Hypatia was a Greek mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who invented the hydrometer in about 400 AD. Described as a charismatic teacher, she was seen as an evil symbol of the pagan science of learning and she was eventually murdered by Christian zealots.
For many women in years gone by, the invention process was fraught with danger and difficulty. Not only did they face the hardship and obstacles of inventing, they also had to contend with the sexism and gender discrimination of a male world that believed women had nothing to contribute.
Scientific women came to the fore with momentous innovations which were impossible for men to ignore. During World War Two, Austrian actress Hedy Lamarr became a pioneer in wireless communications, developing a “Secret Communications System.”
More recently, 20-year-old Ann Makosinski has invented the ingenious Hollow Flashlight which converts radiant body heat into electricity. Meanwhile other women continued inventing in the domestic sphere with Miracle Mops, long-lasting lipsticks, and magic knickers.
In every walk of twenty-first century life women have been challenging themselves (and men) to shape the way we live. Some of the incredible innovators featured include Myra Juliet Farrell, Sally Fox, Rosalind Franklin, Helen Murray, Anna Pavlova, Mária Telkes, Giuliana Tesoro, Halldis Aalvik Thune, Ann Tsukamoto, Margaret A. Wilcox, Ada Lovelace, and many more.
The 150 remarkable women in this book show all too clearly that not only can invention no longer be described as a male dominated domain but that a woman’s inspiration and ingenuity will probably be driving the life-changing ideas of tomorrow’s world.