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Introducing Beulah Louise Henry

Introducing Beulah Louise Henry

Introducing Beulah Louise Henry

This week we are looking at the female inventor Beulah Louise Henry. In 2006, she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. However, many of us still know little about this exceptional woman who earned 49 patents and made 110 inventions.

In the early stages of her career she primarily focused on household technologies. In 1912, for example, Henry received her first patent for a vacuum ice cream freezer. By the mid 1920s, she was living in New York, running a company which manufactured her umbrella with swappable  snap on covers.

Beulah herself once declared ‘I invent because I cannot help it’. Thus, she went onto create a “protograph” This was a device attached to a typewriter, which produced four copies and the original without having to use carbon paper. Between 1932 and 1970 she was granted 12 patents associated with improvements for the typewriter. In 1935, she also invented the “Miss Illusion” doll, whose eyes would close as if asleep and change colour. In 1940, she created – overnight- the world’s bobbingless sewing machine. We can see from this snapshot how Beulah changed the course of History with her many astounding inventions.

In this era, Henry was one of the few women who became a professional inventor and was able to make a profit from it. Anyone can become an engineer and influence tomorrow – solving the challenges of the 21st century. In Henry’s own words¬† – all that’s needed ‘is time, space and freedom’. So why not go ahead and get inventing? Our National Engineering Competition for Girls is the perfect opportunity for students aged 11 – 18 to put their inventing skills to the test. To find out more visit our website here.