Women’s History Month: A Look at Iconic Inventions

The month of March is aimed to highlight the contributions made by women to society and cultures around the world. Women’s History Month works to share and celebrate all of the achievements of women and show the strength and resilience that it took for them to achieve their goals. Below, several inventions by women are listed that have changed our world for the better.

  1. 1. Life Raft

    In the 1870s, an inventor by the name of Maria E. Beasley created the improved life raft. Her version of the life raft consisted of guard rails in order to protect individuals and keep them inside of the rafts when an emergency occurred. Her life raft went on to save many many lives, as the risk of following off of the life raft and into choppy waters dramatically decreased.

  2. 2. Feeding Tube

    Following World War II, there were many soldiers and veterans in health crises due to battlefield wounds. It was during this time that an American nurse by the name of Bessie Virginia Blount saw a need for a solution while working on veterans in the New York City Bronx Hospital. As she saw her patients struggling, she invented a device that would allow patients to get their food and nutrients despite their injuries. She invented the first feeding tube that was activated when the patient bit down on it. This paved the way for modern feeding tubes to be created that have gone on to save an astronomical amount of lives for all ages.

  3. 3. Home Security System

    In 1969, Marie Van Brittan Brown invented and patented the first home security system. This idea started off as both she and her husband worked long hours and she would be alone late at night. Her security system involved a sliding camera that could take pictures through various peepholes in her door, monitors to display the camera images, and a two-way microphone that allowed her to safely communicate with those who are outside of her door. Furthermore, there was a button she could press to call the police as well as a button that could lock and unlock her door from a distance. This invention paved the way for more advanced security systems to be developed in the future.

  4. 4. Stem Cell Isolation

    While working in a lab in 1991, an Asian American scientist by the name of Ann Tsukamoto and her team created and patented the very first method of isolating stem or blood-forming cells. In total, she holds twelve patents that all involve stem cell research. These patents have gone on to aid cancer research and the fight for a cure.

  5. 5. Cataract Treatment

    The groundbreaking treatment, the “Laserphaco Probe” was invented and patented in 1988 and was able to instantaneously remove the cloudy blemishes in the eyes known as cataracts. The inventor, Patricia E. Beth, was the first African American to complete an ophthalmology residency and was also the first African American woman in the US to patent a medical device. Her invention has gone on to save the visions of hundreds of thousands of people.