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Springfield’s Margaret E. Knight, known as the ‘Woman Edison,’ invented the shopping bag in 1868

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Margaret E. Knight of Springfield, known as “Woman Edison”, invented the shopping bag in 1868

No discussion of Yankees ingenuity would be complete without a visit to the Vermont Country Store, home to an abundance of gadgets.



♪ >> COULD YOU USE A STRIPPER, MAYBE YOU SUFFER FROM A CHRONIC BUTTER BLOCK, OR MAYBE THIS IS THE YEAR YOU IMPROVE YOUR SQUASH GAME. YES, FOR THOSE WHO NEED SMART GIZMOS, GADGETS AND THINGAMAJIG S, A ONE-STOP SHOP IS WAITING FOR YOU. >> WE ALWAYS LOOK FOR PRACTICAL, HARD TO FIND ITEMS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES. >> JEFF BROWN HAS RELEASED THIS OLD YANKEE CLASSIC, THE APPLE THINGY THAT SLICES, PEEL AND CORE SIMULTANEOUSLY. >> YOU WILL BE THE HIT OF THE PARTY WHEN YOU SHOW IT TO YOUR BEST FRIENDS. LEXIE WATCH ACE RAZZLE-DAZZLE MONTHLY. >> IF YOU LIKE TO LEARN HOW THINGS WORK ONCE BRIGHT. >> BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. >> IT’S CALLED THE GILHOOLIE. IF YOU’VE EVER ATTEMPTED TO OPEN A JAR ENcrusted with SUGAR, IT’S A NIGHTMARE. ONCE YOU PULL BACK AND TIGHTEN, IT STOPS LIKE THIS. SURPRISING. >> THE SPECIFIC NAME? >> NOT A HINT. [LAUGHTER] IT WAS NOT IN THE SCRIPT. >> A LITTLE RESEARCH REVEALS THAT THE NAME MEAN NOTHING AT ALL. INVENTED IN THE 1950s BY A RETIRED DENTIST, THE DEVICE HAS BEEN PATENTED AS ONE CAN OPERATE HIS LIGHT. THE NAME GILHOOLIE SUITS US. >> COLD. >> HE ALSO INVENTED GOLF AND NON-DENTAL INVENTIONS. >> WHAT ARE DENTISTS AND GOLF, >> PEOPLE WHO SPEND TIME IN HEALTH CARE LIKE DIYING IN OUR GARAGE. PLUS, WE LOVE GOLF. >> THERE IS MANY WE WANT TO ACCOMPANY IN THE BUSTLE OF DAILY LIFE, TAKE THE SHOPPING BAG, SIMPLE ENOUGH. BUT IMAGINE A TIME WHEN ALL PAPERBACKS WERE JUST OVERSIZED ENVELOPES WITH NO FLAT BOTTOM. >> IT’S TRUE, THE grocery stores were rocking left and right. STUFF SPILLED EVERYWHERE. THAT’S THEN A WOMAN FROM SPRINGFIELD MASSACHUSETTS CAME TO THE FRONT LINE. SHE WAS CONVINCED THAT SHE COULD BUILD A BETTER BAG. >> MARGARET E KNIGHT WAS WORKING AT THE COLUMBIA BAG COMPANY IN SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS WHEN SHE DECIDED TO GET TO THE DETERMINATION. IN 1968, SHE INVENTED A MACHINE TO CUT OFF THE END OF A FLAT-BOTTOM BAG. >> SHE SOLVED THE PROBLEMS, SHE FOUND A PROBLEM AND SOLVED IT. >> SPRINGFIELD MUSEUM’S JODY CUNNINGHAM SAYS SHE WITNESSED A JOB INJURY AS A CHILDHOOD. >> SHE INVENTED A DEVICE CALLED THE STOP MOTION DEVICE, AND THE MILL ADOPTED IT. OTHER MILLS HAVE ALSO ADOPTED IT. SHE WAS 12 YEARS OLD. IT’S INCREDIBLE. >> MARGARET E KNIGHT HAS NEVER STOPD INVENTING. AN INSOLES CUTTING MACHINE FOR FOOTWEAR, WINDOW FRAMES AND CHASSIS. A NUMBERING DEVICE. THIS NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE FROM 19 TEEN REPORTS A 70-YEAR-OLD KNIGHT WORKING ON HIS NEW INVENTION. CUT SHE WAS ALWAYS DIY AND USED HER MIND, IMAGINATION AND CREATIVITY. IT’S INCREDIBLE. >> AFTER A. OF DARKNESS, MARGARET E KNIGHT LIVED PART OF – RATHER OF A RETURN AS THE EDISON WIFE. IT IS IN HONOR OF THE SMART LAB, A DYNAMIC PRACTICAL SPACE AND SEVERAL CHILDREN’S BOOKS HAVE BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT INGENUITY-INSPIRING NIGHTS. >> I’M GETTING GUS — I GET GOOSEBRUBS WHEN I THINK ABOUT IT, SHE IS AN INSPIRING MODEL. ANDREW: AT 1.8 THE COMPETITOR TRIED TO CLAIM THE MARGARET NIGHTS BAG MACHINE AS HIS OWN BECAUSE HE SAID HE THINK IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE FOR A WOMAN TO COME WITH TESTS TO COME WITH A SOPHISTICATED MACHINE. SHAYNA: SHE DEFENDED HERSELF IN A LAWSUI

Margaret E. Knight of Springfield, known as “Woman Edison”, invented the shopping bag in 1868

No discussion of Yankees ingenuity would be complete without a visit to the Vermont Country Store, home to an abundance of gadgets.

Vermont Country Store is a sanctuary of Yankee ingenuity. Get all your gadgets here, including the “Gilhoolie” (jar opener). Learn about Margaret E. Knight, the inventor known as “Woman Edison,” at Springfield Museums.

Vermont Country Store is a sanctuary of Yankee ingenuity. Get all your gadgets here, including the “Gilhoolie” (jar opener).

Learn about Margaret E. Knight, the inventor known as “Woman Edison,” at Springfield Museums.

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