Notable Women In Automotive
In light of International Women’s Day, here are 5 women who have shaped the automotive industry into what it is today.
Hedy Lammer – Inventor of GPS
The actress was fascinated with military weapon systems and spent her film breaks in a caravan experimenting with technology.
In 1940, she invented a Frequency Hopping System, a key in wireless communication.
Her invention led to the creation of bluetooth, WIFI, and GPS
Lamarr donated her invention to the U.S military to help fight the Nazis. She never profited from her invention.
Mary Anderson – Inventor of the Windshield Wiper
Anderson was a former real estate developer who simply had enough of dealing with the elements.
Her application was first rejected as her invention was not deemed useful. However in 1903 Anderson received a patent for the first “automotive car window cleaning device controlled from inside the car”.
We now refer to this invention as the windshield wiper.
Margaret Wilcox – Inventor of the Car Heater
Wilcox was one of the few mechanical engineers of her time.
She figured out a way to heat a car without electricity in 1893 by channelling hot air from the car engine into the cabin.
Her invention became a luxury feature and was not a stable on standard cars until decades later.
Florence Lawrence – Inventor of Turn and Brake Signals
Lawrence was a movie star and inventor. in 1914, she invented the first mechanical car turn and stop signal.
The original indicator system lowered a flag on a cars rear bumper. The breaking system displayed a stop sign when the driver hit the breaks.
Lawrence neve filed a patent and did not receive money for her work.
Bertha Benz – Inventor of Brake Pads
Bnez was married to Karl Benz (Mercedes-Benz) who was struggling to sell his car.
Without telling her husband, she hit the road and drove 120 miles to prove that her husbands invention was usable.
On the journey, Benz realised that the wooden brakes were failing, so she stopped at a shoemakers store to have leather soles attached to the wooden breaks. She also sparked the idea for the first gear system after having to push the car up hills.