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Women's History Month

The Origins of Women's History Month, Women Inventors

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Women's History Month

Women's History Month - The theme for 2009 is “Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet.”

Courtesy of National Women's History Project
The roots of National Women’s History Month goes back to March 8, 1857, when women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions. International Women’s Day was first observed in 1909. Before the 1970’s, women’s history was an under-reported topic and little public education was concentrated on women's history. But that did not mean women had not made history worth exposure and honor.

The Origins of Women's History Month

The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration in 1978 and chose the week of March 8 to coincide with International Women’s Day. This was the beginning of a full fledged Women's History Month and exposing the contributions to history women had made.

More schools and institutes began hosting Women’s History Week programs. And a grassroots effort to have Congress declare a national Women’s History Week was born.

In 1987, the National Women’s History Project petitioned Congress to expand the celebration to the entire month of March. Since then, the National Women’s History Month Resolution has been approved every year with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. And the rest as we say is history.. Women's History!

Women's History Month - Women Inventor Resources

Until about 1840, only 20 U.S. patents were issued to women. Patents are the proof of "ownership" of an invention and only the inventor(s) can apply for a patent. In the past, women were not allowed equal rights of property ownership (patents are a form of intellectual property) and many women patented their inventions under their husband's or father's names. In the past, women were also prevented from receiving the higher education necessary for inventing.

Mary Kies - Patenting Pioneer

On May 15 1809, Mary Dixon Kies received the first U. S. patent issued to a woman. Kies invented a process for weaving straw with silk or thread. At that time, in many states women could not legally own property independent of their husbands and many women inventors didn't bother to patent their new inventions. Mary Kies broke that pattern on May 5, 1809.

Women Inventors A-Z

From A-Z the biographies, inventions, and photos of women inventors from Randi Altschul to Mary Walton.

How Many Women Inventors Are There?

Today, thousands of women apply for and receive a patent every year.

Mothers of Invention - Women Inventors

Discover the many famous women inventors who have made their mark in history as "Mothers of Invention".

Railroad Inventions Created by Women Inventors

During the 1800s, several women inventors made important contributions to improving safety and reducing noise pollution from trains.

Trivia Quiz - Mothers of Invention

Test your knowledge about the Mothers of Invention by taking this fun trivia quiz.
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