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On May 5, 1809, Mary Kies became the first woman to receive a patent in the United States. (It was for her technique of weaving straw with silk.)

Of course, women inventors existed before this time, but the property laws in many states made it illegal for women to own property on their own. This led some women to apply for patents in their husbands’ names if they decided to apply at all.

As of last year, only , although women account for half of doctoral degrees in science and engineering. This disparity is due in part to the the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office being more likely to reject patents with