Courage, influence, and being pretty kick-butt are words that describe some of these women we would like to honor during Women’s History Month. Without their influence, some of the most important everyday objects or events in history would never have happened.
Several of these strong ladies you may know, some you may not. But by the end of this, you surely will remember them!
Here is our first group of notable inventors. The items these women invented are some of the most important and most used daily objects.
1. Alice H ParkerChilly? Head to your thermostat, turn it up a few degrees, and be sure to thank Alice H. Parker while you do so. Alice, an African American inventor in the early 1900s, received her patent in 1919 for the design of home furnaces that used natural gas.
2. Melitta BentzMelitta did not invent coffee, but brewing it in your home is much easier, thanks to her. In 1908, Melitta Bentz, a German entrepreneur, was tired of the tedious process she went through daily to make a single cup of coffee.
Percolators were notorious for over brewing coffee, espresso machines left behind messy grounds, and linen filters were very difficult to clean. After experimenting with different materials, Melitta took a page from her son’s school book, nestled it inside a brass pot while perforating it with a nail, and viola, the disposable coffee filter, was invented and patented.
At the 1909 Leipzig Fair, she sold over 1,200 filters on top of the hundreds she sold previously.
Thank you, Melitta. The 62% of daily coffee drinkers very much appreciate your contributions to coffee brewing.
This next group of powerful women overcame great obstacles not only for themselves but for others. They did not back down; they stood up or sat down to fight for what they believed in.
3. Rosa ParksMost of us know about the legendary Rosa Parks and how when she refused to give up her seat on the bus and sit in the back, she sparked a movement that forever changed history. But, did you know prior to this day, she was a civil rights activist?
Here are some little known facts about Rosa Parks:
- She joined the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1943.
- She was not the first African American to be arrested in Montgomery for refusing to give up her seat.
- Several weeks after the bus incident, she was again arrested for her involvement in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
- She was the first woman to lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol. Some of these lesser-known facts about Rosa are just as important as her most notable role as an activist.
Each one of her contributions to activism and history makes her one of the most important women and African Americans in history.
4. Indira Ghandi
When you hear power and leadership, does Indira Gandhi come to mind? As India’s first female prime minister, sworn in on January 24, 1966, we hope so. It was not just her husband, Mahatma, that influenced her into politics. From a young age, Indira had a passion for politics and making a change.
Her passion that fed her courage and strength and ultimately what led her to maker the difficult decision as prime minister to go to war with Pakistan in support of the independence movement in East Pakistan. India’s victory helped the world see their power and influence and what led them to become the sole power of South Asia.
There have been some amazing women in science and leadership throughout history but what about sports? If we were to ask you to name five famous women athletes, both past and present, I am sure you can name a few.
We hope this next one is on your list because she accomplished someone no one in history ever has done in her sport.
5. Serena WilliamsSerena Williams is a powerhouse. She is an amazing athlete, spokesperson, and mom. She holds the most Grand Slam titles (23) in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles combined among active players. Overall, she is tied for third.
What makes Serena so influential is her powerful style of playing. She overcame all gender and racial barriers not just in the world of tennis but as an athlete overall. Because she is not afraid to stand up for others, she often speaks and provides inspiration to young girls and women everywhere.
Written by: Danielle Shulman