World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Margaret E. Knight

 

Margaret E. Knight

Margaret E. Knight (February 14, 1838 – October 12, 1914) was an American inventor. She has been called "the most famous 19th-century woman inventor".[1]

She was born in York, Maine to James Knight and Hannah Teal. James Knight died when Margaret was a little girl. Knight went to school until she was twelve and worked in a cotton mill between ages 12 through 1856. In 1868, while living in Springfield, Massachusetts, Knight invented a machine that folded and glued paper to form the flat bottomed brown paper bags familiar to shoppers today.

Knight built a wooden model of the device, but needed a working iron model to apply for a patent. Charles Annan, who was in the machine shop where Knight's iron model was being built, stole her design and patented the device. Knight filed a successful patent interference lawsuit and was awarded the patent in 1871.[2] With a Massachusetts business man, Knight established the Eastern Paper Bag Co. and received royalties.

Her many other inventions included a numbering machine, window frame and sash, patented in 1894, and several devices relating to rotary engines, patented between 1902 and 1915.[3] Knight's original bag-making machine is in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.. Margaret never married and died on October 12, 1914 at the age of 76.

She was awarded the Decoration of the Royal Legion of Honour by Queen Victoria in 1871.[4] A plaque recognizing her as the "first woman awarded a U.S. patent" and holder of 87 U.S. patents hangs on the Curry Cottage at 287 Hollis St in Framingham. However, Knight was not actually the first female patent-holder. The first was Hannah Wilkinson Slater, wife of industrialist Samuel Slater: she invented two-ply thread, becoming in 1793 the first American woman to be granted a patent.[5] Knight was inducted in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006.[6]

Contents

  • Patents 1
  • Other media 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Patents

Other media

  • McCully, Emily Arnold. Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006. 32pp. ISBN 0-374-34810-3. (Children's book which was recognized as one of the "best feminist books for young readers, 2007," awarded by the Amelia Bloomer Project of the Feminist Task Force of the American Library Association.)

References

  1. ^ Petroski, Henry (2003). Small Things Considered.  
  2. ^ U.S. Patent 116,842 Improvement in Paper-Bag Machines, July 11, 1871.
  3. ^ "Knight, Margaret E." Encyclopædia Britannica 2005 Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Svs - article 9125831.
  4. ^ Challoner, Jack. (editor) 1001 Inventions That Changed The World 2009 - Flat-bottomed Paper Bag (1868), p 381.
  5. ^ "History Detectives: Women inventors".  
  6. ^ "Inventor profile".  

External links

  • Margaret Knight, Invention of the Paper Bag Machine
  • Patents held by Margaret E. Knight
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.