Women's Studies Books

Jaffe, Deborah F'word by Sandy Toksvig: Ingenious Women - from tincture of saffron to flying machines (10635)

Sutton Publishing 1st in pb 2004 4to pb 210pp, v v small area
of delamination at foot of fr cvr o/w F 565 gms
(Order reference 10635).

From preserving saffron to windscreen wipers, dishwashers to bras, women have invented countless unusual and ingenious devices and gadgets. Huge, profitable companies exist as a result of the ideas of women like Melitta Bentz, who devised filter papers for coffee. The ideas of Countess Ada Lovelace were crucial to Charles Babbage and his work on the analytical engine. Yet most female inventors have been denied their place in history, even though they have been at the heart of it.

Ingenious Women examines an intriguing cross-section of female inventors from aroundthe world, beginning with the first British woman patent-holder in 1637 andending with Maria Montessori's educational equipment in 1914. Margaret Knight,an American, eventually won a lengthy court battle with her employer which allowed her to retain ownership of her patent for a machine to make flat-bottomed paper bags. Martha Coston also had a fight on her hands when shedeveloped her late husband's idea for signal flares at sea, as the navy claimed itwas theirs. Madame Roxey Caplin was awarded the prize medal as 'Manufacturer, Designer and Inventor' at the Great Exhibition in 1851 for her corset designs, but two patents which were taken out, based on joint designs, were in her husband's name. In this fascinating book, Deborah Jaffe introduces the women who saw themselves as inventors, electricians, engineers, milliners, nurses, motorcar drivers, gentlewomen, spinsters, wives or duchesses, and gives them their rightful title of 'ingenious women'. The outbreak of the First World War was a watershed in women's lives but, as this book shows, their innovative ideas had already been making an impact on all our lives for nearly 300 years.