May 5th – Friday

Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts. – Colossians 3:15

Mary Kies became the first woman to be issued a U.S. patent on this day in 1809. Her patent was for a new technique in braiding straw with silk and other threads for making women’s bonnets. Due to America’s desire to stay out of the Napoleonic Wars, President Thomas Jefferson legislated the Embargo Act of 1807, prohibiting the import of British goods and other European goods. When President James Madison took office, he wanted to replace the lost European goods with American industries, and First Lady Dolley Madison was grateful to Mary Kies for providing the nation with fashion alternatives. Dolley Madison remained an admirer and supporter of her bonnets and praised the Connecticut native for her contributions to American millinery. Unfortunately, in 1836 a fire at the U.S. Patent Office destroyed the original patent materials. Mary Kies, the bonnet pioneer and hat-maker, died the following year.

As the Lord leads, pray with us…

  • For Under Secretary Kathi Vidal Under as she oversees the Commerce Department’s Intellectual Property and Patent and Trademark Office.
  • For Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo as she leads the efforts to advance and strengthen the U.S. economic marketplace.
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