By: Maddie Ogletree
As we prepare to celebrate all of our mothers’ love, care and contributions to success in our lives this Mother’s Day, Mr. Electric is also paying tribute to the mothers of technology who have made our world what it is today. Without their innovative spirit and perseverance, we wouldn’t have the luxury or convenience of our beloved electronics and appliances, or even, heaven forbid, smartphones. These women paved the way for many electrical inventions that have enhanced our lives in drastic ways.
Josephine Cochrane took matters into to her own hands when she decided she wanted a more efficient way to clean dishes without them getting chipped. So in 1886, she invented a practical mechanical dishwasher for her home. After showing her invention at several exhibitions, she began manufacturing dishwashers for restaurants and hotels.
We can all agree that having electrical refrigerators makes our lives a whole lot easier. Florence Parpart invented the modern refrigerator in 1914 and successfully marketed and sold her invention to many who were able to give their iceboxes the boot.
Not only was Dr. Shirley Jackson the first African-American woman to earn her doctorate at MIT, her technological discoveries paved the way for many telecommunications inventions. Using the research completed by Dr. Jackson, inventors created Caller ID, the portable fax, fiber optic cables and even more inventions that shaped the landscape of modern communications.
Grace Hopper was one the first computer programmers who made incredible strides in developing modern computer technology. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “bug” used to refer to a computer glitch, it comes from the time when Hopper had to remove a moth from her computer that was causing her problems. She developed one of the first computer programing layouts and worked on countless innovative and world-changing projects in her career.
Who says you can’t be an intelligent movie star? The famous Hedy Lamarr, who was a world-famous film actress in the early 20th century, created the technology that was employed for the invention of Wi-Fi. She developed a frequency-hopping system that was patented in 1942 which continues to be used in inventions today.
Maria Telkes’s contributions to solar energy influenced future advancements in home energy. Along with architect Eleanor Raymond, she invented the first solar-powered home in 1947 using solar panels on the roof. Her work set the stage for future advancements in solar energy and its usefulness on a residential level.
So, as you are praising your own mom for all she’s done for you this Mother’s Day, don’t forget to also be thankful for all of these women and their efforts to make your daily household tasks and business to-dos much, much easier.
And, to all the moms out there: Happy Mother’s Day from Mr. Electric! Thanks for all you do to help power our tomorrows.