Women played an essential role in the history of engineering. Even through the weight of sexist structures, they produced some of the best technological innovations. Many important constructions could be traced back to the engineering skills of women pioneers in the field.
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1. Edith Clarke
Clarke’s designs were later used for numerous dams throughout the North American west. As you can imagine, electrical engineering is a very complex field and it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to imagine the wealth of application areas for which we use electricity. Edith Clark was a pioneer in one of the most important fields of engineering and the first woman to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with an electrical engineering degree, at a time when women were still uncommon in college.
2. Sarah Guppy
At a time when women were not allowed to own property in their own name, Sarah Guppy managed to claim a large number of engineering inventions. Her greatest contribution to engineering was a special design for anchoring suspension bridges in 1811.
3. Martha Coston
The American Civil War will always be remembered as the bloodiest war in US history, in which women played a central role. Out of a list of nurses, soldiers, and medical professionals, one pioneer stands out from the rest – Martha Coston. She was responsible for communications technology for the US Navy during the Civil War. Coston invented the “Coston night signals” named after her. To date, her invention is still being used by the US Navy.
4. Emily Roebling
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York’s most iconic landmarks and frames the classic view of the famous Manhattan skyline. It was built in 1883, at a time when New York’s engineering landscape was dominated by men. But Emily Roebling was the master of the project. Washington Roebling, the husband to Emily Roebling, originally headed the project but was caught in illness. Emily took over in his place overseeing the daily construction of one of the biggest engineering projects in the history of America.
5. Mary Anderson
Imagine you are behind the wheel of the car, it is heard and it is raining, and with the push of a button, you have a clear view again. If we were in control today, we owe an invention to Mary Anderson: the windshield wiper. What would driving be like today if Anderson didn’t get a patent for her invention? Many people had very interesting rights differently from Anderson’s invention. Back then, many drivers had to be distracted by the back and forth movement of the wiper blades, which in turn caused accidents.