5 Manly Inventions Created By Women

Women InventorsThere have been a lot of women inventors throughout the years.  Many inventions we may never know were invented by women since the law was that the fairer sex couldn’t apply for a patent.  Patents were considered property and that was not afforded to women until the late 18th century.  Even still, if it weren’t for women, we may never of had these “manly” items to use.  Here is a list of inventions that were created by women that are typically viewed as being used by men (or would have been considered as being invented by men).  See if you can name any others.


myfivebest -1CIRCULAR SAW

Several people have laid claim to the circular saw, but it was Tabitha Babbitt who brought it into the sawmill.  She was an unmarried spinster living in the Shaker community of Harvard, Massachusetts when she came up with the idea making wooden planks easier.  In her day, a two man saw team would shape the trees into boards by digging a pit and putting one guy down in the hole while the other sawed from above.  She changed all of that using a circular saw to cut the timber.  It’s a good thing, too, because “Pa” Walton would never had a job if it wasn’t for her.  She is also responsible for developing the “cut nail” – a manufactured nail from sheet metal – with Cotton Gin inventor, Eli Whitney.



Not that mine ever work when I need them, but it was Mary Anderson, a cattle rancher from California, who came up with the idea of getting water and mud off of your windshield in 1903.  She called it the “window cleaning device” and created it after she went to New York in the winter of 1902.  There, she saw a motorist driving along with his windshield down (you could do that at the time) because he couldn’t see to drive with sleet hitting it.  At this time, the windshield wiper wasn’t electric like it is today.  Her windshield wipers were hand operated from within the moving car.  They were a bit dangerous because you had to drive and wipe at the same time, but still effective.


myfivebest - 3THE FIRE ESCAPE

All through history, fire was a very dangerous disaster in cities where people lived in multi-story dwellings.  Fires in Rome and London engulfed huge portions of the cities and killed thousands.  You would think that someone would have come up with a solution before 1887 when Anna Connelly patented the first fire escape.  The answer was simple enough: a metal staircase on the outside of the building where the fire wasn’t.  After she did this, a year later, there were almost 1100 other versions of her device proposed.  Today, thanks to building codes, fire escapes are required by most buildings.



Heating water in the home was a problem for people.  In the old days, you had to bring cold water in from outdoors, then put it into a pot on a wood or coal burning stove, heat it to a temperature that wouldn’t scald you, then put it into your bathtub, where it eventually would turn cold again before you were done bathing.  Ida R. Forbes developed a way to stop this in 1917 with the invention of the electric hot water heater.  Electricity was becoming popular in the home by this time and she came up with a way to heat the water without it boiling the occupants of the house (which WAS a problem in the 19th and early 20th century!).


myfivebest - 5KEVLAR

Also known as Poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide, Kevlar, which is the branded name, is a synthesized material that was originally developed to replace steel in racing tires.  Most of us are familiar with its use in body armor used by our armed forces and policeman.  The material was invented by Dupont by scientist Stephanie Louise Kwolek in 1965.  The purpose was to make a lighter material than steel to keep tires from exploding on the road and to save on gasoline due to the added weight.  Today it is used in all sorts of tires, from racing cars to bicycles and also continues to protect our military.