Actress and Inventor

Hailed as “the first movie star,” Florence Lawrence shot to fame quickly after a publicity stunt involving a streetcar accident. Appropriately, in 1914 the actress also invented the turn signal as an “auto signalling arm” that she never bothered to patent.

Inventor Behind the Scenes

Born in England in 1770, Sarah Guppy was a mother of six children and an inventor. Among her inventions are caulking that made ships more seaworthy, a kitchen fire hood, a bed that transformed into a home gym, and a design for piling foundation that led to the creation of the suspension bridge.

The Miracle Material

Now used in a diverse array of products including body armor, car tires, boots for firefighters, hockey sticks, cut-resistant gloves, fiber-optic cables, fire-resistant mattresses, canoes, and fire performance props; Kevlar was invented in 1965 by Stephanie L. Kwolek (1923-2014).

The Pirate Queen

Sayyida al-Hurra became Queen of Tétouan (present day northern Morocco) when her husband, the king, died in 1515. After her husband’s death she agreed to marry the king of Morocco, Ahmed al-Wattasi, but insisted that he travel to her, signifying that their marriage would not change her intent to rule.