The Retrieval of a Legacy: Nineteenth-Century American Women Inventors


Throughout the 19th century, women inventors developed significant technologies, yet, because of complex cultural barriers and the pervasive image of the inventor as male, their technological contributions have until now been ignored and undervalued. This study, the first to focus exclusively on 19th-century women, explores the fascinating relationship between women and technology. According to a government census, there were nearly 5,000 patents awarded to women between 1790 and 1888; further, many women invented significant technologies but never received a patent. The individual and collective experiences of these women reveal both why gendered assumptions about women and technology persist and why they are assumptions, not reality.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Westport, CT
Publication year:
  • 2000


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