A Mighty Girl had a great piece about this wonderfully talented inventor and we thought we'd share since neither of us had heard too much about her before now. A Mighty Girl has some books about her and other awesome women of science on their website. Be sure to check it out!
"Today's Mighty Girl Hero is inventor Margaret "Mattie" E. Knight, who is widely considered the most famous female inventor of the 19th century. Nicknamed “Lady Edison,” Knight was responsible for nearly 100 inventions and held more than 20 patents on a wide array of inventions including a rotary engine, shoe-cutting machine, numbering machine, a dress and skirt shield, and most famously, a machine to fold and glue paper bags.
Born in Maine in 1838, Knight frequently thought up ideas for new inventions and ways of doing things even as a child. At age 12, after witnessing a near-disaster at her brothers' place of employment, she was inspired to create a stop-motion device to prevent factory accidents. At the age of 30, she put together a wooden model for one of her ideas: a machine to fold and glue paper, forming a flat-bottomed paper bag -- the very type of paper bag you will find in grocery stores today. For this invention, for which the diagram is pictured here, she has been credited as the "inventor of the paper bag."
For her incredible inventiveness and impressive accomplishments, Knight was presented with the Decoration of the Royal Legion of Honour by Queen Victoria in 1871, and inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006."
Text and photo source from A Mighty Girl
Julie and Jenavieve
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