We have heard about various women who have invented or discovered various things while men took all the credit for their hard work. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Historians have listed many more such instances which are not generally known. Here are some of them.
1. Invention of the phonograph
Events: Emily Forsythe was always interested in the reproduction of sound. Because she was not allowed to have an education, she educated herself with books and by tinkering with tuning forks and wax cylinders. While pregnant with her eleventh child, which was stillborn, she passed the time designing blueprints for the first phonograph. After ejecting the corpse from her body, she finished her design and presented it to her husband, Nathaniel Forsythe, saying that she intended to register a patent for it. He replied: “Oh dear, it’s so nice that you’ve been distracting yourself while doing your womanly duties… but I will submit this piece of flummery so you’re not embarassed in public and lose face in front of all these learned men. They might give us a twopence for it.”
Result: Nathaniel Forsythe is regarded as the inventor of the phonograph.
2. Invention of the battery
Events: Madelaine Winger, an unmarried woman, worked for years on the idea of storing electricity within a metallic container. After decades of painstaking trial and error, she settled on alternating layers of zinc and copper. As she completed her first trial with a lightbulb, her son, Maximilian Winger, saw it and was enraptured. Madelaine told him he could bring the apparatus to his class for show and tell the next day.
Result: Maximilian Winger is regarded as the inventor of the battery.
3. Discovery of the pizeoelectric effect.
Events: A group of inventors and materials experts, all women with no husbands, no children, and no family, worked in a laboratory on the electric properties of various metals. They discovered the pizeoelectric effect and called in some investors to take a look at possible applications. The investors came in early and no one was ready for the presentation. The janitor, who was a man named Aleksy Sosnowski, entered the office where the presentation was set up and was holding up one of the machines so he could clean the floor underneath, when the investors happened to enter the room.
Result: Aleksy Sosnowski is regarded as the discoverer of the piezoelectric effect.
4. Invention of the photocopier.
Events: Three female engineers, all women with no husbands, no children, and no family, labored in a workshop for years with no janitors and no man within a five mile radius. They perfected their invention and applied for a patent. On the day the application was received by the patent office, Chad “No Glasses” Chanowitz got in by accident, thinking he was entering his lawyer’s office, and signed what he thought was his contract with a local metalworking firm. It was the patent for the photocopier.
Result: Chad Chanowitz is regarded as the inventor of the photocopier.