Women’s History Month – Margaret Knight

Margaret Knight (1838 – 1914) was one of the first recognized American women inventors.  Almost all women have to invent something during some point in their lives.  Most of those inventions are forgotten, or if they continue to be used are placed in the name of male who oversees them, and takes the credit for them.  Young women who want to be inventors and innovators are often discouraged from joining these “traditionally” male clubs.
Margaret didn’t let that stop her.  Nor, did she let poverty stop her.  As a child, she worked in a mill.  She saw the accidents first hand.  In order to save lives, she developed a shuttle that would stop the machine is something, or someone, became caught in it.
Throughout her life, she developed many new inventions.  Many revolved around the mills and sewing industry.  There were machines to improve shoe making, skirt making, and other clothing designs.
She didn’t let men get in her way.  When one man tried to steal her paper bag design, she fought him in the courts and won.  That meant the patent for the machine was in her name, not his.  At that time, a woman rarely stood a chance in court.
Although she patented many items, she was never well off.  While this is true of many inventors, it is especially true for females who did not live the status quo for the time.  However, she may have used her money to help others reach their goals in innovations.

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

https://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/biography/biographies/margaret-knight/

http://www.women-inventors.com/Margaret-Knight.asp

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