11th March 2016 With Margaret Knight a Female Inventor from the 19th Century

imgresEach time we go shopping nowadays we all seem to be trying to remember to take our “Life Bags” with us to avoid paying for the bags most retailers provide. Some are better at remembering than others and this can sometimes be quite costly.

Life seems to be much simpler in the United States where they just provide everybody with paper bags!

You may wonder why they use paper bags and not really joined in with the plastic bag phenomenon we have seen in the UK.

It could be for environmental reasons or it could be because the person who invented the first machine that made paper shopping bags was American.

Margaret Knight was an exceptionally prolific inventor in the late 19th century.” She was born in York, Maine in 1838 and was still a young girl when she began working in a textile mill in New Hampshire. After seeing a fellow worker injured by a faulty piece of equipment, Knight came up with her first invention: a safety device for textile looms. She was awarded her first patent in 1871, for a machine that cut, folded and glued flat-bottomed paper shopping bags, thus eliminating the need for workers to assemble them slowly by hand. Knight received 27 patents in her lifetime, for inventions including shoe-manufacturing machines, a “dress shield” to protect garments from perspiration stains, a rotary engine and an internal combustion engine.

(biography information courtesy of www.biography.com)