|Sybilla Masters (died 1720)|
|Sybilla Masters gained an English patent in 1715 for a mill to grind corn.|
American colonist and inventor, Sybilla Masters invented a way for cleaning and curing the Indian corn crops that the colonist in early America received as a gift from the native peoples. Sybilla Masters's innovation allowed the corn to be processed into many different food and cloth products. The patent was issued in her husband Thomas name by the British courts in 1715. That was the unfair law at the time, women and minorities had no rights to own patents. Thomas Masters was issued patents for "Cleansing Curing and Refining of Indian Corn Growing in the Plantations". A second patent was issued to Sybilla's husband for another of her inventions entitled "Working and Weaving in a New Method, Palmetta Chip and Straw for Hats and Bonnets and other Improvements of that Ware."
Sybilla Masters was the first American woman inventor in recorded history, no doubt women have been inventing since the dawn of time without recognition.
The following text is from a 1891 Scientific American magazine article that discusses the patent issued to Sybilla Masters, however, the writer appears to be a bit cynical.
A much later but very quaint patent is that of Dame Sybilla Masters, of Philadelphia, for corn shelling and preserving. She writes in German text, hard to decipher and very antiquated for that period.Continue with >>> Women Inventors