Mary Kies was an early 19th-century American who received the first patent granted to a woman by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, on May 5, 1809. Kies had invented a new technique for weaving straw with silk or thread, and First Lady Dolley Madison praised her for boosting the nation’s hat industry.
Prior to 1790, only men could author a patent. The Patent Act of 1790 opened the door for any male or female to protect his or her invention with a patent. However, because in many states women could not legally own property independent of their husbands, many women inventors did not bother to patent their new inventions.
By 1840, approximately 20 U.S. patents had been issued to women, mostly for inventions related to cooking, tools and clothing. Today hundreds of thousands of women apply for and receive U.S. patents every year, with more than 12 percent of all patent applications come from women inventors.
According to womenhistoryblog