Margaret Wilcox

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Margaret A. Wilcox, (born 1838, Chicago, Illinois) was an American engineer, and one of the first women mechanical engineers. She is notable for inventing the first automobile heater and the first combined clothes and dishwasher machine.

Career and major contributions[edit]

Wilcox was one of the first female mechanical engineers.[1] She was granted multiple US patents for her inventions. On November 23, 1893, she was granted a patent for the car heater.[2] The car heater consisted of a combustion chamber located under the car, and pipes to transmit hot water.[3] Her system redirected air that was over the engine to the inside of the car to allow passengers to stay warm.[1] Her invention of the car heater became the basic system on modern car heaters used today.[4] Wilcox's other patents include the combined clothes and dishwasher,[5] bake pan,[6] and the heater, which she invented in collaboration with Harry S. Stewart and patented August 8, 1905.[7]


  1. ^ a b "How car heating and ventilation systems work". How a Car Works. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  2. ^ "Margaret a". Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  3. ^ Margaret a, 1893-11-28, retrieved 2018-03-30
  4. ^ Foundation, Car Donation (2017-02-28). "9 Times Women Changed The Automobile Industry". Wheels For Wishes. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  5. ^ "Combined clothes and dish washer". Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Bake-pan". Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Heater". Retrieved 16 May 2018.