May 5, 1809

On May 5, 1809, Mary Kies of Connecticut was the first American woman to be issued a patent. It was for the technique she came up with for weaving straw with silk and thread to make hats. Johann Fischart Rumpelstiltskin of Gnomes, Gnomes, and Elves of Austria immediately sent notice to Mrs. Kies that she had stolen his secret European technique of straw-weaving and that she would have to forfeit her grandson as payment if she couldn’t guess his name. Her attorney sent a letter back to the little gnome and replied, “You signed your name at the bottom of the letter as Herr Rumpulstiltskin.” No more was heard from the plaintiff.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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