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1 year ago
Which of These Genius Inventions Did Women Dream Up?

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Happy Women's History Month! Even though we’re fans of celebrating women’s awesomeness all day every day, it's still pretty great to have a specific month dedicated to honoring women's worth. In that vein, here's a quiz we whipped up that will test whether you know which brilliant inventions were created by women. With each one, ask yourself: Did a man or woman invent this? Then click through to learn the answer.

 
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Can you imagine making it through commuting in dreadful winters without windshield wipers? Or trying to drive through a thunderstorm without the trusty blades that up your visibility while getting to your destination? Thanks to the windshield wiper, patented in 1903, you don’t have to. Before the windshield wiper became commercially available, drivers stopped frequently to scrape off whatever was building up on their windshields.

RELATED: Why It's Always a Bad Idea to Drive When Drowsy

 
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Mary Anderson applied for a patent for a swinging arm with a rubber blade that would be operated by a lever from inside the car. The lever would make the rubber blade swipe back and forth across a windshield, removing rain and snow and making it easier to see. Within 10 years, mechanical windshield wipers were a normal feature on most cars.  Thanks, Mary!

 
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Liquid paper, a quick way to erase mistakes without having to start all over again, is a staple in every office environment. A resourceful inventor came up with the idea, named it "Mistake Out," and sold the first bottle in 1956.

RELATED: The Workout That Tells Your Office Job to Suck It

 
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Bette Nesmith Graham was a secretary for the Texas Bank & Trust. Using a paintbrush, she started erasing her errors with a water-based paint and sold her first bottle in 1956. She perfected it, patented it under the name Liquid Paper, and was selling 100 bottles a month by 1957. More than a decade later, in 1968, the venture was successful enough to warrant having a factory and head office.

 
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The The DayOne Purification Waterbag helps treat one of the world's biggest issues: a lack of clean drinking water. The 10-liter backpack collects and purifies water, offering a visual indication that the water is safe to drink.

RELATED: Q&A: How Much Water Should I REALLY Drink on a Long Run?

 
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Civil engineer Tricia Compas-Markman is the founder and CEO of DayOne Response, Inc., which represents the DayOne Purification Waterbag. She and her team are especially invested in using their groundbreaking technology to help with disaster relief; she invented the bag after seeing the terrible effect of waterborne diseases following the 2004 tsunami.

 
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When you've got an important event coming up, you might turn to Spanx to smooth you out under your dress. Thanks to their almost magical sucking-in powers and variety of styles, Spanx are a must-have for both regular women and celebs dealing with gotta-impress-everyone parties.

RELATED: You HAVE to Watch These Guys Try on Spanx

 
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Although it's feasible that a guy might have listened to his girlfriend's clothing complaints and come up with the idea on his own, Spanx, which Forbes reports was officially founded in 2000, is around thanks to Sara Blakely's brainstorming. Blakely wasn't satisfied with how she looked in a pair of white pants, so she just chopped the feet off some control-top pantyhose and turned that moment of genius into a shapewear powerhouse. In 2012, Forbes named her the world's youngest self-made female billionaire.

 
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The modern dishwasher was patented in 1886. In 1893, its inventor showed it off at the Chicago World's Fair and scored honors for the product's ingenious design. Although at first some people maintained that they enjoyed doing their own dishes and most houses didn't have the capability to generate enough hot water to run the machine, dishwashers are a coveted household item today.

RELATED: The Super-Smart Way to Get the Leftover Smell and Taste Out of Food Containers

 
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Josephine Cochrane came up with a machine that used wire compartments, a wheel lodged in a copper boiler, and a motor to douse dirty dishes in hot, soapy water.

 
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Kevlar is a super strong, flame-resistant fiber. Basically, it's a scientific tour de force. In 1971, Kevlar was released for commercial use and became a key ingredient in bulletproof vests.

RELATED: 3 Times Science Hated Women in 2014

 
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Scientist Stephanie Kwolek was originally going to be a doctor, but she wound up as a laboratory chemist instead. She eventually focused on different types of synthetic fibers, which led to her invention of Kevlar.

 
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Everyone knows how frustrating it can be to see a fridge packed with fruits and veggies that are going bad. That's the point of FreshPaper by Fenugreen, a recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable sheet infused with various extracts that can keep your produce mush-free for two to four times longer than usual.

RELATED: 7 Fruits and Veggies You Can Stop Peeling

 
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Kavita Shukla dreamed up the idea when, while spending time in India during middle school, she accidentally ingested tap water. Her grandmother created a mixture of spices to ward off any illness, and it worked. Shukla realized some of those spices halted the growth of fungus and bacteria, so when she got home, she started making the mixture on her own and testing it on fruits and vegetables. After perfecting her product, she founded Fenugreen in 2010, when she officially started distributing FreshPaper sheets at farmers markets and street fairs.

 
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As you've realized by now, all of the inventions in this slideshow were created by women with particularly entrepreneurial spirits. It's undeniable proof that women are just as smart, capable, and motivated as men. That's a point that's...well...duh. But it's also a super important one to make—and totally worth celebrating. Have a great Women's History Month, everyone!

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