Women Who Invented Items We Can’t Live Without

Who invented

March is International Ideas Month, a time to celebrate creativity, innovation and thinking outside the box. When faced with a frustrating situation, some people accept it but some people are determined to find a solution. There are so many items we use every day that make our lives easier but we don’t stop to think, who invented this? If we did, you’d be surprised to learn how many innovative ideas came from women.

I love celebrating International Ideas Month because the Candis Creations lingerie brand idea came from thinking outside the box. The idea to combine sexy lingerie with everyday cotton undies is unique in the world of underwear.  In my case, the frustration came from having to wear boring cotton briefs every day for comfort despite having a drawer overflowing with pretty but uncomfortable lace panties. It’s the desire to find a solution that leads to innovation and new inventions.

Who Invented…

The dishwasher – If you’re anything like me, then you can’t live without your dishwasher! I tried for a year and I’m still trying to recover my hands from the dryness the soap caused despite wearing gloves and moisturising. Not to mention, the sheer amount of time handwashing takes. I’m so grateful to Josephine Cochrane (1839 – 1913) who invented the dishwasher! I admire that Josephine was not only an inventor but she was also an entrepreneur who founded her own company to sell her dishwashers commercially. The company she founded was bought by KitchenAid.

Windshield wipers – they’re on our cars, trains, buses and aeroplanes and they were invented by Mary Anderson (1866 – 1953). She thought there must be a better method for trolley car drivers than opening the front window to drive through sleet. I admire that Mary took it upon herself to find a solution. Her design was the first effective window wiper and was adopted by Cadillac.

Coffee filters – who doesn’t love beautifully brewed coffee but imagine if your coffee had grounds floating in it. It was this frustration that lead Melitta Bentz (1873 – 1950) to utilise blotting paper set inside a perforated brass pot as a filter. Does her name sound familiar? She set up a company that still makes coffee products today – the Melitta Group.

These women are only three of the many innovative women who invented products we use every day. Women like Josephine, Mary and Melitta are an inspiration to us all.