Alice Parker

Alice Parker (18??-19??) Underscoring the difficulty of honoring the contributions of African American women prior to the Civil Rights Movement, there are not many details about Alice Parker’s life. She was born in Morristown, NJ and graduated from Howard University in 1910. What we do know, is that Parker applied for and was granted a patent on December 23, 1919 for a gas heating system that was a precursor to modern home central heating. While not the first gas furnace patent, Parker’s design showed a unique multiple burner system, each of which could be individually controlled. Her patent also includes … Continue reading Alice Parker

Katharine Burr Blodgett

Katherine Burr Blodgett (1898-1979) Katharine Burr Blodgett was the first woman to be awarded a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Cambridge, in 1926. After receiving her master’s degree, she was hired by General Electric, where she invented low-reflectance “invisible” glass. Once introduced, nonreflective lenses were used for projectors and cameras by the post-war movie industry. Blodgett’s glass was also used for submarine periscopes and airplane spy cameras during World War II. Continue reading Katharine Burr Blodgett