Inventors are inspirational. Sarah Guppy was an inventor, city planner/designer, and author. She was unique as a female inventor with ten patents in the late Georgian, early Victorian period. She was remarkable and well-known in society at the time and place of her life.
Sarah Beech (possibly spelled Beach) was born in 1770 in Birmingham, England. Her family was wealthy. She married Samuel Guppy in 1795. She patented her first invention in 1811. She invented a method of safe piling for bridges and gave her design to Thomas Telford, who used the design for suspension bridge foundations. She also invented a coffee or tea urn that could cook eggs and keep toast warm, an exercise bed, a fire hood, and a candlestick that made candles burn longer. She also created improvements in ship caulking for barnacle prevention. This led to a government contract. In 1841, she wrote a letter suggesting planting willows and poplars to stabilize embankments.
During her first marriage and early invention years, she had six children. She later wrote The Cottagers and Labourers Friend and Dialogues for Children. Her husband Samuel died and in 1837 married Richard Eyre-Coote. Her new, young husband gambled their money away and Sarah moved to a house in Clifton in 1842. She bought land by the house for the residents of Clifton to enjoy. It remains a green space in the midst of the city.
Sarah Guppy died in 1852. She lived her life solving problems and helping others. She left a lasting legacy to others. Be inspired! Have a bright day!