Published by IFIA
the International Federation of
published August 23, 2002
Updated August 24, 2002
© Farag Moussa: research and text.
Curie-Sklodowska was awarded two Nobel Prizes: the physics prize in 1903
and the chemistry prize in 1911. Is that why she is so often portrayed on stamps (in
France, of course, but even more so in Poland, her country of birth, and elsewhere too)?
Or does it reflect her unique status, a woman - an extraordinary woman - a female
phenomenon in the male-dominated world of inventors?
Indeed, stamps are not generous towards women inventors. I have searched for them. I have
pored over the stamp catalogues of all the countries in the world. And I have only found
women inventors on the stamps of two countries - and not industrialized countries as could
have been expected, but
Sierra Leone and the Philippines.
issued in 1995 a block of stamps
commemorating nine women Nobel laureates, among them three inventors, a Frenchwoman, an
American and Italian:
-Irčne Joliot-Curie (chemistry) -
-Rosalyn Yalow (medicine) - radioimmunology
-Rita Levi-Montalcini (medicine) - growth
factor in nerve cells
|As for the Philippines,
in 1993, it issued a pair of stamps for the fiftieth anniversary of the
country's inventors' association. These stamps depict two inventions but do not mention
the names of their inventors. As it so happens, I am personally acquainted with one of
she is a woman! To Magdalena Villaruz
we owe the invention of a tool that might not automatically be associated with the fair
sex: a motorized swampy field, rice paddies in particular.
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