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Be the Next Big Female Inventor

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by Susan J Bowes (subscribe)
Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published June 3rd 2014
The girl;s quirky ideas make inventions work
I recently took a survey of the opinions of my girlfriends on what they thought needed to be invented, if they had the knowledge and money to do so. Funnily enough, women have been inventing and/or coming up with the ideas to invent items for many centuries. So here are some of the ideas.

Pantyhose that do not run. There are companies who promote their brand of pantyhose that supposedly do not run, however we all know that eventually they end up in the same place as the others that don't quote that statement... in the rubbish bin.

Pantyhose, Inventions, Ideas
The invention of the "pantyhose

'In 1930, Wallace Carothers, Julian Hill, and other researchers for the DuPont Company studied chains of molecules called polymers, in an attempt to find a substitute for silk. Pulling a heated rod from a beaker containing carbon-and alcohol-based molecules, they found the mixture stretched and, at room temperature, had a silky texture. This work culminated in the production of nylon marking the beginning of a new era in synthetic fibers. In 1959, Glen Raven Mills of North Carolina introduced pantyhose invented by Allen Gant. In 1965, Glen Raven Mills developed a seamless pantyhose version that coincided with the introduction of the miniskirt.'


Handbags, Leather Goods,
Design of the "handbag"

Handbags made to order. There were many ideas put forward on this topic as the nightmare of our bottomless pit, aka the handbag, sees us scratching around for that one item that was on the top last time we looked. How does that happen? And then there is the endless frustrations lobbed on us by our men folk who just can't understand why we can't locate things at the drop of a hat.

Leather Goods, Handbags
Too big, too small, too many pockets, not enough pockets

We need a handbag made to order as each of us has different tastes, needs and uses - or maybe it would be as simple as "hire a handbag" for a few days to try it out. If it's a success, then we can purchase it. Has anyone thought of this yet?

It's easy to see, we need lights that come on when we open them up and light coloured linings as well. Depending on how many mobile phones you have, for example a work and personal mobile, we need two purpose-built pockets for them. Then there are the keys to the car, sunglasses and perhaps reading glasses, notepad and pen, comb, makeup, oh and don't forget the wallet. The weight of the bag certainly needs to be addressed as our poor shoulders can take a hiding whilst trying to juggle more than one thing at a time, and at that very same time, the straps of the handbag fall off the shoulders.

Leather Goods, Collectables, Handbags
NICE!! but perhaps not practical - where does the laptop go?

'It's hard to pinpoint an exact date for when handbags came about, but it's fair to say handbags aren't a modern invention-many Egyptian hieroglyphs even depict early versions of the handbag. By the 16th century it was normal for handbags to be made from everyday materials such as cloth and leather.'

From The History of Handbags

Washing machines that wash, dry and fold. This is an interesting one as not all of us like to have our clothes put in the dryer, preferring fresh air and a bright sunny days to flush away the dirt and germs. However, for those ladies on the run with no time to spare this would be a good idea - a robot washing machine that you could programme yourself in the way you wanted your garments folded.

'It may seem hard to believe that the first modern style-washing machine existed as far back as 1851, but historians have found that a type of washing machine that used a drum like the ones we use today was created in the late 18th century.'

From Who Invented It?

'On November 2, 2004 a new Air Jet Dry system from Hitachi not only washes clothes - but dries them as well, all in the one compact machine.'

From Gizmag

On researching the internet there is a machine that folds clothes, however they are mainly invented for Laundromats and are in the vicinity of US$15 000. Maybe a little out of our price range just yet.

Shopping trolleys. Don't we detest shopping trolleys, as even the latest designs still have a mind of their own? Even weighing them down with goods doesn't seem to make them any easier to steer. Ideas that have been suggested for trolleys are ones to be built with a lever that allows the basket to move up and down as you put goods in and take them out alleviating any strain on your back. Another interesting idea was to invent a scanner in the trolley so it adds up your goods before you reach the checkout. Through research I found that the scanner has been designed and is in use in some US stores. We can hardly wait until it comes to Australia.

'One of the first shopping carts was introduced on June 4, 1937, the invention of Sylvan Goldman, owner of the Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain in Oklahoma City.'

From Wikipedia

Below are some of the inventions throughout history that have been created by women:

Margaret Knight – paper bag machine
Mary Anderson – windscreen wipers
Bette Nesmith Graham – Liquid Paper
• Ruth Handler – Barbie doll
• Mary Phelps Jacob – modern brassiere
• Dr Grace Murray Hopper – COBOL Computer Language
• Stephanie Kwolek - Kevlarฎ (the main ingredient in the production of bullet proof vests)

Although these ideas were collated from my survey, they are common thoughts and subjects we girls often talk about over the get-together cups of coffee. So instead of that routine "craft afternoon" with friends, why not get together to whip up a brilliant idea? You and the girls may be just that collective group to make it happen. And of course if the idea takes on, you may be wealthy indeed.
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Your Comment
Fabulous article. Enjoyed reading it :)
by Joy (score: 3|1916) 2425 days ago
Definitely some food for thought! And you really do have to wonder why no one has come up with a user-friendly shopping trolley yet.
by Janice Heath (score: 2|398) 2418 days ago
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