Were it not for this Wednesday’s Woman, baggers at supermarkets all over America would not be able to ask that all-important question: “Paper or plastic?” Margaret Ellen Knight is the inventor of the flat-bottomed paper bag that is a staple of American shopping life.
Although robbed of the credit for her greatest astronomical accomplishment and subjected to nonstop gender discrimination during the rest of her academic career, Cecelia Payne was finally recognized as “the greatest female astronomer in history.” This Wednesday’s Woman’s story is one of brilliance, tenacity and extraordinary scientific achievement in the face of persistent obstructions.
If you’re reading this from anywhere along the east coast and dealing with the after-effects of our New Year’s “bomb cyclone,” you know how annoying that highway spray of grime, salt and slush kicked up on your car’s windshield can be. Meet today’s Wednesday’s Woman, Mary Anderson (1866-1953), the female inventor who created the common, everyday, indispensable windshield wiper.
Whoever coined the phrase “more than just a pretty face” could have been describing this Wednesday’s Woman. Hedy Lamarr, the exquisite Hollywood beauty of the 1930s and ’40s, was born into an Austrian Jewish family as Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in 1914. She would ultimately go on to become the Hollywood star we all know, as well as a highly successful engineering innovator who most of us were never aware of.
This Wednesday’s Woman is “Amazing Grace.” Grace Hopper was determined to join the U.S. Navy in the midst of World War II. But the 37-year-old associate professor just barely squeaked in under the Navy’s cutoff age By 1943 Hopper had earned a Ph.D. in math from Yale and was teaching at Vassar. Continue reading “Grace Hopper: The Navy Math Whiz Who Helped Design the First Computer”
Next time you reach into the fridge or use your electric can opener, thank today’s Wednesday Woman: Lillian Moller Gilbreth (1878-1972). An industrial psychologist, engineer and mother of 12, she was dubbed the original superwoman and described as a genius in the art of living. Continue reading “Lillian Moller Gilbreth: Psychologist, Engineer, Famous Inventor and Mother of 12”