Sarah E. Goode


Sarah Goode's design for a Cabinet Bed

Sarah E. Goode was born into slavery in 1850. She was the first African American woman to be granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Tradesmark Office for her invention, the cabinet bed, on July 14, 1885. Freed at the end of the Civil War, Goode moved to Chicago and became an entrepreneur. As owner of a furniture store she noted that city apartment dwellers often had little space for beds. She conceived the design of what we know today as the "hide away" bed. She described the design as "a folding bed" whose hinged sections were easily raised or lowered. When not in use as a bed, Goode's invention could also be used as a desk.

Vesta Roman Goddess of the Hearth

References:

Women Invent:Two Centuries of Discoveries That Have Shaped Our World by Susan Casey (Chicago Review Press, 1997) p.67
Mothers and Daughters of Invention by Autumn Stanley (Rutgers University Press, 1995) pp. 54n,307,340n50.
Black Stars:African American Women Scientists and Inventors by Otha Richard Sullivan (John Wiley, 2002) pp. 13-18.

Web Sites

Sarah E. Goode
African American Inventors