March 8 is International Women’s Day . It is appropriate to recognize trail blazer Mary Dixon Kies, who on May 5, 1809, became the first woman to receive a U.S. Patent. Unfortunately here patent was destroyed in the Patent Office fire of 1836. Her invention, a new technique of weaving straw with silk and thread to make hats, was less frivolous that it might seem today and until fashions changed, bolstered New England’s hat industry, which had been faltering due to the Embardo Act of 1807. In 2006, she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.