A Woman to Know: Beulah Louise Henry
|Julia Carpenter||Apr 22, 2016|
I invent because I cannot help it. — Beulah
(Beulah depicted with one of her inventions, a bathable baby doll. Image via Library of Congress)
They called her "Lady Edison."
After she secured her first patent in 1912 (at age 25! for a vacuum ice cream freezer!), Beulah was on a roll. By the time of her death in 1973, she'd started two different inventing companies and had her name on 40-plus patents (although some historians estimate she was denied credit for more than 50 other inventions).
But Beulah was the best at one thing above all else: making money. She designed things with an eye for hyper-convenience and marketing to the "modern" consumer. Her products included patents for soap-filled sponges, the open-and-close eyelids on baby dolls, a hybrid copier-typewriter, umbrellas with clip-on cloth covers, a pool noodle, a can opener, "device for producing articulate sounds" (huh?), double-stitch sewing machines and life-like dolls shaped like poodles.
Add to your reading list:
Mothers and Daughters of Invention (Autumn Stanley)
Girls Think of Everything: Ingenious Inventions by Women (Catherine Thimmesh)
A Treasury of Foolishly Forgotten Americans (Michael Farquhar)
Of Sugar and Snow: A History of Ice Cream Making (Jeri Quinzio)
Beulah Louise Henry (National Inventors Hall of Fame)
Women of Invention: Women Inventors and Patent Holders (The Library of Congress)
Exploring the History of Women Inventors (Smithsonian)
No Carbon Paper, Beulah Louise Henry Patent (The New York Times)
Beulah Louise Henry in Popular Science, 1935 (Google News Project)
Beulah L. Henry (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Mothers of Inventions (The Washington Post)
Beulah Louise Henry (Engineering and Technology History)
** Please send your own recommendations for women to know! You can browse the archive here for ladies featured previously. Reply to this newsletter with your lady and she might show up in a future edition! **