of medical science, particularly in understanding and treating cancer. With Dr. Ann Tsukamoto’s invention, stem cells can be isolated, which is important for the advancement of cancer research.

Stem cells are found in bone marrow and without them, red and white blood cells would be unable to grow. What she invented is said to be highly complex. Stem cell isolation may lead to a cure for cancer and other diseases as well.

Tsukamoto invented stem cell isolation along with seven other medical techniques. She is conducting further research on stem cells to maybe one day find a cure for cancer.

Lightweight Fiber (Kevlar)

Lightweight fiber is five-times stronger than steel and is used for bulletproof vests and body armor. In addition to this, the fiber is also used in many other materials like household gloves, mobile phones, and airplanes.

Stephanie Kwolek invented Kevlar in 1965 and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1995. While she didn’t have much to do with finding practical applications for Kevlar, her invention has literally saved lives.


Charles Darrow is often hailed as the inventor of Monopoly, the world’s most popular board game. But in fact, it was Elizabeth Magie who designed monopoly. She wanted to demonstrate the problem with capitalism and invented the rules of Monopoly.

Her design, which she patented in 1904, went by the name “The Landlord’s Game.” Today’s Monopoly was published in 1935 by the Parker Brothers, who later claimed that Darrow was not the sole creator, but that he bought Magie’s patent and monopolized the game.


Car Heater

The car heater is an essential requirement particularly for regions that have cold environments. A car heater is a necessity in cases of severe cold, particularly in the winter.

Margaret A. Wilcox invented the car heater in 1893, which not only warms people in their car during winter, but also saves the lives of many in occasions when there is severe cold.

The Fire Escape

The fire escape was invented by Anna Connelly in 1887 and is still a vital component for firefighters. As buildings were adding more and more floors to their buildings, it became impossible for families to escape during fires. After one dreadful incident where people resorted to jumping out of windows, inventors got to work creating fire escapes.

Connelly’s fire escape is not the traditional one we know today. Instead, it was a bridge that connected the top of neighboring buildings, so families could run to the roof and cross to another building.

The Life Raft

The life raft as everybody knows it is not only used to prevent drownings but is also used to save lives during natural disasters like floods, tsunamis, and cyclones.

The life raft invention is a curious story. One fine morning in 1882, Maria Beasely looked at the sea and said people should stop dying in huge numbers to sea transportation, so she invented her improved life raft. Her invention was used on the Titanic.

Medical Syringe

Who hasn’t had to experience getting a needle? At least once or twice in everyone’s childhood, we’ve gone through the fear and pain of getting a needle by a family doctor.

A lot of people think that medical injections work more effectively than medical tablets, so they prefer to take injections for more serious things. Medical injections have become an inevitable life saving device in medical science.

If somebody asked, “who has invented the injection syringe?” very few people would answer the correct answer. It was Letitia Geer who invented a medical syringe that could be operated with only one hand.

The Ice Cream Maker

Ice cream is something longed by everybody irrespective of age, status, and other differences. In particular, children and youth would die to have a taste of ice cream at any cost in any given situation. Ice cream has also become a popular dish in social gatherings.

Nancy Johnson invented the ice cream maker in the early 1800s, and her patent is still regularly used today. We don’t know much about her or where she was from, but we do know we need to thank her for inventing the ice cream maker.

The Computer Algorithm

The woman who invented the computer was Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, who was encouraged by her mother from a young age to become a mathematician. She worked on Charles Babbage’s general-purpose computer the analytical engine.

She was the first person to realize that the engine had applications beyond solving mathematical equations. Lovelace published the first algorithm that was used by the engine, leading her to be called the first computer programmer.

Portable Fax and Touch-Tone Telephone

Dr. Shirley Jackson was the first black woman to receive a Ph. D from MIT in 1973. She was working in Bell Laboratories when she conducted research that contributed to discovering the portable fax machine, the touch-tone telephone, fiber optic cables, and the technology behind caller ID and call waiting.

Wireless Transmission Technology

The contemporary world wouldn’t be where it is today without Wi-Fi and the internet in general. Wi-Fi has become so necessary that it has utility in every sphere of life. In other words, the world has become dependent on Wi-Fi and the internet.

Today’s Wi-Fi and internet is an outcome of wireless transmission technology, which was in use during the second world war for radio-controlling torpedoes, employing “frequency hopping” technology. Hedy Lamarr invented this secret communication system — she also happened to be a world-famous film actress of the time.

Paper Bags

Paper bags are so popular and necessary that they’re used by everyone young and old, rich and poor. The latest trends in many countries to replace plastic polyethylene bags with paper bags is wise and causing paper bags to become popular again.

Paper bags are not only eco-friendly but are also convenient in terms of carrying small amounts of household materials, particularly when shopping. Margaret Knight invented the machine that could produce square-bottom bags in 1879. Later, fellow machinist Charles Anan tried to steal her work, saying that such an innovative invention could not be possible by a girl like Margaret Knight. After a long legal fight, Margaret established that she is the genuine inventor of this machine. She also invented a safety device for cotton mills which is still in use and she invented this at 12 years of age.

There are very many inventions that can be accredited to women. The above are just a few inventions that have been proven to be very influential. When women are given the opportunities to contribute, they can create amazing inventions.

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