4 Women Inventors to Know

You know their work — but probably not their names. These are four forgotten women inventors and scientists. 🧬

Snubbed due to sexism

Influential female scientists and inventors’ major contributions have not been forgotten. While famous scientists were eventually recognized for their contributions in their respective fields, a substantial number of female scientists throughout history have been overlooked simply due to their gender. Here are 4 female scientists who never received credit for their discoveries in their lifetime.

Ada Lovelace - Lovelace, i.e. the “first computer programmer,” was a math prodigy as a teen in the 1830s and worked on the Analytical Engine — the blueprint for the first computer. 100 years ahead of the advent of the first general-purpose computer, she was one of the first to recognize computation and programming's potential.

Elizabeth Magie - Magie was a writer inventor economic activist with her most notable creation being The Landlord’s Game. The board game from 1903 is the earliest known version of Monopoly and is meant to illustrate concepts of economic privilege. She died having made $500 selling the game. Worldwide, it has sold over 250 million copies.

Rosalind Franklin - Franklin was a British chemist and crystallographer whose work with x-ray diffraction led to the discovery of the DNA double helix — which changed conceptions around genetic information. However, it took 15 years for scientists to acknowledge her contributions to their work.

Caresse Crosby - Crosby was a renowned publisher and patron of “Lost Generation” artists, but as a teen in 1914 she patented the modern brassiere. Despite mixed success, the bra became one of the most sold items of women’s clothing of all time.

In other cases, women were thwarted by the social and gender norms of their day. It wasn’t so long ago that some women were expected to step down after they got married, forced out of jobs because legislation at the time decreed that women had to leave public service after marrying.