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Hertha Ayrton

The first woman proposed for membership in the Royal Society, Hertha Ayrton created inventions from tools architects used for enlarging and reducing drawings to fans that could clear poison gas from mine shafts.

Ruth Arnon

Immunologist Ruth Arnon and her long-time collaborator Michael Sela made unprecedented breakthroughs when they developed the first synthetic antigen and the first drug approved for treating multiple sclerosis, Copaxone.

Judith Graham Pool

Physiologist Judith Graham Pool revolutionized the treatment of hemophilia by isolating factor VIII and creating a concentrate made from blood plasma that could be frozen, stored, and used by hemophiliacs in their own homes.

Virginia Morris Pollak

Virginia Morris Pollak’s artistic career and her longtime community service collided in WWII when she used her deep understanding of clay, plaster, and metal to revolutionize reconstructive surgery for wounded servicemen.


Leaders in the Lab


Stars of STEM and Screen

Actress Hedy Lamarr patents the basis for WiFi

August 11, 1942

“All creative people want to do the unexpected.” — Actress Hedy Lamarr

Frances Slanger

One of four nurses to wade ashore at Normandy Beach on D-Day, Frances Slanger was the only nurse to die as a result of enemy action in the European Theater.

Ruth Mosko Handler

Ruth Mosko Handler is best known as the inventor of the Barbie doll, but her most important work may be her prosthetics for survivors of breast cancer.

Living by Their Own Codes

Women who make history rarely feel the need to adhere to others' narratives—and that goes double for Jewish women.  So it's not surprising that when Radia Perlman, architect of many of the routing and bridging protocols that make the modern Internet possible, discusses her childhood, she casually disposes of the standard geek-culture heroic origin story: "I did not fit the stereotype of the 'engineer.' I never took things apart or built a computer out of spare parts."  Irene Greif, a fellow computer scientist who brought ethnographers, anthropologists and sociologists into systems design through her field of computer-supported cooperative work, cheerfully admits: "I have a whole history of always choosing marginal roles and in marginal subjects of research and so on for myself."  Her work, though, has turned out to be anything but marginal. 


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Inventors." (Viewed on December 1, 2015) <>.


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