3. The fire escape
4. The life raft
One day in 1882, Maria Beasely looked out at the sea and said, “People should, like, stop dying in huge transportation disasters.” And then she invented life rafts. Beasely also invented a machine for making barrels, and it made her really fucking rich.
5. Residential solar heating
Physicist and solar-power pioneer Dr. Maria Telkes teamed up with an equally badass lady, the architect Eleanor Raymond, to build the first home entirely heated by solar power in 1947.
6. The medical syringe
Oh, the wonders of modern medicine. In 1899, Letitia Geer invented a medical syringe that could be operated with only one hand. Remember her the next time your doctor injects you with only one hand.
7. The modern electric refrigerator
Florence Parpart invented the modern electric refrigerator in 1914. In 1900, Parpart also received a patent for a vastly improved street-cleaning machine, which she marketed and sold to cities across America, because she was incredibly badass.
8. The ice cream maker
9. The computer algorithm
10. More telecommunications technology than you could shake a stick at
11. The dishwasher
Saving untold marriages over the last century and a half, the dishwasher was invented by Josephine Cochrane in 1887. She marketed her invention to hotel owners, scandalously going to meetings without a husband, brother, or father to escort her, and eventually opened her own factory.
12. Wireless transmissions technology
Hedy Lamarr’s invention of a secret communications system during World War II for radio-controlling torpedoes, employing “frequency hopping” technology, laid the technological foundations for everything from Wi-Fi to GPS. She also happened to be a world-famous film star.
14. The paper bag as you know it
15. Central heating
The chemist Stephanie Kwolek invented the super-strong Kevlar fibre, used to make bulletproof vests. Kwolek’s invention is five times stronger than steel, and also has about 200 other uses.
17. Computer software
Dr Grace Murray Hopper, a rear admiral in the U.S. navy, was also a computer scientist who invented COBOL, “the first user-friendly business computer software program”. She was also the first person to use to term “bug” to describe a glitch in a computer system, after finding an actual moth causing trouble in her computer.