Grace Hopper along with Howard Aiken, in 1944, designed a five-ton, room-sized machine known as Harvard's Mark I computer. She invented the compiler that translated written language into computer code and coined the terms "bug" and "debugging" when she had to literally remove moths from the device. In 1959, Hopper was part of the team that developed COBOL, one of the first modern programming languages.
2. Windshield Wipers
Mary Anderson invented the first manual windshield wipers in 1903. Then Charlotte Bridgwood, invented an automatic version with an electric roller in 1917. Neither took off right away but by the time Anderson's patent expired in 1920, Cadillac included them in every car model, and other companies soon followed.
The waterproof "Boater" was created in 1951 by Marion Donovan. Originally made with a shower curtain, was first sold at Saks Fifth Avenue. Donovan sold the patent to the Keko Corporation for $1 million and then created an entirely disposable model a few years later. Pampers was born in 1961. This woman deserves a holiday in her name!
4. Circular Saw
Yep, Tabitha Babbitt thought of the circular saw after watching the two-man pit saw that only cut when pulled forward. Her prototype attached a circular saw blade to her spinning wheel in 1813. Babbitt's Shaker community didn't approve of filing a patent, but they took full advantage of the invention!
Inventor Josephine Cochrane was thinking of her servants when in 1886, she patented the first dishwasher. It used a combination of high water pressure, a wheel, a boiler, and a wire rack.