On International Women’s Day, it seems a perfect opportunity to recognize the six remarkable women who will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame® this May.
Sylvia Blankenship for US Patent No 5518988: 1-MCP for Fruit, Vegetable and Flower Freshness
Ms. Blankenship and biochemist Edward Sisler identified 1-methylcyclopropene (1- MCP), a novel compound that enhances cut flowers, fruit and vegetables storage life and freshness by mitigating the effects of ethylene. Her invention positively impacted society by helping facilitate year-round access to fresh fruit and vegetables and helped reduce food waste. Her patent has contributed more than $25 million in licensing revenues to North Carolina State University.
Lisa Lindahl, Hinda Miller & Polly Smith for US Patent No. 4174717: Sport Bra
Ms. Lindahl, Ms. Miller, and Ms. Smith invented the first specialty undergarment suitable for providing necessary physical support for women during running and other exercises. It was launched as Jogbra®, the first sports bra. Their invention launched a new global industry while they facilitated women’s further participation in athletics while supporting women’s health. The business they created was profitable in year one and ultimately acquired by Playtex Apparel.
Margaret Wu for US Patent Nos. 4827064 & 4827073: Synthetic Lubricants
Ms. Wu, an industrial chemist Margaret Wu disrupted the field of synthetic lubricants. Her work changed how automobile and industrial lubricants are designed and synthesized, resulting in products with better protection, enhanced energy efficiency, and reduced waste oil.
The National Inventor’s Hall of Fame is also recognizing a number of inventors posthumously.
Evelyn Berezin for US Patent No. 3253262: Computer Systems for Business Use
Ms. Berezin was an expert in data transmission and logic design. She is credited with creating the largest interconnected electronic data processing system for business use, the Instamatic airline reservation system for United Airlines.
She and three professional colleagues are also credited with creating the first computerized word processor, one of the earliest commercial products to contain a microprocessor. Data Secretary, which launched in 1971, included features such as “record and playback” to enable the editing of text by delete, cut, and paste.
You can learn more about these and the other remarkable 2020 inductees here. I was thrilled to attend the announcement of the 2020 National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductees at the CES this past January and look forward to an inspiring night as the 2020 Inductees are welcomed into the Hall on May 7, 2020, in Washington DC. You can learn more about this remarkable evening here.