Female Ingenuity

A partial list of the many ingenious inventions by women.

Invention Inventor Year
Antifungal antibiotic (Nystatin) Rachel Fuller Brown and Elizabeth Lee Hazen 1957
Barbi Doll Ruth Handler 1959
Brassiere Mary Phelps Jacob 1913
Battery container Nancy Perkins 1986
Beehive Thiphena Hornbrook 1861
Cabinet Bed Sarah Goode 1885
Canister vacuum Nancy Perkins 1987
Car heater Margaret Wilcox 1893
Circular saw Tabitha Babbit 1812
COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language) Grace Hopper 1959
Computer program Augusta Ada Byron 1842
Cooking stove Elizabeth Hawk 1867
CPR Mannequin Dianne Croteau, et al 1989
Dam and reservoir construction Harriet Strong 1887
Direct and return mailing envelope Beulah Henry 1962
Dishwasher Josephine Cochran 1872
Disposable cell phone Randi Altschul 1999
Drinking fountain device Laurene O'Donnell 1985
Electric hot water heater Ida Forbes 1917
Elevated railway Mary Walton 1881
Engine muffler El Dorado Jones 1917
Feedback control for data processing Erna Hoover 1971
Fire escape Anna Connelly 1887
Fireplace damper actuator Virgie Ammons 1975
Geobond Patricia Billings 1997
Globes Ellen Fitz 1875
"Gong and signal chair" Miriam Benjamin 1888
Grain storage bin Lizzie Dickelman 1920
Hair products for African Americans Madame C.J. Walker 1908
Improved animal handling systems in meat plants Dr. Temple Grandin 1989
Improved locomotive wheels Mary Jane Montgomery 1864
Improvement in dredging machines Emily Tassey 1876
Improvement in stone pavements Emily Gross 1877
Kevlar, a steel-like fiber used in radial tires, crash helmets, and bulletproof vests Stephanie Kwolek 1966
Life raft Maria Beaseley 1882
Liquid Paper correction fluid Bette Nesmith Graham 1956
Locomotive chimney Mary Walton 1879
Medical syringe Letitia Geer 1899
Mop-wringer pail Eliza Wood 1889
Newborn Scoring System (Apgar Score) Dr. Virginia Apgar 1949
Non-reflective glass Katherine Blodgett 1938
Oil burner Amanda Jones 1880
Optical analysis systems Dr. Ellen Ochoa 1987
Permanent wave for the hair Marjorie Joyner 1928
Portable screen summer house Nettie Rood 1882
Process for isolating human stem cells Ann Tsukamoto, et al 1991
Refrigerator Florence Parpart 1914
Rolling pin Catherine Deiner 1891
Rotary engine Margaret Knight 1902
Safety device for elevators Harriet Tracy 1892
Signal generator Dr. Betsy Ancker-Johnson 1966
Spread spectrum Hedy Lamarr 1941
Street cleaning machine Florence Parpart 1900
Submarine lamp and telescope Sara Mather 1845
Suspenders Laura Cooney 1896
Washing machine Margaret Colvin 1871
Windshield wiper Mary Anderson 1903
Zigzag sewing machine Helen Blanchard 1873

circular saw in use at lumberyard
Circular saw
Library of Congress


fire escapes
Fire escape
Library of Congress

Vet readies large animal syringe
Medical syringe
Library of Congress

washing machine, early version
Washing machine
Library of Congress


dishwasher
Dishwasher
Library of Congress

Women in Congress Women of Influence Mothers of Invention