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Randice Altschul disposable cell phoneMary Anderson windshield wiperBarbara Askins ScientistEssential Potions Logo
Randi Altschul, Mary Anderson, Barbara Askins

1999 Randice-Lisa "Randi" Altschul was issued a series of patents for the world's first disposable cell phone. Trademarked the Phone-Card-Phone®, the device is the thickness of three credit cards and made from recycled paper products.

1974 Virgie Ammons, inventor and woman of color who invented a device for dampening fireplaces.

1903 Mary Anderson was granted her first patent for a window cleaning device - the windshield wiper. Her invention could clean snow, rain, or sleet from a windshield by using a handle inside the car. Her goal was to improve driver vision during stormy weather.

1975 Barbara Askins was hired by NASA to find a better way to develop astronomical and geological pictures taken by researchers. She is the inventor who developed a totally new way of processing film using a method of enhancing the pictures with radioactive materials. The process was so successful that its uses were expanded beyond NASA research to improvements in X-ray technology and in the restoration of old pictures.


Katherine Blodgett Scientist
Katherine Blodget
1988 Patricia Bath became the first African American woman doctor to receive a patent for a medical invention. Her patent is for a method for removing cataract lenses, transformed eye surgery by using a laser device that makes the procedure more accurate.

1888 Miriam Benjamin, a Washington D.C. school teacher was the second black woman to receive a patent. Her invention was called the Gong and Signal Chair for hotels. It allowed the customer to summon a waitor from the comfort of their chair. A button on the chair wouls buzz the waiter's station, letting them k now that the customer needed service. Her invention was also used by the United States House of Representatives.

1997 Patricia Billings patents a fire resistant building material called Geobond. A sculptor trying to protect her plaster works, she comes across this material through experimentation. It replaces asbestos because of it's non-toxic ingredients.

1938 Katherine Blodgett, a remarkable female scientist worked for General Electric, was the first woman to earn a Ph. D in Physics from Cambridge University in 1926. First woman to receive the Photographic Society of America Award as well as other awards. She researched monomolecular coatings with Nobel Prize winning Dr. Irving Langmuir. Her discovery was a way to apply coatings layer by layer to glass and metal. The discovery was the world's first 100% transparent, nonreflective, invisible glass. Used in many applications, including eyeglasses, microscopes, telescopes, camera and projector lenses.

1951 Bessie Blount, an African American physical therapist that worked with injured WW II soldiers. Her electrical device allowed amputees to feed themselves by biting down on a tube to deliver one mouthful of food at a time. The United States Veteran's Administration gave her no support, so she gave the patent rights to the French government in 1952. The French government put the device to work helping many war veterans.

1892 Sarah Boone, an African American woman who patented an improvement to the ironing board. Her board was very narrow and curved to fit a sleeve and make ironing both sides of the sleeve much easier.

1957 Rachel Fuller Brown and Elizabeth Lee Hazen invent the worlds first antifungal antibiotic - nystatin. Not only did it heal human ailments, but was used to treat Dutch Elm disease and restore water-damaged artwork from the effects of mold. The two female scientists donated the royalties of their invention, over $13 million dollars to a nonprofit Research Corporation for the advancement of academic scientific study. The women were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1994.


marie curie physicist chemist Nobel Prize
Marie Curie
1850 Josephine Garis Cochran patented a wooden machine with a hand turned wheel that splashed water on dishes. The machine hardly worked. In 1886, she proclaimed that "If nobody else is going to invent a dishwashing macvhine, I'll do it myself." She unveiled her invention in 1893 at the World's Fiar, but only hotels and large restaurants bought her hand operated mechanical dishwasher idea. It wasn't until the late 1950's that dishwashers caught on with the general public. The company she founded to manufacture these dish washers eventually became KitchenAid.

1871 Martha Coston perfected her deceased husband's rough idea for a pyrotechnic flare called Night Signals that allowed ships to communicate messages at night. Rights were purchased by the U.S. Navy. It is a system based on color and pattern, using various color combinations the flares made ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communication possible. They became known as Maritime Signal Flares.

1989 Dianne Croteau with partners Richard Brault and Johathana Vinden invent the CPR mannequin = Actar 911. It was designed to teach CPR or Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation. CPR is used to save people suffering cardiac arrest.

1867 - 1934 Marie Curie was the Polish scientist, physicist and chemist who along with her husband Pierre, discovered Radium and Polonium, radioactive metals. They studied the x-rays they emitted and found that the harmful properties could kill tumors. She decided not to patent her methods of processing radium or it's medical applications. They received a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901, followed by a second Nobel prize in chemistry for sucessfully isolating pure radium and determining radium's atomic weight. She died of leukemia because of her constant contact with radioactivity and x-rays.


Marion Donovan, inventor of the disposable diaper. Marie was born into a famiy of inventors. She created a plastic covering for cloth diapers and her first "Boater" or disposable diaper was born.


