The Mary Dixon Kies reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
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Mary Dixon Kies

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Mary Dixon Kies was an early 19th-century American who was the first recipient of a patent granted to a woman by the Patent Office, in May 5th 1809, which was for a technique of weaving straw with silk and thread.

Straw weaving was an economically vital industry in America during the 1800s. Women wore straw hats for working in the field.