Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Sarah Goode - Inventor

Sarah H. Goode was the first African American woman to hold a patent. She invented a bed that could be folded up into a desk cabinet. Sarah owned a furniture store and invented the bed for people living in cramped spaces.

The correct spelling of her name is Sarah H. Goode and I have made the correction in the post. To view a drawing of the patent you can visit the search area of the US Patent Full Text and Image Database You want to select the patent number option. The patent number in question is 322177. You then wan to click Images to see her design.

Now in Firefox or Opera browsers I didn't see anything but a QuickTime symbol. In Windows Internet Explorer I was able to see the drawings. You can see a version of the drawing at Inventor page at About.com

There are even more black inventors listed at http://www.blackinventor.com

At California State University at Pomona a student put up a bit of information as well as book citations to read more about Sarah and other women inventors.

Women inventors were not encourage or supported. African-American invention were not always credited to the actual inventor. Documentation is spotty but it is getting better. The sources that I have listed are viable and do a better job of giving you the facts.

Resources to Learn About African American Inventors

Since some of the prior links on Sarah H. Goode have vaporized. I've located other documents and websites that contain information on African-American inventors.

For grade schools students looking for African-American inventors there is a Google Books reference that you might find interesting. The name of the book is African-American Inventors By Fred M. B. Amram, Susan K. Henderson and you can view pages from that book.

Also for elementary school readers is Women Inventors 2 by Jean F. Blashfield.

If Sarah's info is too skimpy for you then you could look at this information kit created by PBS on inventor Percy Julian. You get a bit about his life and book and web resources to help you whip up a report on the PDQ.

From the Portland Public School System this is a 140 page document written by Hunter Havlin Adams on the history of African and African-American Contributions to Science and Technology.

For teachers and youth leaders you might want to take a look at an Ohio State University Extension guide called Invent - An African-American Inventor's Curriculum. This guide contains information about African-American Inventors, worksheets, games and skill building in critical thinking and idea processing.

For high school folks you own me big time for this one. From the ERIC portal this is a digest .pdf listing of resources you can investigate that talk about African-American inventors. It is just a list of books that may or may not have what you need. Not everything is on the Internet. There are times when you do have to touch an actual book.

09/20/09 Update

Mercy, this is becoming a never ending challenge. Some of the websites have died and left a spam holder pushing crud to un-suspecting folks. Had to take down the Famous Inventors link.

As some of you know, Microsoft Encarta is also going the way of the vapors so I gotta yank that link out as well. I re-checked the links and the remaining ones are still active. Still no photo or illustration of Sarah H. Goode.

02/10/2008 Update

Dear Anonymous Dudes or Dudettes that do not look at the Comment section. I have searched and re-searched there is no photo currently on the Internet of inventor Sarah Goode. If there was one, and it was in the public domain, I certainly would put it up for viewing.

10/22/2007 Update

Ah, there is nothing like good comments that inspire accuracy. Or make you feel like a stumble bum in a library. And it was a good thing somebody spoke up cuz the previous links have gone belly up. I have updated the spelling of her name, new viable links and stuff like that.


  1. yall need more information on sarah goode

  2. You need to put the date she got the patent and some stuff about her. Also can you spell her name the same each time instead of Sarah and Sara?

  3. Is there a photo/picture of Sarah?

  4. I just did a quick sweep and so far I have not found any images of Sarah. I'll keep looking and hopefully something will turn up in that wonderful obscure place I have yet to find.

  5. hi you need to have more info of sarah goode and not only about her invention.And some pictures wouldent hurt.

  6. What was Sarah Goode's actual birth date in 1850?

  7. she got her patent on July 14, 1885

  8. My last name is Goode my grandfather was from South Carolina I was wondering how do I know if I am related to her, Is there any pictures of her and a full biography

  9. you need more info. on sarah gooe because i got to do a paper and a poster on her by next monday, and there is not much info. here for me to use.thank you for your time you took to read this! anomimus!

  10. wow by commenting i feel like a fucking fag

  11. Anony if it feels good go for it. If it don't keep you hands a way from the joy stick or the one you have access to.

  12. Could not find the citation at the bottom of the site. What are your sources??