Bag Lady

Kristin Curtis, Writer 
Max McGillivray, Writer 

Sloan Grant(s) Received: 2020, Screenwriting Award, Columbia University 

Project Type: Feature 

Genre: Comedy 

Length: 114 pages 

Field of Science: Engineering 

Stage: Development 


Bag Lady is a comedic period script in the vein of Dickinson or The Great, which tells the story of Margaret E Knight, the brazen inventor of the paper-bag machine. In 1868, Margaret is working at the Columbia Paper Bag Factory as a “bagger,” where each day she tediously folds hundreds of paper bags by hand. Inspired by automation and the booming industrial push around her, Margaret sets out to design her own bag machine. But just as she’s ready to file the patent for her invention, it gets stolen by a man at her factory. Determined not to back down or let him take credit for her work, Margaret makes the bold choice to take him to court for patent interference. Using her smarts, and with the support of her bagger friends, she makes history by winning the case, becoming one of the first women to hold a patent.