STEMinists: Mary Kenner


Hello from Wonder Media Network. I'm Jenny Kaplan and this encyclopedia will Manica in case. You're just tuning in. Here's the deal every weekday. We're telling the story of a woman who you may not know about the definitely should each month is themed in this month. Were talking about Stamina's. Women did incredible things in the fields of science technology engineering and mathematics. Today's stem was a prolific inventor created the first sanitary Napkin pioneering product for women's health. Let's talk about Mary Kenner. Mary was born in Monroe North Carolina a small town near Charlotte in one thousand nine hundred twelve father Sydney Nathaniel Davidson and is an incredibly inventive man who encouraged those same traits in Mary and her younger sister mildred. Sydney was an inventor himself and patented a pants pants presser in nineteen fourteen. Mary's maternal grandfather was also well known inventor his most important contributions attract color light signal for trains Though Mary received a good education she didn't have any formal scientific training instead with she and her sister were constantly encouraged courage to come up with creative solutions for problems. They saw in everyday life. Mary moved to Washington. DC got married and started her own Floral Laurel business that she ran throughout her life in her free time she kept inventing in Nineteen fifty-six. Mary put together a formal formal patent application for the first sanitary belt. She hit apparently invented while still in her teens. This was a major step forward forward in giving women a better way to handle their periods while tampons were available at the time they were considered. Indecent and pads wouldn't become available until nineteen sixty. Most women were still using cloth or rags and we're limited in their ability to leave the house while menstruating Mary. Sanitary sanitary belt was a major improvement. It was made of Elastic straps that held the patent place once the belt was secured by safety pins women could easily wear it under their clothing without feeling limited giving them back a significant amount of freedom a company interested in manufacturing this new invention had contacted Mary about purchasing it but as soon as a representative met her in person and realized that she was African American. The interests suddenly disappeared it took. Mary decades to file the patent on her own in the interim. Mary kept inventing things to help. In her everyday Friday life in nineteen eighty two she patented a toilet roll holder that easily provides the loose end of the role and in Nineteen eighty-seven patented an ingenious shower wall and bathtub mounted back scratcher. Mary also invented special attachment for a walker that included a hard surface office TRAE and a soft pocket for carrying items. Mary sister mildred with whom she remained. Very close throughout her life was also an inventor. Milton was a professional singer who eventually had to stop working when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis mostly confined to her home in Washington. DC Z. Mildred invented a board game meant to teach family relationships and help children understand their place the extended family she called it family family traditions and received a patent for the game in one thousand nine hundred eighty neither military nor mary ever made much money from their inventions but but that didn't stop their desire to make the world around them a better and more convenient place before she passed away in two thousand six. Mary Kenner filed total of five patents. She's remembered not only for creative problem solving and entrepreneurial spirit but for stalwartly addressing a major women's health issue with intelligence and compassion even if abject racism meant. She never got to see her product on shelves as always we're taking a break for the weekend tune in on Monday for the story of another incredible stem inist special. Thanks to my favorite sister this your co-creator Lizzy Caplan talk to you on Monday.

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