Tag: inventions

American Inventions that Changed the World

America is responsible for many achievements that have changed the course of time. Our country has produced thinkers and inventors who created objects, both tangible and sometimes intangible, and have helped people in making their lives better. A few excellent examples include these women who brought radical innovation!

Some inventions changed the world and are still in use today, while others evolved to become something else. It is hard to imagine a day without these things because we have become accustomed to them. Below is a look at just a few of these inventions.

Ferris Wheel 

When the Eiffel tower was made in France, America decided to join the race and introduced the Ferris wheel in 1883. After that, many amusement parks built prototypes for what would become the final Ferris wheel design, although there are many interpretations of that original concept found today. Ferris wheels are named after the famous inventor himself, George Washington Gale Ferris.

The Lunar Module

America is the first country to reach for the stars and land on the moon. In 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin hopped into the lunar module that was built by a team of more than 6000 mechanical and technical engineers. 

Laser Printer

in the same year, when one American man landed on the moon, another one invented the laser printer. In 1969, the printing world changed thanks to the laser printer created by a Xerox engineer Gary Starkweather. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

A comfort food for many, the chocolate chip cookie was invented by Ruth Graves Wakefield in 1930. Chocolate chip cookies have become an integral part of the American dessert cuisine. A lot of ice cream flavors have added chocolate chip cookies to enhance the taste, and chocolate chip cookies milkshakes have become a huge hit, too. 

Traffic Lights

A crucial addition to road safety and management, traffic lights have been controlling road traffic around the world. The first traffic lights were invented in America in the year 1912 by Lester Wire. 

Hearing Aids

People who had trouble hearing and suffered from hearing disabilities owe many thanks o the inventor of hearing aids, Miller Reese Hutchison. Surprisingly enough, Miller wasn’t even a doctor. Still, he took medical classes to understand the functions of the ear and invented the device for people with hearing difficulties, like his childhood friend. 

Cellphones

The cellphone is a device that has changed dramatically over the years. From a device that was located in your car or worn over your shoulder and could make calls without a dedicated phone line, to a device that now can handle the same tasks as a desktop computer and so much more more. The cellphone was first invented by an American engineer Martin Cooper in 1973. He made the first cellular handheld phone. 

For being such a young country, America has gifted the world many creatives who have transformed how we live, built our economy, and the way we live. Looking ahead, we can hope to continue to transform the world with newer and more innovative inventions.

These 5 American Females Brought Radical Innovation to the World

America, though a young country, when compared to many other parts of the world, has produced many important inventions. 

It is easy to look at those inventions and say, “Wow, look at what man has done.” But let’s not forget those contributions made by women, who too often get overlooked for how they helped contribute to radical innovation in the world.

Grace Hopper – Computer Language

Quite possibly the most important and widely used contribution in the modern world, Grace Hopper helped to develop a computer compiling languages for the Mark I computer system.

The Mark I was a computer system located at the Commander Howard Aiken’s Computation Laboratory at Harvard University. At 51 feet long, the machine performed calculations daily that had previously taken months. However, the machine had no way of taking instructions and understanding what to do with them, so she built a new computer language that would do just that. This language would eventually become COBOL, which in the year 2000, was the basis of about 240 billion of the 300 billion lines of computer code that had been written up to that point.

Stephanie Kwolek – Kevlar

Stephanie Kwolek was an engineer employed at Dupont and was tasked with finding ways to create stronger materials. Through her study of petroleum engineering, she figured out how to prepare chemicals in the right conditions to create a material known as Kevlar. 

Kevlar is a collection of synthetic fibers strung together through a special process that yields a material that is five times stronger than steel, lighter than fiberglass, and is heat-resistant. There are currently more than 200 applications for Kevlar, including bulletproof vests, the hulls of boats and aircraft, and so much more.

Shirley Jackson – Subatomic Particles

Shirley Jackson is regarded for her many contributions to the field of subatomic particles that have aided the development and advancements across semiconductors, helium films, and how density waves interact with layered compounds.

She was the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. at MIT and to receive the National Medal of Science; she conducted research for AT&T Bell Laboratories; has collaborated on more than 100 scientific articles; and, in 1995, she was appointed as chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Hedy Lamarr – Spread Spectrum Technology

Hedy Lamarr started her early life as an actor in cinema during the 1930s and 40s. While in her trailer, she was allowed to tinker with electronic devices – her intelligence had largely been ignored in favor of her beauty.

After escaping the Nazi party in 1937, she fled to London with knowledge gained about wartime equipment in Germany, and used for gifts to work on projects she hoped to sell to the U.S. military. Her most notable contribution was a method to prevent radio waves from being jammed. However, the technology wasn’t used until after her patent expired, and she wouldn’t receive credit until 1997. Her invention, which was later named Spread Spectrum Technology, went on to fuel the creation of wi-fi, Bluetooth, GPS, cordless phones, and cellphones.   

Virginia Apgar – Newborn Care

Virginia Apgar created a scoring system to evaluate newborn babies to identify and treat prenatal problems and complications. The Apgar score uses a 10-point system that physicians and nurses can apply during the first one to five minutes after birth to measure breathing, skin color, reflexes, motion, and heart rate. A low score is a signal that immediate medical attention is needed. 

The Surgeon General, Julus Richmond, who held the position between 1977 to 1981, once commented that Apgar, “had done more to improve the health of mothers, babies, and unborn infants than anyone else in the 20th century.” 

Virginia Apgar was one of the first women to attend medical school. She graduated in 1933 from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. She would later return in 1949, and was appointed as the first woman professor at the school and continued to study obstetric and pediatric anesthesia.


Each of these women brought radical innovation to the world, improved our quality of life, and advanced our technology in ways that changed us forever. If you enjoyed this list, then it will be worth your time to check out this list to learn about the women and innovations not featured here.