Picturing Women Inventors is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, in collaboration with the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and is sponsored by Lyda Hill Philanthropies IF/THEN Initiative and Ericsson. Except where noted, images courtesy of Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
If you had to name an inventor, would it be a woman? Or did you first think of a man like Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell? Women haven’t always had equal opportunities to be inventors, or received as much recognition. But throughout American history, women with diverse backgrounds and interests created inventions that change our lives every day.
Catherine "Kate" Gleason became a legend for her achievements in the construction and machine-tool industries, was the first woman member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, pioneered the development of low-cost housing, and became the first woman member of the American Concrete Institute, earning the nickname "Concrete Kate".