PHOTOGRAPH BY SCIENCE HISTORY IMAGES, ALAMY
Coffee filters. Monopoly. Windshield wipers. Wireless tech. These very different inventions share one thing in common: they were created by women. Despite their significant contributions, many of these female inventors have gone unrecognized.
In honor of International Women’s Day, take a moment to appreciate these six inventions we wouldn’t have without women.
Thanks to Melitta Bentz from Germany, you don’t have to worry about grounds in your cup of joe. In 1908, Bentz was in search of a better coffee-drinking experience. She was annoyed with the beverage’s bitter taste and floating grounds, so she began experimenting with sheets of blotting paper.
After punching holes in the bottom of a brass cup and lining it with the paper, she found a solution and created the paper coffee filter. She received a patent for her invention and started her own coffee-filter company from a room in her apartment.
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Magie came up with the first version of the game, patenting it in 1904 as The Landlord’s Game. She wanted to use the game to teach the masses about economic inequality, so she sold the patent to Parker Brothers for $500.
Thirty years later, a man named Charles Darrow renamed and redesigned her concept as Monopoly. He sold it to the Parker Brothers in 1935, with no mention of The Landlord’s Game.
Magie finally received credit for the game’s invention in the 2015 book, The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game.