The central heating furnace design that Alice H. Parker patented in December 1919 made use of natural gas for the first time to keep homes warm and toasty. Inspiring her innovation: the limited efficiency of fireplaces (along with the smoke and ash they produce) during the cold winters at her Morristown, New Jersey, house. Many modern homes still employ a similar forced air heating system for which her idea was a precursor.
Also a New York City resident, Marie Van Brittan Brown created an early version of the modern home security system more than a century later. Feeling unsafe due to her neighborhood’s high crime … Continue reading Marie Van Brittan Brown
Anyone who’s ridden modern elevators has Alexander Miles to thank for the stair alternative’s automatic doors. Prior to his design’s 1867 patent, riders had to manually open and close two sets of doors … Continue reading Alexander Miles
A true visionary, Dr. Patricia Bath became the first female African American medical doctor to receive a medical patent when she invented a laser cataract treatment device called a Laserphaco Probe in 1986. (Bath was … Continue reading Dr. Patricia Bath