Not many women have heard of Patsy Sherman, but they've likely thanked her many times over the years. A 3M chemist, Patsy was one of the only women in her field in 1952. She worked on fluorochemicals and was charged with developing a new form of rubber for jet fuel lines. But when some rubber spilled on an assistant's shoe and wouldn't come off, all of that changed. The rubber stain repelled water, oil, and other liquids without changing the color of fabric. 3M ultimately named the product Scotchguard ($6) and parents everywhere have joyfully filled their homes with adult furniture ever since.