Women’s Day Series: A patent that made your long drives more comfortable

We must look to the limitless potential that lies ahead. To win the future, we must equip the young women of today with the knowledge, skills and equal access to reach for the promise of tomorrow” – President Barack Obama

It might come as a surprise to some of us but it was actually against the law for women to file patents in their own names, until the late 1800s. This meant that they had to file their inventions under their husband’s or father’s name. Women being the real architects of our society, their achievements are often overlooked.

Today let us talk about an inventor named Margaret A Wilcox, who invented the first car heater. Her invention has made our driving easier because it kept the windows of the vehicles mist free and also maintained the car interior at chosen temperature.

Margaret A Wilcox was born on 1838 in Chicago, US. She was a mechanical engineer and used to experiment on different ideas and creations in her lab which paved the way for her invention. She was granted a patent for car heater on November 28th, 1893. She also invented a combined clothes and dish washer.

car heater patent by Margaret Wilcox.

The abstract of the invention relates to a new and useful improvement in car heaters of that class, which employs a suspended combustion chamber designed to burn fuel oil which is enclosed in a tank hermetically sealed from the outside air and chemically charged with oxygen and the other properties necessary to support combustion; this chamber is preferably arranged beneath the front or rear platform where it will be out of the way, convenient for access and where there will be no possibility of danger. A casting or water-pipe section is arranged within the combustion chamber and within lateral branches of the circulating pipe near its junction or connection. It also includes a spiral Water carrier or conveyor to accelerate the movement of the water. Motion is given to this carrier or conveyer through connection with the axle of the car so that while the car is in motion this carrier is also always in motion. The water is thus forced with great rapidity through the pipes above the car floor on either side of the car and returns through the return pipes to be again heated and forced through the pipes.

This invention was enduring since the car heater allows the riders to travel comfortably. Today, the heater has become an important feature of any car model. So ladies, let us continue to brighten the world with all our knowledge and strength.

Authored by Anjali Santhosh.

Image Source/Attribution here, governed by Creative Commons License CC BY 2.0


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