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11 Interesting Facts About Women That You May Not Know

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  1.  In 1903, Mary Anderson was the first person granted a patent for the windshield wiper. It became standard equipment on cars by 1916. [Famous Women Inventors, 2008]
  2. Women have also invented things such as industrial lathes, white out, bras, non-reflective glass, the dishwasher, disposable diapers, petroleum refining methods, car heaters, fire escapes, circular saws, chocolate chip cookies and rectangular bottomed paper bags. [Gender Across Borders, 2011]

  3. The world’s first novel, The Tale of Genji, was published in Japan around A.D. 1000 by female author Murasaki Shikibu. [Sri Chinmoy Centre, 2015]

  4. In 1843, Ada Byron Lovelace designed the first “computer program” and published a paper that predicted the development of computer software, artificial intelligence, and computer music. Ada Lovelace’s contributions to the field of computer science were not discovered until the 1950s. Her notes were reintroduced to the world by B.V. Bowden, who republished them in Faster Than Thought: A Symposium on Digital Computing Machines in 1953. Since then, Ada has received many posthumous honors for her work. In 1980, the U.S. Department of Defense named a newly developed computer language “Ada,” after Lovelace. [Biography.com, 2016]

  5. The first country to grant women the right to vote in the modern era was New Zealand in 1893. [New World Encyclopedia, 2013]

  6. You think that factory work was always done by men? In fact, during the 19th century, factory workers were primarily young, single women. Men and married women stayed home to work the farm or manage the house. [Gender Across Borders, 2011]

  7. Susan Kare developed most of the interface elements for Apple Macintosh. You might not think that women have played a huge role in the development of computer technology, but in this case you’d be wrong. Kare helped develop the bulk of those little icons early Mac users clicked on every day. Kare left Apple in the 80’s, and is still working with innovating new technologies and improving design. [Priceonomics, 2016] 

  8. Randice-Lisa Altschul invented the world’s first disposable mobile phone. The device is the thickness of three credit cards and made from recycled paper products. This is a real cell phone (outgoing messages only) with 60 minutes of calling time and a hands free attachment. [About.com, 2016]

  9. Hedy Lamarr was a famous movie actress of the 1930’s and was also an engineer. Lamarr held a patent on technology, which is the foundation for today’s advanced wireless networks (e.g. WI-FI and Bluetooth). She developed a “Secret Communications System” to help combat the Nazis in World War II. As with many other successful women inventors at that time, she has received very little recognition but later has been honored for her groundbreaking innovation. Lamarr challenged the stereotypes by showing that she does not only has a pretty face but was a talented innovator. [Famous Women Inventors, 2008]

  10. Grace Hopper developed the first programming language based on words rather than numbers in 1944. Her belief that programming languages should be as easily understood as English was highly influential on the development of one of the first programming languages called COBOL. It is largely due to Grace Hopper’s influence that programmers use “if/thens” instead of 1s and 0s today. In November 2016, she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. [Amazing Women in History, 2013]

  11. Margaret Hamilton, born in 1936, was a lead engineer on the software that made the first moon landing a possibility. At that time, she had a 4 years old daughter who she used to take to her working lab during the weekends so that she can spend time with her daughter and”code away creating routines that would later be added to Apollo’s command module computer”. It might surprise today’s software makers that one of the founding fathers was, in fact, a mother—and that should give them pause to consider why the gender inequality persists to this day. [World Economic Forum, 2016]

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