Mary Beatrice Davidson (known as Beatrice) was born in 1912 in Charlotte, North Carolina, into what can only be described as an inventing family. Her dad Sidney, a preacher, and her sister Mildred were both obsessed with inventing things. Sidney had three patents and Beatrice grew up sketching gadgets that solved domestic problems, including a self-oiling door hinge and a convertible top for cars.
In 1924, the Davidson family moved to Washington DC and Beatrice began hanging out at the United States Patent and Trademarks Office, checking the records to see if any of her ideas were original. Lots were. Beatrice went to university, but dropped out for financial reasons – she went on to work, and in her spare time continued coming up with inventions, dreaming that one of them could make her fortune.
When WWII came, she went to work for the federal government. In 1951, she married a colleague, James ‘Jabbo’ Kenner and took the surname Davidson Kenner.