1954 Dr. Gertrude Elion patents her leukemia fighting drug 6-mercaptopourine. Her research led to the development of another drug called Imuran which aids the body in accepting transplanted organs, also Zovirax a drug that fights herpes. Her name is also attached to an additional 45 patents. In 1988 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine along with George Hitchings and Sir James Black for the developoment of 6-mercaplopourine which is used in chemotherapy to treat children with leukemia.. She was inducted into the Nationial INventors Hall of Fame in 1991.


edith flanigen invents molecular sleeves
Edith Flanigen
1956 Edith Flanigen, one of the most inventive chemists of all time, begins to work on the new technology "molecular sleeves". They are crystalline structures used to filter and break down crude oil during the refining process. These molecular sleeves have improved gasoline production, making it more efficient, clean and safe. She worked for Union Carbide for 42 years.

Mid 1940's, Helen Free along with Alfred Free invented the home Diabetes Test. At the time, her name was Helen Murray. She and Alfred were chemists working together in biochemistry at the Research Facility at Miles Laboratories, Inc. They were married in 1947 and continued their working collaboraton, becoming two of the world's leading experts on urinalysis.

1982, Sally Fox rediscovered the original colored cotton which grew in Indo-Pakistan, Egyopt and Peru from around 2700 B.C. This cotton grew in colors: mocha, tan, grey and red-brown. When the industrial revolution hit and cotton looms were introduced, this short fibered colored cotton was replaced with white long fiber cotton because it worked better in the looms. The naturally colored cotton varieties almost became extinct. Sally Fox rediscovered a small almount of the brown cotton seeds in 1982 and began research in making the colored cotton also a long fibered variety. Her invention was called FoxFibre, a strong long fibered colored cotton. In 1989 she opened Natural Cotton Colours, Inc.


lillian gilbrith invents kitchen appliances
Lillian Moller Gilbreth
Mid 1900's, Frances Gabe invents the self cleaning house. It is a combination of around 68 time, space and labor saving mechanisms that make traditional housework obsolete. She lives in the prototype of her self -cleaning house in Newberg, Oregon.

1878 - 1972 Lillian Moller Gilbreth was a pioneer in ergonomics. She patented many kitchen appliances including the electric food mixer refrigerator shelves in the doors, foot pedal lid opening trash can to name a few. She was also one of the first scientists to recognize the effects of stress and sleep loss on the worker. She was an industrial engineer for General Electric improving kitchen designs. In 1966 she became the first woman elected into the National Academy of Engineering. Ergonomics is the study of fitting the workplace to the worker, to prevent work related injuries and illness in the workplace.

July 14, 1885, Sarah E. Goode was the fist African American woman to receive a U.S. patent, #322,177 for her cabinet bed.

1956 Bette Nesmith Graham begins the Mistke Out Company, later becoming Liquid Paper from her home North Dallas. She turned her kitchen into a laboratory, mixing up her invention with an electric mixer. Bette wanted to be an artists, but after World War II she found herself divorced and with a small child to support. She became an executive secretary. To conceal her typing errors, she mixed tempera waterbased paint in a color that matched the stationary and brushed it onto the paper. Her son Michael Nesmith (later one of the Monkees) along with his friends, helped his mom fill jars of correction fluid. By 1967, it was a million dollar business. She set up two foundations to help women find new ways to earn a living. When she died in 1980, she had just sold her corporation for 47.5 million.

1990's to the present - Temple Grandin, an animal scientist who invented livestock handling devices and studies livestock behaviour, designing facilities for humane slaughter, to decrease or eliminate the fear and pain animals experienced.

1994, KK Gregory at the age of ten became an inventor and an entrepreneur. She invented Wristies and started Wristies, Inc. Wristies are protective winter wear that is worn under your coat and gloves to block snow and wind from entering any unprotected gaps. She became the youngest person to sell on QVC the Home Shopping Network.


Krisztina Holly
Krisztina Holly

1975, Ruth Handler - After a personal bout with breast cancer and undergoing a mastectomy in 1970 Ruth Handler, one of the creators of the Barbie Doll and co-founder of Mattel, designed a replacement breast that was more similar to a natural one. In 1975, Handler received a patent for Nearly Me, a prosthesis made of material close in weight and density to natural breasts.

1957, Elizabeth Lee Hazen - and Rachel Fuller Brown combined their efforts to develop the anti-fungal antibiotic drug nystatin. The drug was used to cure many disfiguring, disabling fungal infections as well as to balance the effect of many antibacterial drugs.

1912 - 1950's, Beulah Henry - created about 110 inventions and held 49 patents. Beulah Henry was considered one of the "Lady Edisons" for her prolific career in inventing. A partial list of Beulah Henry's inventions includes: • vacuum ice cream freezer (1912) • umbrella with a variety different colored snap-on cloth covers (1924) • the first bobbinless sewing machine (1940) • "Protograph" - worked with a manual typewriter to make four copies of a document (1932) • "Continuously attached Envelopes" for mass mailings (1952) • "Dolly Dips" soap-filled sponges for children (1929) • "Miss Illusion" doll with eyes that could change color and close (1935)

1964, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin - She won the 1964 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her determinations by X-ray techniques of the structures of important biochemical substances. Dorothy used X-Rays to find the structural layouts of atoms and the overall molecular shape of over 100 molecules including: penicillin, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, and insulin.

