I was out with my wife and friends for sushi the other night. The conversations were all over the place but we got to talking about science, inventions and our need for expanding education and research. That led to a little game of "Who Invented?" Armed with our smartphones, someone picked an invention, Googled it and we'd see if we could guess the creator.
My wife cheated and answered God to all questions and we had to create a pocket rule, that we had to know the name of who He was using in his mysterious way to give us these inventions. Trust me, this game is tough. We stated out easy.
Who invented the record player? Of course, Edison came up.
Then someone got smart and asked, who came up with the telegraph? One of the guests had been a boy scout and he had to learn Morse Code so he guessed Samuel Morse and he was right. Being a scout paid off.
Next came the telescope? We all guessed Galileo but it turns out to have been Hans Lippershey (in 1608 in case you were interested). And as the game went on, I started to realize something, all of the guesses were of men inventors. Not a woman in the mix. But surely there were and are great women inventors.
So today, just by coincidence, HuffPo Women had an article about awesome things women invented. Here's a few and hopefully if we ever play "Who Invented?" again, I can toss out some new names. You may find some interesting surprises in this list:
Beer -- Thank women for that! Nearly 7,000 years ago in Mesopotamia and Sumeria, so important were [women's] skills that they were the only ones allowed to brew the drink or run any taverns. Bottoms up! Though no specific name is assigned to the creation, my wife says, God. I'm guessing Miss Mesopotamia because when you invent something as good as beer you're bound to be elected Miss Something-or-other.
Windshield Wipers. That one's easy. We have a real name for this one. Mary Anderson in 1903. And you thought men were the auto geeks and gear heads of all time.
Chocolate Chip Cookies -- a 1930s creation by Ruth Wakefield and she and her husband owned a lodge. It comes as no surprise that it was called the Toll House Inn.
Monopoly was the brainchild of Elizabeth Magie -- applied for the patent in 1903 and was granted it in 1904 inspired by all of the land grabbing that was part of the times.
Solar Heated Home -- this actually dates back a ways. In the 1940s, she developed the first solar-heated home with another woman, architect Eleanor Raymond.
The Square Bottom Paper Bag -- This one goes to Margaret Knight. Before she could patent her machine, a man named Charles Annan stole her design, claiming that no woman could think of something so complex. Knight proved you don't go pulling a bag over the public's eyes when she filed a lawsuit against Annan and in 1871 proved that the prototype was in fact hers and she was granted the patent.
Kevlar -- Stephanie Kwolek gets credit for this, as well as 28 additional patents during her career. This amazing woman has earned her way into the Inventors' Hall of Fame.
Guys out there. Keep in mind women can always one-up us. They can do one thing men cannot -- that's have babies. You know what? For that point alone, I like keeping them one up.