In honor of Women’s History Month, I wanted to celebrate the accomplishments of women in the field of engineering. Who knew that we were so creative?
Computers and circular saws are great, but if we’re being honest, I think that the chocolate chip cookie would be at the top of the list for greatest inventions. At least inventions for your stomach. Chocolate chip cookies were created by Ruth Wakefield in 1930, when Wakefield had to create some Butter Drop Do cookies for guests at the inn that her husband owned. There was not enough time to emlt the chocolate for the recipe, so Ruth just threw some pieces of a Nestle chocolate bar in the batter. Dear Ruth, my stomach thanks you for your contribution to society.
The Compiler and COBOL Computer Language
You can’t mention wome in engineering without talking about Grace Hopper. Hopper worked on the first large-scale computer in the US, the Mark I at Harvard. She invented a system called the Compiler to translate English into computer code. Brilliant. Also, you know you’re legit when you have a warship named after you.
Submarine Telescope and Lamp
Have you ever seen the cool pictures of weird sea creatures that meander on the ocean floor? You can thank Sarah Mather for patenting the submarine telescope and lamp in 1845. This invention unlocked the ability to explore the most unexplored territory on earth—the ocean.
Kevlar saves lives, protects people and makes the ride of life much more enjoyable. Kevlar is the material that makes bulletproof vests, helmets tires, skis, and hiking gear. Stephanie Kwolek worked at Dupont to create this fiber that is as strong as steel.
Can you imagine driving your car without a windshield wiper? I’m thinking the sight would look something like this:
Thank goodness for Mary Anderson, who wasn’t satisfied that every NYC tram driver had to stop every few minutes to get rid of the snow on his front window. She received her patent for the squeegee device in 1903, and now it would be impossible to find a car without it.
How has the presence of more women in the engineering disciplines changed the field?
Most of the information that I used for this post was found through an article by HowStuffWorks called “Top 10 Things That Women Invented.”