Monday, May 11, 2020

It's Fashion Week--Suffrage Fashion that is!

We continue to try to raise spirits and this week we are focusing on fashion!

I admit I'm a bit obsessed with this embroidered dress from the UK:

And in our program, By the Chimney No More, we talk about the evolution of women, their clothes, and how this translated into the quilts they made!

But today I went to start even further back in history.  This story was shared by Nann H. who kindly sent me a wonderful link about Mary Dixon Kies.  Thank you Nann!

Thirty-nine years before the Seneca Falls Convention and the birth of the women's movement, the first woman to receive a patent in the United States was Mary Dixon Kies of Conneticut.  She invented--and received a patent--for a new way to make hats and weave straw with silk or thread.  It sounds like it made millinery much easier!

Fashion icon Dolly Madison even sent a congratulatory letter to Mary Kies !

Other women had certainly made improvements in fashion and other areas.  In 1716, a patent was issued to Thomas Masters of Pennsylvania for an inventive process that his wife made to millinery.  Sybilla Robertson Masters was recognized in the patent but did not actually own the patent.  Coverture laws stipulated that married women's possessions, income, and yes--intellectual property was owned by their husbands.

This is what makes Mary Kies accomplishment so very special.  SHE owned the patent!  It's been suggested that this particular hat may have been made with Mary Kies process:

Here are some links that you may find of interest about these women!

Mary Dixon Kies and other hat history here!

Enjoy your day and stay well!

1 comment:

  1. So happy to make a contribution this week! (With thanks to my friend Denise from Connecticut who shared the post with me, and more thanks to my friend Janet who introduced me to your blog.)