Making the Glass Ceiling Transparent: Katharine Blodgett, Invents Nonreflective Glass

Katharine BlodgettBy Kate E. Stephenson

The Feminist Movement has been fought on many fronts by many people, male and female. Writing this column, I have learned that Kates have been forerunners on every battlefield. This week we go to the microscopic level to take a better look at Katharine Blodgett, and her contribution to Women’s Liberation.

Born in 1898, Katharine was the first woman to earn her Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 1926—before the age of 30, no less! Working with a mentor, Nobel Prize-winning Dr. Irving Langmuir, Blodgett also became the first woman scientist hired at General Electric’s research laboratory. As if these accomplishments were not enough, her work with Dr. Langmuir led to an amazing breakthrough in the manufacture of glass products—the world’s first 100% transparent or invisible glass. Improving upon Langmuir’s work in monomolecular coating, Katharine devised a useful application for his until then mostly useless process. (Who says women aren’t as smart as men? Haters!) Her patented method has been used to create everything from eyeglasses to artificial rain (don’t ask me how!).

So the next time you almost walk through your glass door, thank Katharine Blodgett!


Trivia runs on every Monday at 10:30am. It is written by the insanely knowledgable Kate E. Stephenson. Read much more about Kate here, and click here to follow her on Twitter.

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One thought on “Making the Glass Ceiling Transparent: Katharine Blodgett, Invents Nonreflective Glass

  1. katetorg says:

    Thanks Katharine! I can’t imagine life without nonreflective lenses in my glasses.

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