Mary Dixon Kies
Born 1752 - Died 1837
Weaving Straw with Silk or Thread
Patented: May 5, 1809
Mary Dixon Kies was the first woman to apply for and receive a U.S.
patent in her own name. Her patent, issued May 5, 1809, was for a
process for weaving straw with silk that was adopted by the New England
Kiesís invention was praised by President James Madison's wife Dolly for
helping to improve New England's economic situation, which had been hurt
by an embargo on goods imported from Europe. New England's hat industry
was one of the few industries that continued to prosper during the War
Kies's patent, which was destroyed in the Patent Office fire of 1836,
was one of only 20 issued to a woman before 1840
Kies was born in South Killingly, Connecticut. Very little is known
about her life or her accomplishments beyond her patented weaving
process, which was widely used for over a decade.