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10 of the World’s Greatest Female Inventors You Need to Know #WomenInSTEM

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takepart has a list of 10 of the world’s greatest women inventors and discoverers (not all of them are strictly inventors but they are all important historical figures).

We’ve all heard of famous inventors such as Thomas Jefferson (Monticello’s Great Clock), Alexander Graham Bell (the telephone), and Benjamin Franklin (bifocal glasses), but what about Grace Hopper and Stephanie Kwolek?

Hopper invented computer programming—without which, it’s fair to say, the world would be a very different place—and Kwolek invented Kevlar, a material five times stronger than steel and currently used around the world to protect people from bullets.

Despite how important these inventions are, history has shown us that women’s achievements are often overlooked when it comes to handing out praise. So we’re looking to spread the love.

Below, a look at some of the most important discoveries and inventions made by women in the last 100 years:

1. Marie Curie: Theory of radioactivity

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Turns out, you can split an atom. This was one of the major discoveries made by Marie Curie while she was studying “radioactive” elements. Curie received her first Nobel Prize for the discovery of radioactivity and her second for the discovery of polonium and radium. She was also the first person to win two Nobel Prizes.

2. Nancy Johnson: The ice-cream maker

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In 1843, Johnson invented the hand-cranked ice-cream maker, which is still used to this day. We don’t know what more to say other than thank you, Nancy Johnson, thank you.

3. Maria Telkes: The first 100 percent solar-powered house

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In 1947, the Hungarian scientist invented the thermoelectric power generator to provide heat for Dover House, a wedge-shaped structure she conceived with architect Eleanor Raymond. Girl power, indeed!

Check out the full list here.


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