12 Of The Most Unexpectedly Amazing Things Women Have Created (Besides You)

International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on all of the amazing things that women have accomplished throughout history, while simultaneously looking forward at the progress which still needs to be made. But, oftentimes it’s easy to forget just how much of our modern lives we actually owe to women.

Here are some indispensable inventions created by women, which have shaped and improved our lives over the course of time. Many of these women are no longer living, but we should still take the opportunity to give them a huge send up, because let’s face it — they’ve earned it.

1. Coffee Filters

Melitta Bentz, a German entrepreneur, invented the coffee filter in 1908. That’s women for you — always making stuff better. Can you imagine drinking coffee without using a filter first? You’d have to spit the grounds out like sunflower seeds!

2. Beer

Frat boys everywhere should be getting on their knees and thanking womankind, since ancient Mesopotamian women are responsible for inventing the mainstay of all college parties: beer. It’s unclear who, exactly, was first responsible for the invention, but beer historian Jane Peyton says that, 7,000 years ago, women were the only ones allowed to brew the drink.

3. Fire Escapes

If you’ve ever escaped from an apartment fire (or just, you know, needed a place to smoke a drunken cigarette outside of your apartment), then you have Anna Connelly to thank. Connelly originally invented and patented the “fire escape bridge” in 1887, which evolved over time into the modern fire escape.

4. Windshield Wipers

Men may have created the original automobiles, but they certainly didn’t account for inclement weather. In 1905, Mary Anderson patented a “window cleaning device for electric cars and other vehicles to remove snow, ice or sleet from the window.”

5. Computer Software

Computer scientist Dr. Grace Hopper invented the first ever user-friendly business computer software in the 1950s. She was actually recognized for her many contributions to the field of computer science this past year with a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

6. Kevlar

This material, used in bulletproof vests, was patented by Stephanie Kwolek in 1966. The material also has about 200 other uses, in case you weren’t already convinced that Kwolek was a certified badass.

7. Stem Cell Isolation

Ann Tsukamoto is one of two people who patented a process for isolating the human stem cell in 1991. This resulted in incredible contributions to the world of cancer research, and may very well lead to a cure.

8. Modern Electric Refrigerators

Yeah, if you look around your kitchen and find that you have a refrigerator to keep your produce and perishables fresh, then you have a lady to thank — specifically, Florence Parpart, who created the modern electric refrigerator in 1914.

9. Computer Algorithms

Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Baron, worked on ways to program machinery using mathematics, essentially making her the first computer scientist. So, don’t listen to assholes who try to convince you that women are inherently “bad at math.”

10. Retractable Dog Leashes

Dog owners everywhere should be bowing down and showing some respect to Mary A. Delaney, a New York City resident who patented the first retractable dog leash in 1908.

11. Circular Saws

Oh, power tools are just for dudes? That’s funny, because last time I checked, a weaver named Tabitha Babbitt was the first to create a prototype of the circular saw in 1813.

12. Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you are argue that these do not count as an “invention,” I will slap your damn face. Ruth Wakefield, owner of the Toll House Inn, was attempting to make cookies for guests when when she ran out of baker’s chocolate. She crumbled a Nestle chocolate bar into the mix, assuming that it would disperse throughout the dough during baking. It didn’t and a new iconic delicacy was born.

In short: these women saved everyone’s asses and made our lives better.

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