Let Beulah Henry Inspire You

Table of Contents

Do you ever stop yourself from doing something because you felt it was not essential or that it would not go anywhere?

I used to believe that if you wanted to be an inventor, you had to invent big and important things that would change the world.

Not so! Beulah Henry’s story inspires me to give more importance to the little things and the daily things around me. Ideas and creativity are not to be taken lightly.

Beulah Henry was also known as “Lady Edison,” born in America in 1887 and died in 1973. She was a business owner and an inventor who was creative and made an income from her inventions —a remarkable lady.

Some of Lady Edison’s Creations

Beulah Henry invented a parasol that allowed you to change the fabric according to the color you wanted, and that would go best with your clothes. The changeable parasol may seem small, but it allowed women to be part of Henry’s creations and have unique parasols that suited their moods and outfits.

I love the idea of the personalized parasol- it reminded me of how the mini cooper allows you to personalize your car. The concept of designing your item will enable you to be part of the creation of an object, and it will be much more important to you. If you go to the Converse site, you will see an option to personalize your sneakers and design them to your specific needs and taste.

It is a pleasure to buy something everyone has, but owning something slightly different from what you can find in the shops is fabulous.

I’m not a seamstress, but I did have a go at sewing many years ago. I bought a vintage Singer sewing machine to test out if this would be a future hobby or work that I wanted to pursue. I decided that it was not for me, but I loved playing with this old machine!

Beulah Henry invented the bobbinless sewing machines. This meant that you did not have to change bobbins and that the person sewing could work faster.

*Please view the videos below if you don’t sew and are curious about what a bobbin does.

Beulah Henry’s Creative Mind

I have always wondered about how things pop into someones’ mind. How do people develop ideas and find solutions? The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources states that “The designs would spring into her mind fully formed, and then she would describe what she saw to draftsmen and mechanics.”

A few years ago, I went to a fabulous writers event called Bloody Scotland in Stirling. I heard one of the writers say that she was driving when a story came to her, so she stopped the car and wrote for a few hours. The ideas flowed to her.

Hello, Muse! I also want some of that, don’t you?

Some of Beulah Henry’s inventions:

service pnp hec

Beulah Henry holding her air baby doll. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington


  • Vacuum ice cream freezer
  • Duplicating system for the typewriter- it allowed you to make copies without a carbon.
  • “Dolly Dips” – sponges that contained soap.
  • Miss Illusion- a doll that changed her eye color. The eyes also closed to mimic sleeping.

Beulah Henry created more than 40 patents and more than 100 inventions.

Feeling inspired.


More Inspiring Women

Resources for this post:

How does a bobbin work

Library of Congress Photograph of Beulah Henry


1 negative : glass ; 4 x 5 in. or smaller

Call Number/Physical Location

LC-H2- B-2330 [P&P]

Source Collection

Harris & Ewing photograph collection


Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

Digital Id

hec 34627 //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.34627

Library of Congress Control Number


Reproduction Number

LC-DIG-hec-34627 (digital file from original negative)

Rights Advisory

No known restrictions on publication. For more information, see Harris & Ewing Photographs – Rights and Restrictions Information

Marguerite Beaty, Blogger, Photographer & Artist

Welcome to the sunny side of life for women over 50! We aim to create a space where women feel empowered, supported, and inspired to lead their best lives after 50. Join our Instagram!

Share this article with your friends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our newsletter and get my FREE e-book

Start shifting your routine with creativity and curiosity!

ebook 7steps from 50 and Rising