Today is National Women’s Day in South Africa, bringing attention to the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of our awesome females. We’re doing our own spin on celebrations by honouring these women who created tech we can’t live without today.
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Wireless Transmission Technology
That wifi or Bluetooth you’re currently using wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for Austrian/American actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr. Lamarr developed secret communications during WWII, which research laid the groundwork for all wireless transmission tech used today.
The Computer Algorithm
Mathematician and poet, Ada Lovelace is believed to have created the first computer algorithm back in the 1840s. She was busy translating Italian instructions on a machine and then made additional notes, which many consider to be an algorithm i.e. a program that tells a machine what to do. Based on this work, Lovelace is considered as the world’s first computer programmer.
In 1950 American, Grace Murray Hopper invented the compiler, which translates English commands into computer code. She developed this translator while working on IBM’s Harvard Mark I and was the third person to program the computer.
Hopper went on to create the Flow-Matic, which was a compiler that was used to program the first commercially available computers. She was apparently also the first person to refer to a computer glitch as a “bug”.
Marie van Brittan Brown and Albert Brown (her husband) were responsible for inventing the home security system. The pair developed the system in response to the lack of police assistance in Queens, New York in the 1960s. The system consisted of a series of cameras fed through peepholes that would monitor an entire area.
The Windscreen Wiper
In 1903 American, Mary Anderson received a patent for the world’s first windscreen wiper. She came up with the idea after a visit to New York when she was travelling in a vehicle where the windscreen kept getting frosted up. She was granted a 17-year patent for a device which had a lever inside the vehicle that controlled the wiper fitted on outside of the windscreen.
Florence Parpart is the elusive American inventor who patented the idea for the modern refrigerator back in 1914. Her invention rendered the icebox obsolete and made her extremely rich as she was very good at marketing and selling her products.