Hannah Slater (1774 – 1812) was an early American pioneer and inventor. Some sources state that she was the first American woman to receive a patent; however, others state that Mary Kies, in 1809, was the first. Her father was a successful businessman and business partner of Moses Brown. She later married to Samuel Slater, an industrialist.
In 1793, Samuel Slater showed Hannah some very smooth yarn he had spun from long-staple Surinam cotton. He intended to use it to produce cloth; however, Hannah and her sister used a hand spinning wheel to spin it into a thread, and the resultant thread proved to be stronger than linen thread. The same year, Hannah applied to the U.S. Patent Office for a patent for an invention – a new method of producing sewing thread from cotton. The patent was issued in the name of “Mrs. Samuel Slater”.