By Karen Kitchens, WSL State Publications Librarian
Of necessity, Wyoming women have long used their inventive energies to create both practical and decorative designs. Not surprisingly, the inventions of Wyoming women reflect the period from which they came. Beginning with predominantly agricultural and domestically focused inventions, Wyoming women’s patents have grown to include industrial, scientific, and technical areas. Here are a few samples of historical inventions by Wyoming women. Check out more Wyoming inventors in the Wyoming Inventors Database offered by the Wyoming State Library. You can also download and view the full list of Wyoming Women Inventors from 1890 to 2017.
|The first Wyoming woman to be granted a US patent was Myrtle M. Wallin of Rock Springs. Ms. Wallin was granted Patent Number 664597 on December 25, 1900 for a “Work-Holder.” Ms. Wallin describes this patent as a work holding devise devised for seamstresses, designed to fit upon the knee of the user to clamp and hold work.|
|On January 2, 1912, Zelta J. Frederick of Casper was granted Patent Number 1013482 for a “Flat Safety-Pin.” This invention was to guard the wearing from being scratched while in use.|
|Focusing on agricultural use, Carey S. McClure from Dayton, was awarded Patent Number 1227058 for a “Hay-Bunching Machine” on May 22, 1917. This is an illustration of the side of the machine in its operative position.|
|On October 12, 1920, Fay M. Haynes of Encampment was granted Patent Number 1355144 for “Lock-Joint for Drilling Tools.” In the patent specifications Haynes states this invention is “especially adapted to be used on drilling tools, for connecting the drilling bits in a simple and efficient manner.”|
|Winfred S. Whitcomb of Laramie was granted Patent Number 1582324 on April 27, 1926. Ms. Whitcomb indicated that this “Sheep-Shearing Machine” was “power driven and wherein substantially all vibration is eliminated.”|
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