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Sarah E. Goode

Biography
(1850–1905)
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Entrepreneur and inventor Sarah E. Goode was one of the first African American women to receive a United States patent.

Who Was Sarah E. Good?

Born into slavery in 1850, inventor and entrepreneur Sarah E. Goode was one of the first African American women to be granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, for her invention of a folding cabinet bed in 1885. She died in 1905.

Life, Invention and Death

Born into slavery in 1850, inventor and entrepreneur Sarah E. Goode went on to become one of the first African American women to be granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, for her invention of a folding cabinet bed in 1885.

After receiving her freedom at the end of the Civil War, Goode moved to Chicago and eventually became an entrepreneur. Along with her husband Archibald, a carpenter, she owned a furniture store. Many of her customers, who were mostly working-class, lived in small apartments and didn't have much space for furniture, including beds.

As a solution to the problem, Goode invented a cabinet bed, which she described as a "folding bed," similar to what nowadays would be called a Murphy bed. When the bed was not being used, it could also serve as a roll-top desk, complete with compartments for stationery and other writing supplies.

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Goode received a patent for her invention on July 14, 1885. She died in 1905.

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