Mary (Dixon) Kies

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Mary Kies formerly Dixon
Born in Killingly, CTmap
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
Died in Brooklyn, NYmap
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Mary grew up in Killingly, Conn.

Her first husband was Isaac Pike I, and their son was Isaac Pikes II (1770 -1842).

Her second husband was John Kies (1751-1813). Their children were Harvey Kies (1787-1813) and Abigail Kies (1793-1814).

Mary Dixon Kies She was the first woman granted a patent by the US patent office on May 5, 1809. Her invention was an improved technique for weaving straw with silk and thread. Because of early America's social pattern of women not legally owning property separate from their husbands, fathers, or sons, many women inventors didn't bother to patent their new inventions.

Mary Kies broke that pattern with her patent signed by President James Monroe. Her weaving technique used to manufacture ladies hats proved valuable in making cost-effective work bonnets. First Lady Dolley Madison praised her for boosting the nation's hat industry.

Unfortunately, Mary's patent file was destroyed in the great Patent Office fire in 1836. Only 20 other patents were issued to women -- mostly related to apparel and cooking -- until about 1840.



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