This Day in Patent History - On May 5, 1809 Mary Kies became the first women to get a patent. It was for a process for "weaving straw with silk or thread"

PatentYogi_This Day in Patent History_May 05

The patent was signed by President James Madison.

Image Credit - Bettye Kearse
Image Credit – Bettye Kearse

Kies’ technique proved valuable in making cost-effective work bonnets.
The first lady Dolly Madison was so pleased by Kies’ innovation that she sent a personal letter applauding her. Dolly Madison praised her for boosting the nation’s hat industry.

Image Credit - Wikipedia
Image Credit – Wikipedia

Women at the time could not legally hold property, However, the Patent Act of 1790 allowed women to apply for patents. Mary Kies was the first one to actually file for a patent. Her original patent file was destroyed in a fire at the United States Patent Office 1836 fire.
Source: Wikipedia