The world as we know it would not be where it is now without innovations from the minds of geniuses that came before us. Brilliant minds have invented technologies that changed and molded the way we interacted with the world and one another. Throughout history, women have always been overlooked and under-appreciated, but little do the rest of us know that some of the inventions that disrupted industries came from innovative women. Through their incredible accomplishments they changed the world. Yet didn’t get the recognition they deserved. We will try to fix this by introducing you to 5 amazing women.
1 - Ada Lovelace & the Computer Algorithm
Charles Babbage, also known as the father of the modern computer, once had a student whose name was Ada Lovelace, the woman who wrote the world's first computer algorithm. While translating the notes of her professor for his theoretical invention, the analytical engine, Lovelace added her own footnotes, which is credited to be the earliest complete computer program. Lovelace's program is still contested up to this day as not everyone deems it as a "program," but Two-Bit history notes that it was designed to calculate the Bernoulli number. She discovered how operations could be organized into groups that could be repeated, resulting in a loop. At the time, she realized how it was important to track the state of the variables as they changed, introducing a notation to demonstrate those specific changes. The method may be archaic now, but it resembles much of how software is written today.
2 - Florence Parpart & the Electric Refrigerator
Before Florence Parpart invented the electric refrigerator, the world was still using iceboxes to chill and freeze their food. Very little is known about her other than census records and patent applications. In 1914, she won a second patent for the modern refrigerator, which she invented with the help of her then-fiancé who was skilled in electrical circuitry. An entrepreneur through and through, Parpart went on to market and sell her refrigerators to various companies. She even attended multiple trade shows, developed advertising campaigns, and managed production operations for the refrigerators. And now, her invention is found in most kitchens across the globe.
3 - Hedy Lamarr & the Wireless Fidelity of Wi-Fi
Who would have thought that the technology we use to connect to the internet came from the mind of a Hollywood star? Yes, that's right—Hedy Lamarr, known in the 1930s and 1940s for her smoldering performances on the silver screen, also happens to be the ingenious inventor who discovered "frequency hopping," which would eventually blossom into some of today's most widely used technology, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and mobile phones. Lamarr made her breakthrough during World War II, when she was attempting to come up with a device that would block enemy ships from jamming torpedo guidance signals. It's unclear what prompted the idea, but her partner George Antheil confirmed that it was Lamarr's own design, from which he based a practical model. They both found a way for the radio guidance transmitter and the torpedo's receiver to jump from frequency to frequency at the same time, rendering the enemy unable to locate and block a message before it had moved to another frequency. The approach became known as "frequency hopping," and the rest, as they say, is history.