Sarah E. Goode was the first African American woman to receive a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for her invention- the cabinet bed.

Goode was born into slavery in 1850 and released from bondage after the Civil War. She relocated to Chicago, IL. and married a carpenter named Archibald Goode. She became an entrepreneur and owned a furniture store in Chicago, IL. Noticing that those that lived in apartments were usually cramped, she invented the folding cabinet bed so one would have more space. 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. Today, we know these beds to be “Murphy beds”. Because there’s very little known about Sarah Goode’s life, it’s unclear when she died. Some say around 1905.

 

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