Next time you get into your car and reach for the controls to turn on the heating say a silent thanks to the woman who invented the first ever car heater – Margaret A Wilcox.
Born in Chicago, USA in 1838, Margaret was one of the few female mechanical engineers of her era. It is reported that she enjoyed experimenting with different ideas in the hopes of inventing something meaningful and for anyone who has ever enjoyed the toasty warmth of the heater on a chilly winter’s morning would undoubtedly agree that she indeed invented something “meaningful”.
Margaret Wilcox’s car heating system was created in a way that it could direct air from over the engines for the purpose of warming the chilly toes of aristocratic 19th century motorists. Her invention was well received until it became somewhat of a safety concern as the temperature could not be regulated. Be that as it may, Ms Wilcox received the patent for her car heating device in November 1893. Her invention served as the basis of the modern day car heater, an important and necessary feature in even the most basic of entry level cars.
Margaret is also credited with inventing the first even dishwasher and washing machine.