Countess Eva Ekeblad

(1724–1786) Agronomist and inventor

Eva Ekeblad was the first woman admitted to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Her best-known invention was to make alcohol from potatoes, and she also invented potato flour. Her many innovations brought the potato into broader Swedish culture, and ultimately reduced the frequency of famine. She even found methods of replacing dangerous ingredients in cosmetics with potato products. She sometimes wore potato flowers in her hair to help popularize the plant and its benefits.

Number 53 in an ongoing series celebrating remarkable women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.