Who knew that a woman named Margaret Knight invented the machine that folds and glues the flat-bottomed paper bags in every grocery store? Or that Josephine Garis Cochran invented the first practical dishwasher, hoping to become financially independent after her husband died with significant debts? American women and girls continue to innovate, and we all should be encouraged by the entire spectrum of inventors both past and present. The National Women’s History Museum is helping to share that story.
For two decades, the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) has researched, collected, and exhibited the contributions of women to the social, cultural, economic, and political life of our nation’s history. To help provide resources for students and educators everywhere, the Foundation supported the redesign and enhancement of the NWHM’s easy-to-navigate website for the site’s one million annual visitors. From lesson plans exploring the women who determined how to wire the electrical connections that enabled the first electric, digital computer to complete 300 multiplications per second and the female African-American activists who fought for justice and equality, to hosting electronic field trips with a museum educator brought virtually into classrooms, the NWHM brings history to life. NWHM aims to reach 150 teachers by the end of 2019. Until the brick-and-mortar museum is built, this “Museum without Walls” will continue to lead the charge in sharing the untold stories of women’s contributions throughout history.
Charlotte Coker Gibson
Executive Director, Charitable Foundation, PwC US