WoW Blog (Woman of the Week) Blog

WoW Blog (Woman of the Week)

Each week this blog will feature a prominent woman who made significant contributions to engineering or science. If you have any women you'd like us to feature please let us know and we'll do our best to include them.

Do you know of a great woman in engineering that should be recognized? Let us know! Submit a few paragraphs about that person and we'll add her to the blog. Please provide a citation for the material that you submit so that we can verify it. Please note - it has to be original material. We cannot publish copywritten material or bulk text taken from books or other sites (including Wikipedia).

Previous in Blog: Woman of the Week – Patsy O’Connell Sherman   Next in Blog: Woman of the Week – Arlene Gwendolyn Lee
Close
Close
Close
2 comments

Woman of the Week - Sarah Goode

Posted January 06, 2020 4:30 PM by lmno24

Sarah Goode was an African American entrepreneur and inventor. She’s the first African American woman to officially receive a U.S. patent.

Technically, Judy W. Reed was the very first African American woman to patent an invention, but she didn’t sign hers. She only wrote “X” on the patent for an improved dough roller design.

Goode was born in 1850 to a family of slaves in Toledo, Ohio. When the Civil War ended, the family was granted freedom and moved to Chicago, Illinois. There, she met Archibald "Archie" Goode who she married and had six children with. Archie was a builder and upholsterer; the family opened a furniture store to sell their goods.

As customers came in to shop, they all seemed to have similar issues. Many lived in small, working-class apartments and didn’t have much room for furniture or storage. Average sizes of tenements were about 25 feet wide and 100 feet long.

She came up with an idea – a combination bed and desk that folded up when not in use.

When the bed was folded up, the piece served as a fully functioning roll-top desk for work or reading. At night, the bed would fold out. Along the sides were drawers and compartments for storage as well.

Her creative solution helped people feel less cramped in these small apartments and served as a precursor for other space saving inventions, like the Murphy bed.

She applied for a patent in 1885 and became the first African American woman to ever be granted one in the United States.

Sarah Goode died in Chicago in 1905 and is buried in Graceland Cemetery.

Reply

Interested in this discussion?
You can "subscribe" to this discussion to be notified of new comments.
Click on the Subscribe menu at the top of the page.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".
2
Power-User

Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 176
Good Answers: 3
#1

Re: Woman of the Week - Sarah Goode

01/10/2020 7:10 AM

I'm certainly not meaning to detract any from the elaborate design created by Mrs. Goode, but wouldn't an 'X' back in those days be a legal signature?

Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Eastern Kansas USA
Posts: 1367
Good Answers: 115
#2
In reply to #1

Re: Woman of the Week - Sarah Goode

01/11/2020 5:53 PM

I agree. Considering how many people were intentionally kept from learning to read or write, the X signature was considered a legal signature (and still is).

Reply
Reply to Blog Entry 2 comments
Interested in this discussion?
You can "subscribe" to this discussion to be notified of new comments.
Click on the Subscribe menu at the top of the page.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Previous in Blog: Woman of the Week – Patsy O’Connell Sherman   Next in Blog: Woman of the Week – Arlene Gwendolyn Lee

Advertisement