It’s International Women’s Day and it’s definitely a favorite holiday here at IdeaScale. We are always looking for more ways to close the gender gap (paid family leave, equal pay, and employees at IdeaScale are encouraged to go leave work today and participate in International Women’s Day activities), but we wanted to take a moment and celebrate some wonderful ideas by women – innovations we might take for granted but probably couldn’t live without. As we #pressforprogress in 2018, we wanted to celebrate the progress that these women created.
The Fire Escape. After a major fire in 1860, the public realized that as part of their continued progress, they needed to find safe ways for families to evacuate. Anna Connelly patented the design for the fire bridge which allowed occupants to exit their apartment in order to enter another building in case of an emergency. This may have led to the modern design of the fire escape that we’re all familiar with.
The First Computer Algorithm. Ada Lovelace was a mathematician who recognized that theory of the computer could be used for much more than just calculation and she wrote an algorithm that earned her the title of “the first computer programmer.” It would take at least another seventy years before a computer powerful enough to handle the equation would be realized, however. Which leads us to our next invention…
The Computer. Grace Hopper designed the Mark I: Harvard’s five ton computer in 1944, which was intrinsic to the American World War II effort.
Kevlar. Stephanie Kwolek was a DuPont chemist looking for a lighter material for car tires who earned a patent for what she created instead: kevlar.
The Chocolate Chip Cookie. Thank god! I mean. I’m really excited about escaping fires and all the cascading benefits that have arrived as a result of computers, etc, but chocolate cookies are the best thing for me on a sad day and I wouldn’t get by without them. Thank you, Ruth Wakefield!
What ideas by women are you most excited about?