Mary Dixon Kies was the first woman to obtain a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on May 5, 1809. It was for a technique weaving straw with silk and thread. This process improved the process of hat-making. Dolley Madison honored her for this work. Unfortunately, she was unsuccessful in her attempts to profit from her invention and died penniless, which is a sad tale to say because in the first year after her patent the estimated value of profit from her patent was half a million dollars in 1810 alone.