After years of directing a team of chemists, Coston realized that she could apply the technology of fireworks to her plans. She finally invented and patented a system of red, white, and green “Pyrotechnic Night Signals” that worked well (patent #23,536, granted in 1859). The U.S. Navy soon bought the rights to the technology, and during the Civil War, Coston’s flares helped to win battles and to save the lives of countless shipwreck victims.
After improving her system (for example, with a twist-ignition device patented in 1871), Martha Coston also sold her signals to navies, shippers, maritime insurance firms, and yacht clubs around the world. But Coston said that she always had to be “ready to fight like a lioness” against chauvinism. Being a woman, she was consistently dismissed or undercompensated. Yet Coston persevered and became living proof that women could invent in any realm if they did not give up.
Happy Ada Lovelace Day! Today, in honor of Ada Lovelace, the world celebrates all of the accomplishments of women in science, art, design, technology, engineering, and math. Each year, Adafruit highlights a number of women who are pioneering their fields and inspiring women of all ages to make their voices heard. Today we will be sharing the stories of women that we think are modern day “Adas” alongside historical women that have made impacts in science and math.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.