Margaret E. Knight was born February 14, 1838, in York, Maine, and died October 12, 1914. Knight was an inventor who has been considered the most famous 19th century woman inventor, and she was often referred to as “the lady Edison.” Margaret’s first and most important invention was a machine that folded and glued paper to construct flat bottom paper bags. Before this paper bags were shaped to look like envelops, making it very difficult to pack groceries. While Ms. Knight was working on this invention a man who was working in the machine shop where her model was being developed stole her design and patented the device. Ms. Knight filed a lawsuit and in 1871 she was awarded the first of 27 subsequent patents she would receive in her lifetime. In 1871 Margaret Knight was awarded the Decoration of the Royal Legion of Honour by Queen Victoria, and in 2006 she became an inductee in the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Additional information on this unique woman can be found at the following websites: