Things That Wouldn't Exist if it Weren't for Women

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Can you imagine what a world without women would be like?

Well, for starters YOU wouldn't exist if it weren't for the woman who carried and birthed you. But, what else would we be missing out on if it weren't for the contributions of women around the world?

RELATED: How you can participate in 'A Day without Women'

Remember this list is in no particular order and consists of items that were invented thanks to girl power. 

  • Chocolate chip cookies: What is LIFE without chocolate chip cookies? Okay, maybe that's a little dramatic, but seriously, the dessert game wouldn't be the same without the cookie that originated in the U.S. The yummy treat was invented by the American chef Ruth Graves Wakefield in 1938. Wakefield came up with the recipe during the period when she owned the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts. 

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  • The dishwasher: Cleaning up the kitchen could be a nightmare without the help of our handy dandy dishwashers. Imagine how much more time you'd be spending in the kitchen. We have Josephine Garis Cochran to thank for this helpful invention. Cochran invented the prototype of the first commercially successful automatic dishwasher, which she constructed together with mechanic George Butters.

  • Beer: Oh wait what? Yes, that "manly" drink you're gulping down was invented by...ding ding ding... a woman apparently. But to be absolutely fair it's not clear which individual first created beer, but research done by historian Jane Peyton shows that for thousands of years brewing beer was a woman's domain.  According a 2010 Telegraph piece: “Nearly 7,000 years ago in Mesopotamia and Sumeria, so important were [women’s] skills that they were the only ones allowed to brew the drink or run any taverns.” 

  • Windshield wipers: Driving in the rain without windshield wipers is the worst. That's something many of us can attest to. Inventor Mary Anderson noticed drivers had to open their windows while driving when it rained in order to see. To solve this problem Anderson invented the windshield wiper. And the success for women didn't stop there. Charlotte Bridgwood became the inventor of the automatic windshield wiper in 1917.

  • Fire escape: Thank you Anna Connelly! Your invention has saved thousands of lives. Connelly made this brilliant discovery in 1887. While Connelly is widely credited with inventing the “fire escape,” her design was not for a classic fire escape. Connelly patented an iron-railed bridge.  This bridge was used by people to make their way to the next building and to the ground within the neighboring building.

  • Computer software: Imagine a world with computer software. Well, we sure cannot. The design for what would've been the first piece of software was written by the English mathematician and computer programmer Ada Lovelace  in the 19th century. Unfortunately, it wasn't implemented at that time. Her contributions to computer science were not discovered until the 1950s. 

  • Car heater: If it weren't for mechanical engineer Margaret Wilcox, we might be freezing in our cars today. The first car heater was invented in 1893. The heater was considered to be one of the most notorious experimental inventions. Luckily for us that experiment went well. 

  • Kevlar: Did you know that a woman invented the stronger-than-steel fiber Kevlar in 1965. Stephanie Kwolek was the brains behind what was initially intended to be used for car tires. The lightweight fiber ended up being used for bulletproof vests and body armor.

  • Monopoly: It's a popular game around the world and was originally called the Landlord's Game. Elizabeth "Lizzie" Magie created the game in 1904 as a teaching tool for single tax theory. The game was meant to expose the injustices of unchecked capitalism.  Ironically, the game was taken by Charles Darrow 30 years later and then sold to the Parker Brothers. In the end, the brains behind the Monopoly craze only ended up making $500 off her creation. 


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