March 23, 2012

Women inventors

Canadian Women Invent!

Throughout history, there have been female inventors. Due to preconceived notions about women's role in society and property laws that either prevented women from owning patents or required the transfer of patents upon marriage, there is very little information about women inventors. This book aims to address this oversight by profiling Canadian women inventors from across the country.

These women work in a myriad of industries, from high-tech manufacturing firms to remote northern communities. They are nurses, scientists, artists, mothers, students, and business owners. And they have invented many products, such as:

  • carpet sweeper
  • ski & skate harness
  • emergency evacuation stretcher
  • silicone membrane for heart-lung machines
  • smart bicycle helmet

While somewhat interesting, the book is a little dry. It's just a collection of facts and bare biographical information, with tiny photos and lifeless sketches. Another quibble is that not all the women are really inventors. Surveying seaweed (Constance MacFarlane), naming Magnetic Hill (Muriel Sikorski), or forming a dance group (Clara Schinkel), aren't exactly what one would call inventing. This is the kind of book that languishes in school libraries, to be read only for assignments.

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