Maria Christina Bruhn

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Maria Christina Bruhn (1732– 21 October 1808) was a Swedish chemist and inventor, likely to be the first patented female inventor of her country.

Bruhn was the eldest of three daughters of the book printer Johan Bruhn (d. 1742). She took over a tapestry- and wallpaper manufacture after the death of her widowed mother Inga Christina in 1751.

In 1771, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences offered a reward for anyone who would be able to produce a suitable package for gunpowder for the army. During her work manufacturing paint and preparing paper, she had been inspired to the idea which she presented to the academy 2 March 1774. In a letter from 1783, she explained that she often experimented during her work.

The men of the Academy expressed deep skepticism against the invention of a woman, and it took twelve years of testing, during which she had to fight among others the attempts of Reinhold von Anrep, General of the Artillery, to take credit for her invention, before the ministry of war approved it, recognized her as its inventor, and gave her the reward in 1786.

Her invention was long used by the Swedish army.


  • Isa Edholm (2001). Kvinnohistoria (Women's history). Falun: Alfabeta Bokförlag AB, Stockholm. ISBN 91-501-0054-8.
  • Nationalencyklopedin (The national encyclopedia)
  • Nils Erik Magnus Lönnroth: "Mamsell Bruhn : en svensk uppfinnare i artilleriteknik" (Mamsell Bruhn : a Swedish inventor in artillery technique) (1991)