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Women while just recently making a marked presence in business leadership roles have been key figures in other areas of industry. Take inventors for example. Women inventors have made a large impact on society and below we give credit to these influential women and learn a little about them.

Betsy Ancker-Johnson

According to the University of California Physics Department, "Betsy Ancker-Johnson's early contributions to the study of the instabilities that can occur in plasmas in solids, such as pinching (1963) and oscillatory behavior (1962), culminated in Betsy Ancker-Johnson's observation of microwave emission from an electron-hole plasma (1967).

Mary Anderson – Inventor of the Windshield Wiper

10 things women invented 5While riding a streetcar during a particularly snowy day, Mary Anderson observed the agitated and uncomfortable behavior of the vehicle’s cold driver, who had to rely on all sorts of tricks—sticking his head out of the window, stopping the vehicle to clean the windshield—to see where he was driving. Following the trip, Anderson returned to Alabama and, in response to the problem she witnessed, drew up a practical solution: a design for a windshield blade that would connect itself to the interior of the car, allowing the driver to operate the windshield wiper from inside the vehicle.

For her “window cleaning device for electric cars and other vehicles to remove snow, ice or sleet from the window,” Anderson was awarded U.S. Patent No. 743,801. However, Anderson couldn’t get any takers for her idea. All the corporations she approached turned her windshield wiper down, out of a perceived lack of demand. Discouraged, Anderson stopped pushing the product, and, after the contracted 17 years, her patent expired in 1920. By this time, the prevalence of automobiles (and, therefore, the demand for windshield wipers) had skyrocketed. But Anderson removed herself from the fold, allowing corporations and other businesspeople access to her original conception. Today every vehicle on the road uses a variant of her invention.

Dorothy Arzner – Inventor of the Boom Microphone

invented the first boom microphone, and was the first woman in the Director's Guild of America (DGA). At the height of her career as a film director for a major motion picture company, Dorothy Arzner was the only such female director in America.

Invention of the Boom Microphone:

The boom microphone is a microphone that is attached to the end of the boom pole. It is used to hold a microphone out of the line of sight of the camera on a television or film set. The first use of a boom microphone occurred n 1929, invented by director Dorothy Arzner. Arzner used the boom microphone Paramount Studio's first talkie film called The Wild Party starring Clara Bow and Fredric March. Dorothy Arzner did not patent her boom microphone. However, in 1930, E. H. Hansen patented the first boom microphone complete with directional control. Sometimes the person who patents a device is not the original inventor.

Patricia Billings – Inventor of Geobond (Fire resistant construction material)

Patricia Billings in 1997 received a patent for a fire resistant building material called Geobond. Patricia Billings’ work as a sculpture artist put her on a journey to find or develop a durable additive to prevent her painstaking plaster works from accidentally falling and shattering. After nearly two decades of basement experiments, the result of her efforts was a solution which when added to a mixture of gypsum and concrete, creates an amazingly fire resistant, indestructible plaster trademarked Geobond. Not only can Geobond add longevity to artistic works of plastic, but also it is steadily being embraced by the construction industry as an almost universal building material. Geobond is made with non-toxic ingredients which makes it the ideal replacement for asbestos.

Currently Geobond is being sold in more than 20 markets worldwide, and Patricia Billings, great grandmother, artist, inventor, business leader remains at the helm of her carefully constructed Kansas City-based empire.

Above are just a few of the women who made a major impact in business and society. Look forward to more postings about women in business and women inventors here on the Black Anvil website. Black Anvil Construction Supplies is proud to be a Certified Women Owned Business in Texas.

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