Women of Interest

Sarah E. Goode was born into slavery in Toledo, Ohio, in 1855 and died April 8, 1905. She was the first African-American woman to receive a patent for her invention of the folding bed, which she received in 1885. At that time African-Americans were seen as property and, as a result, their inventions belonged to the slave owners. Sarah Goode opened the door for other African-Americans to be able to obtain patents for their inventions. Sarah’s invention was a result of necessity at the time, as most people lived in tiny houses with a minimum amount of space, thus the folding bed which turned into a desk, allowed more useful living space during the day.