Wednesday, March 25, 2015

10 Historical Inventions Patented by Women

10 Historical Inventions You Probably Didn’t Know Were Patented by Women

These Brilliant Inventions by Women Changed the World as We Know It

10 Incredible Things You Might Not Know Were Invented by Women
Photo credit: Living Vintage
When you think about great inventors, you likely think of men such as Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and even Bill Gates. Though these men and others innovated new products that changed our modern lives for the better, they often overshadow brilliant women inventors whose incredible contributions should also be acknowledged and praised.
In honor of Women’s History Month, we decided to showcase some amazing things you might not know were invented by women and we use in our daily lives.

1. Liquid Paper – Bette Nesmith Graham

Liquid Paper Inventor Bette Nesmith Graham
In the 1950s, Bette Nesmith Graham was an executive secretary at Texas Bank and Trust. Electric typewriters had just hit the scene, but their carbon ribbon used to correct typing errors didn’t work very well. Because of this, secretaries had to retype documents even if just a small mistake was made. But Bette was very bright and used white tempera paint to disguise the errors in her typing. She perfected the formula in her own kitchen and patented her secretarial secret as Liquid Paper in 1958.

2. Square-Bottomed Paper Bag – Margaret Knight

Square-Bottomed Paper Bag Inventor Margaret Knight
Photo credit: Silicon India
Margaret Knight may have been an ordinary cotton mill worker in the 1860s, but by 1868 she invented a machine that took brown paper bags to the next level. The machine created bags with square bottoms so they could stand upright. We still use these bags today — and the machines based on her idea are still used as well. Not only did she fight to patent this invention and win in 1871, but this innovative woman received over 20 patents and thought up nearly 100 inventions throughout her lifetime.

3. Dishwasher – Josephine Cochran

Josephine Cochran Inventor of the Dishwasher
Photo credit: KPL Bookaneers
In 1886, Josephine Cochran invented something that would leave dishes squeaky clean without ever having to wash and rinse by hand again: the first practical dishwashing machine. We love it to this day, but it wasn’t well received back in 1893 when Josephine presented her invention at the World’s Fair. It wasn’t until the 1950s that people took notice. Once they did, Josephine founded a manufacturer to build the dishwashers which we now know as KitchenAid.

4. COBOL Programming Language – Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

Grace Hopper Inventor of COBOL Language
Photo credit: Flickr
In 1943, Admiral Hopper joined the U.S. military where she was stationed at Harvard University. While there, she worked on the first large-scale computer in the U.S. – IBM’s Harvard Mark I. And in the 1950s, the compiler was invented by Admiral Hopper — a significant advancement for computer programmers that translates English commands into computer code. Not only that, Admiral Hopper would eventually oversee the development of one of the very first computer programming languages: the Common Business-Oriented Language, or COBOL. She is considered by many as the “mother of the computer.”

5. Windshield Wiper – Mary Anderson

Windshield Wiper Inventor Mary Anderson
Photo credit:
During Mary Anderson’s first trip to New York City at the start of the 20th century, she noticed that the driver of her tram had to stop quite frequently in order to wipe snow from the front window. This was commonplace at the time. But when Mary returned home, she thought of a way to help her tram driver — and every other driver around the world. Mary invented the very first windshield wiper, an invention made up of a squeegee on a spindle that attached to the inside of a vehicle. All the driver had to do was pull the handle on her contraption and the front window would be cleared. The windshield wiper was patented by Mary in 1903 and a decade later, thousands of cars were sold equipped with her incredibly helpful idea.

6. Bulletproof Vest Material – Stephanie Kwolek

Bulletproof Vest Material inventor Stephanie Kwolek
Photo credit: The Best You Magazine
In 1946, Stephanie Kwolek took a position at DuPont to save money for medical school expenses, but in 1964, she still saw herself there — and for good reason. Stephanie was caught up in her research on turning polymers into extra strong synthetic fibers. After trying, trying and trying again, Stephanie came up with a fiber that was as strong as steel which we now know as Kevlar, the material used to make bulletproof vests and other seemingly unbreakable products.

7. Scotchgard Stain Repellent – Patsy Sherman

Patsy Sherman Scotchgard Inventor
Photo credit:
1n 1952, Patsy Sherman was hired by 3M Company to work as a research chemist. One of the few women in the field, her specialty was fluorochemicals. While in the lab one day, synthetic latex was spilled by an assistant and it landed on the assistant’s canvas shoes. Patsy and her lab partner were thrilled with what they found out from the spill: the substance wouldn’t wash away and repelled water and oil. Patsy worked on further developments with this discovery over the years and In 1956, Scotchgard was born from what could’ve been overlooked as just a mishap.

8. The Refrigerator – Florence Parpart

Florence Parpart Inventor of Refrigerator
Though we know little about the Hoboken, New Jersey housewife named FlorenceParpart, we do know that she won a patent in 1914 for an important invention that we use every day in our modern lives — the refrigerator. Her invention went on to replace numerous iceboxes in homes that were equipped with electricity.

9. Paper Coffee Filters – Melitta Bentz

Ceramic Melitta Model
Photo credit: Stumptown Coffee
In 1908, Melitta Bentz was just a German homemaker who was tired of bitter coffee. She sought to fix this problem and create a cleaner-tasting cup of coffee by using a piece of blotting paper from her son’s school notebook and puncturing a brass pot with holes. Not only did this new type of coffee filter and brewing method produce a great-tasting cup o’ joe, but also a more efficient disposal of the coffee grounds. Melitta patented her incredible invention in 1908. The Melitta company is still around today and ran by her grandchildren in Germany.