1991, Krisztina Holly - As an undergraduate at the Media Lab at MIT, Krisztina Holly helped develop the world's first computer-generated, full-color reflection hologram. She also co-designed and built a head-eye vision robot and developed a robotic weld-seam-tracking program for the space shuttle main engine.

1971, Erna Schneider Hoover - Erna started work as a researcher at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, where she created a computerized telephone switching system. The switching system used a computer to monitor incoming calls and then automatically adjusted the call's acceptance rate, thus helping to eliminate overloading problems. The principles of Erna Schneider Hoover's design are still used today. She was awarded one of the first software patents ever issued.

1952, Grace Hopper - Was one of the first programmers to transform large digital computers from oversized calculators into relatively intelligent machines capable of understanding "human" instructions. Hopper invented the first computer "compiler" in 1952. A compiler is software that makes other computer software called programming languages easier to write.


1913, Mary Phelps Jacob - patented the first modern brassiere. During her time the only acceptable undergarment was the corset, which was stiffened with whaleback bones and visible along plunging necklines and through sheer fabrics. Using two silk handkerchiefs and some pink ribbon, she designed the alternative to the corset.

1880, Amanda Jones - invented the vacuum method of canning to preserve food, calling it the Jones process. She also invented and created and patented an oil heating furnace.

1928, Marjorie Joyner - invented a permanent wave machine which curled or “permed” women’s hair.


1927, Anna Keichline - known for inventing the K brick. This brick was hollow and made of fireproof clay. You could fill the K brick with insulating or soundproofing material meant for hollow wall construction.

1809, Mary Dixon Keis - was the first woman to receive a U.S. Patent. She invented a process for weaving straw with thread or silk thereby improving the process of making hats. First lady at the time, Dolley Madison said hats off to Mary Keis whose invention provided an opportunity for American industries to replace the loss of European goods because Napolean was blocking trade to hurt his enemies economically


1941, Hedy Lamarr - invented a secret communication system that helped the allies defeat the Germans in World War II. It manipulated radio frequencies between transmission and reception thereby developing an unbreakable code so that top-secret messages could not be intercepted. Hedy Lamarr was a famous movie star of the time as well


1715, Sybilla Masters - first American woman inventor in recorded history. At the time, women had no rights to own patents, so it was filed under her husbands name. She invented a way for cleaning and curing the corn that was given to the colonist by the native peoples.

1969, Ann Moore - after being in the Peace Corps in Africa, Ann came up with the idea of the Snugli. In Africa, mothers would carry their babies securely on their backs. Once back at home, she and her mother designed a carrier for Moore’s daughter. Moore and her husband soon formed a company to make and market the carrier.

2008, Krysta Morlan - only a 10th grader, Krysta's first invention was the Cast Coole, a device that relieves the irritation caused by wearing a cast. In high school she invented the Waterbike, a semi submersible, fin propelled pedal bike.


1898, Lyda Newman - designed and patented a new and improved hair brush - easy to clean, durable and easy to make as well. It also had recessed air chambers to provide ventilation while brushing.


1987, Ellen Ocha - was the first Hespanic female astonaut. She invented an optical analysis system that is used for quality control in the manufacturing of various intricate parts. She later patented an optical system which allows these parts to be made robotically.


1993, Betty Rozier and her mother Lisa Vallino invented an intravenous catheter shield which makes the use of IV’s safer and easier. It prevents the needle from being accidentally dislodged and minimizes patient tampering.


1973, Patsy Sherman - obtained a patent for Scotchgard. It was first sold in 1956 after an accidental spill in the lab she worked at. She and other chemists were trying to develop a new kind of rubber when someone accidentally spilled a container of a synthetic latex that Patsy had made. The latex fell on someone’s white tennis shoe, amazingly the area would not clean off with water or solvent and resisted soiling


1980, Valerie Thomas - received a patent for inventing an illusion transmitter. It is a futuristic invention that extends the idea of the TV. The image is located flateley behind a screen and gives off the illusion of having 3 dimensional objects appear as they are right in your living room.

1991, Ann Tsukamoto - the co-patentee of a process to isolate the human stem cell. Her work has helped with the understanding of the blood systems of cancer patients and may one day lead to the cure for the disease.


1879, Mary Walton - patented a method of deflecting smoke stack emissions through water tanks and later adapted that system for the use on locomotives. She also invented a noise reduction system for elevated railroads, receiving this second patent in 1881.

1990, Carol Wior - Wior invented the Slim suit, a women's swimsuit that was guaranteed to take an inch or more off the waist or tummy and look natural. At the age of 22, she bgan a clothing design company at the age of 22 and within a year, was the youngest fashion entrepreneur with a multi million dollar company selling to major retail stores. Her biggest success was the slim suit she designed and patented after a trip to Hawaii.

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ESSENTIAL POTIONS showcasing female inventors, famous discoveries by women, products invented by women.
ESSENTIAL POTIONS showcases female inventors and the discoveries made by women as well as products invented by women.