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Women Can Invent, Too!

When it comes to some of the most well known products of yesterday and today, behind some of the most ingenious products on the market was the effort and know-how of a woman. Rarely touched upon , many women are responsible for some of the items we use today on a daily basis. This article will mention some of these inventions and the woman behind the magic.

Mary Anderson

When your car is caked with dirty spray or suffering a pounding during a rainstorm, what would you do without the windshield wiper that Alabama native, Mary Anderson invented in 1903? At first, her efforts were driven by the desire to aid streetcars operate much safer during rainy conditions. In 1905, she received a patent for her invention, which allowed car operators the ability to better control their visibility. The car would now be outfitted with an external arm that swung across the windshield. Despite such a helpful piece of equipment, windshield wipers did not become a standard car part until a decade later.

Virginia Apgar

A professor of anesthesia at the New York Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center by the name of Virginia Apgar (1909-1974) is responsible for inventing the standardized scale called the Apgar scale, which was used to rate the status of an infant once it was born. The scale is administered to a newly born child after the first minute of their life, as well as after five minutes after birth has passed. A doctor learns the heart rate, respiration, muscle tone, color, and reflex response of a newborn. The test is so valuable that it quickly lets doctors and other medical personnel know when a newborn needs help.

Katherine Blodgett

You may wonder what “micro-thin barium stearate film” is, but this is the invention credited to Katherine Blodgett, an American physicist and inventor. This invention allows glass to become totally nonreflective and in a way “invisible.” The invention Blodgett is responsible for has been put to good use in camera lenses, eyeglasses, microscopes, telescopes, projector lenses, and even in periscopes. This would not be the only thing Blodgett invented in her lifetime. She also created a gauge that measured the thickness of the coating she worked with , this was later called a color gauge.

Grace Hopper

The United States naval officer and mathematician responsible for inventing the computer compiler (also known as the A-O) was the brainchild of Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (1906 – 1992). In 1952, it was her compiler that revolutionized computer programming, as it was able to instantly translate high-level instructions into machine code, which made it much easier for user to understand. It had been a long-time problem that the cryptic language associated with the central processing unit was just too much for many.

Hopper and associates were able to construct the first user-friendly business programming language, which she named COBOL (COmmon Business-Oriented Language). There is also an interesting tale concerning Hopper that involves the coinage of the term, “computer bug.” It is said that a mistake in the early Mark II computer was caused by the fluttering of a trapped moth, which she is believed to have dubbed, a “computer bug.”