Today, February 11th is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, proclaimed to achieve full and equal access and participation in science for women and girls.
At BALDER, we take this opportunity to pay homage to three Spanish women from the 19th and 20th centuries who, despite the difficulties of their time and gender, came up with inventions aimed at improving the life of their moment.
Ángela Ruiz Robles (1895-1975) was a teacher and inventor of, among other things, the typewriter and the mechanical encyclopedia, patented in 1949 (Patent No. 190698). The mechanical encyclopedia is considered the precursor to the electronic book. Her patent is entitled “Mechanical, electrical and air pressure process for reading books.” You can consult the full text here: https://consultas2.oepm.es/pdf/ES/0000/000/00/19/06/ES-0190698_A1.pdf
Concepción Aleixandre Ballester (1862-1952) was a teacher, scientist, gynecologist, inventor, activist and feminist. This was a landmark, given that women were not allowed unrestricted access to Spanish universities until 1910. In addition to producing dozens of articles on medicine, health and hygiene in numerous magazines and conferences and delivering numerous speeches in scientific organizations, she invented and patented a device to correct the descent of the uterus, made entirely of metal (Patent No. 47109).
Elia Garci-Lara Catalá (19th Century) was an inventor who registered in 1890 a set of washing machines (Patent No. 10711) that might be considered the first washing machine in history. It was a system of several stages that carried out all the phases of washing, ironing and folding the clothes. If it had been commercialized, it would have provided a great time-saving in household tasks, which in turn would have changed the course of history by giving so many women free time.
To learn more about these and other Spanish female inventors, you can refer to: https://www.oepm.es/export/sites/oepm/comun/documentos_relacionados/Publicaciones/monografias/200_Anios_de_Patentes.pdf
With their admirable tenacity and ability to row against the current, these women are today an example to follow. THANK YOU TO ALL.
—— Article written by Elena Alonso, Associate and European Patent Attorney at BALDER.