International Women’s Day 2016: 11 Inventions We Can Thank Women For

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Where would we be without women?

As far as inventions go, the world would be void of beer, caller ID, Monopoly, Kevlar and chocolate chip cookies – just to name a few.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day today, here are 11 inventions we can thank women for.

  • 1
    New York Daily News Archive via Getty Images
    Stephanie Kwolek was responsible for developing Kevlar, a material that is five times stronger than steel . Kwolek originally wanted to study medicine but ended up doing a B.A. in chemistry. Today, Kevlar is used in everything from protective wear to suspension bridge cables.
  • 2
    Michel Euler/AP
    This classic board game finds its origins in a young woman named Elizabeth Magie. In 1904, she received a patent for ‘The Landlord’s Game,’ which she created to show people the inequalities associated with land ownership.
  • 3
    Chocolate chip biscuits
    The Washington Post via Getty Images
    Ruth Wakefield discovered these glorious snacks in 1930. While making biscuits, she ran out of baker’s chocolate and used Nestle’s offering instead.
  • 4
    Solar powered house
    Geography Photos via Getty Images
    Most of us are used to seeing solar panels dotted around our towns and cities. In 1948, Hungarian-born Mária Telkes and Eleanor Raymond, an American architect, built the first house that was heated with solar energy.
  • 5
    Isolating human stem cells
    Science Photo Library – PASIEKA via Getty Images
    Isolating human stem cells has been vital to cancer research. Ann Tsukamoto is one of two people to receive the patent for this process.
  • 6
    Computer program
    Dimitri Otis via Getty Images
    Grace Hopper, an American computer scientist, worked on the first US computer dubbed Mark I.
    She invented the compiler, which translates written instructions into code that a computer can read.
  • 7
    Jack Andersen via Getty Images
    While we’re not sure who brewed the very first pint, author and booze historian, Jane Peyron, suggests women were the first to operate breweries.
  • 8
    The Dishwasher
    Nanisimova via Getty Images
    Josephine Cochrane invented the first hand-powered dishwasher after her servants kept breaking her china.
  • 9
    Windshield wipers
    In 1903, Mary Anderson was the first to receive a patent for a car-window cleaning device.
  • 10
    Life rafts
    George Rose via Getty Images
    Maria Beasley invented the life raft in the late 1800s. She also went on to receive patents for inventing a foot warmer and a steam generator
  • 11
    Caller ID
    Niteenrk via Getty Images
    One of the breakthroughs allowing us to enjoy the benefits of caller ID can be put down to Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, a theoretical physicist. In the late 1970s she carried out research on subatomic particles that paved the way for a host of other inventions, including the portable fax, solar cells and the technology behind caller ID.
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