March 8 is International Women’s Day. Congratulations to all women! Amongst many things, women are very inventive and and creative. Here are a few women inventors.
Barbie, 1959, Ruth Handler
Everyone knows the BARBIE doll! At BARBIE’s debut in 1959 critics said the doll wouldn’t sell. They were proven wrong. In her first eight years, sales reached $500 million. BARBIE and her companion doll KEN are named after inventor Ruth Handler’s two children – Barbie and Ken.
Chocolate Chip Cookie, 1933, Ruth Wakefield
American Innkeeper Ruth Wakefield’s rush to get chocolate cookies baked quickly led her to chop up chunks of chocolate, which she added to the dough. The chocolate didn’t dissolve as she hoped, but stayed in delicious chips. More than seventy years later, the cookies still taste great!
Disposable Diaper, 1951, Marion Donovan
Did you know that babies go through more than six thousand diapers before they are toilet trained? Back in the old days of cloth diapers, that meant a lot of diaper washing. Mom Marion Donovan of New York City wished for a diaper that could be thrown away! She invented the first disposable diaper, which she made out of a plastic shower curtain and absorbent padding.
Kevlar, 1950s, Stephanie Kwolek
Where would the world be without Kevlar? From bulletproof vests to tires to canoes, this super strong synthetic fibre revolutionized the way things function and are built. American Stephanie Kwolek invented KEVLAR while working as a chemist at DuPont Chemical.
Computer Pioneer, 1840s, Ada Byron Lovelace
British Ada Byron Lovelace, the daughter of poet Lord Byron, was a mathematical genius. She was the first to design the punch-card programs that would instruct the analytical engine (proto-computer created in the 1840s by Charles Babbage) in its tasks. Recently, an American military computer programming language was named ADA in her honour.
Bra, 1910s and 1920s, Polly Jacob/Ida Cohen Rosenthal
American teenager Polly Jacob turned two silk handkerchiefs and a length of pink ribbon into the first brassiere. The brassiere was a welcome relief from the tight fitting corsets worn by women at the time. Later, another American, Ida Cohen Rosenthal, created a brassiere with shaped cups that came in different sizes. Ida started the Maidenform Brassiere Company in 1923.