International Women’s Day 2018 – Inspiring women inventors

08 March 2018

International Woman’s Day is a day dedicated to celebrating and recognising all women and their achievements, no matter how small or large they maybe. Today we look at some inspiring women inventors who have paved the way for modern technologies.

Erna Schneider Hoover

Erna is credited for her invention of the Feedback control monitor for stored program data processing system #US3623007 in 1971, as well as being one of the first women to receive a software patent in the US. Erna developed the idea to use computing to regulate incoming calls for her employer, Bell Laboratories, in order to eliminate the danger of overload in processing calls. The principles of Erna’s switching system design are still used today and to acknowledge her achievements within the STEM sector, she was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 2008.

Mária Telkes

Hungarian-American physical chemist and biophysicist is best known for developing and patenting the first modern solar powered heating system designed for resident homes (Dover House was the first home to have the solar panels installed) in 1974 (#US4034736A). Mária also improved upon existing heat-exchanger technology and developed a solar oven capable of being used in residential homes in all latitudes. In recognition of her contributions toward solar-heated building technology, Mária became the first recipient of the Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award in 1952.

Patsy O’Connell Sherman

In 1971, while employed at 3M Corporation, Patsy O’Connell Sherman and her co-inventor Samuel Smith were granted a US patent (#US3574791) for their development of Scotchgard, the stain and water repellent product used to protect fabrics and furniture. Sherman was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2001, for her contribution to this nifty invention (which is now the most commonly used water repellent product in North America)!

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