10. Chocolate Chip Cookies – Ruth Wakefield

Ruth Wakefield Chocolate Chip Cookie Inventor
Though the chocolate chip cookie was an accidental invention, it’s also one of the most delicious inventions ever created. In 1930, Ruth Wakefield stumbled upon this sweet invention while whipping up a batch of Butter Drop Do cookies for guests inside the kitchen of her inn and restaurant — which was once a toll house. Melted chocolate was needed in the cookie recipe, but Ruth was out of baker’s chocolate. She instead crumbled up a Nestle chocolate bar to add to the batter. The chocolate pieces were meant to melt like baker’s chocolate, but this wasn’t so. Instead those crumbled pieces kept their shape and the Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie was invented.
borrowed from History and Women

Friday, March 13, 2015

Youngest Female Chess Master Ever

Carissa Yip: Youngest Female Master Ever!

She just keeps breaking records.
Carissa Yip, 11, is already in the record books for beating a grandmaster at age 10. Now she is also the youngest American girl to become a national master.
She broke the record set less than a year ago by Annie Wang, whose mark was eclipsed by about four months.
Carissa beat two masters in the Legends of Chess Tournament in Boston, Massachusetts on February 21, 2015 en route to earning the title. Her only "blemish" was a first-round bye; even so 3.5/4 was good enough to tie for first!
Less than a year ago, Carissa also broke an esteemed record. She defeated localGrandmaster Alex Ivanov in a classical game. Research suggests she was the youngest in the world ever to do so.
She was days shy of her 11th birthday, while GM Judit Polgar's Wikipedia page lists GM Lev Gutman as her first grandmaster scalp. Polgar was 12. GM Irina Krush, now the top American woman, didn't defeat her first GM (Alex Stripunksy) until she was 13, according to USCF records.
Carissa was also the youngest USCF Expert in history at the age of nine.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Never Say Never

(Reuters) - Of 14 sorties flown by British World War Two pilots supplying anti-fascist fighters in Albania on Oct. 29, 1944, 12 returned to base in Italy, one failed to discharge its load and "the other is missing and assumed to have crashed", according to military records.
For seven decades, the Handley Page Halifax bomber was believed to be at the bottom of the Adriatic Sea. Then, last October, a British and U.S. team climbed 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) into the Albanian mountains to locate its wreckage, which had been spotted by a villager out collecting herbs.
"Clearly what we found was enough to suggest we had found the remains of a big four-engine bomber," said Chris Casey, a doctor at the U.S. embassy in Tirana and part of the expedition.
A British-born aviation enthusiast, Casey trawled the Internet but was frustrated in his attempts to pinpoint the identity of the plane or its crew.
The vital clue would come in the form of a gold ring, engraved "Joyce & John" and held in safe keeping by an Albanian villager and then his son.
Jaho Cala found the ring in 1960 while collecting metal and wood in the mountains, when Albania was shut off from the outside world by the Stalinist regime of Enver Hoxha.
"He gave it to me when I got married in 1971, but told me clearly the ring did not belong to our family and I was to return it to its owner after communism ended," Jaho's son, Xhemil Cala, told Reuters.
Twenty years later, with Albania rid of communism, Cala took to wearing the ring while serving as a police officer. But he had not given up returning it to its rightful owner. He said the ring would not stay put on his finger, twisting as he slept.
"It is not yours, that is why," Cala quoted a Muslim cleric as telling him.
Cala tried to intercept a visiting British envoy to pass him the ring, but was shooed away by defense ministry guards. When his commanding officer visited Britain, Cala gave him the ring but he brought it back saying he had no luck finding the owner.
Finally, he appealed to a regional government official, who alerted the British embassy more than two years ago.
"The ring ... really helped us to solve this riddle," said Casey said.
A flight engineer, Sergeant John Thompson and Joyce Mozley got married in June 1944 but only spent a weekend together before he was posted overseas, Alan Webster, Thompson's nephew, told Reuters at a ceremony in Tirana on Monday.
Gerd Kaceli, a military assistant at the British embassy, said Thompson's plane had dropped supplies to the Biza valley, but on turning west to return to Italy it clipped the top of the mountain and crashed, killing the crew.
Kaceli said Thompson's widow had remarried after the war and had died in 1995. He also spoke of "mystical" powers that had combined to shed light on the fate of the plane.
At the ceremony in Albania's Defence Ministry, Cala kneeled as he handed the ring to Thompson's 92-year-old sister, Dorothy Webster, along with a fuel gauge from the aircraft and a piece of rock from the mountain that brought it down.
"Your brother helped to liberate my country. He will never be forgotten," Defence Minister Mimi Kodheli told Webster.

"I remember him very well, as if it were yesterday," Webster told Reuters, adding she was "overwhelmed ... getting all these keepsakes that we never thought we would ever get".

Monday, March 9, 2015

So you think you know about Shakespeare???

Take a look: ten things you didn't know about Shakespeare.
Here's something else you may not have known about Shakespeare: he had a cousin with the same name who came to stay at his lodgings in Bishopsgate in 1593 and went on to become London's first private detective.