Friday, February 8, 2019

Day 8 - Sarah Goode - A Practical Bed For Small Spaces


Sarah Elisabeth Jacobs Goode - 1855 - 1905

What We Know For Sure

Sarah was born in 1855 in Toledo, Ohio.

After the Civil War ended, her parents moved her and her six siblings to Chicago, Il.

There, she met and married a fellow named Archibald Goode who was a carpenter.

Sarah opened her own furniture store in Chicago.

One of the major complaints her clientele had about their apartments was that they were very small, and there was barely any room for furniture.

Sarah put her mind to figuring out how to optimize the space at hand and offer a piece of useful furniture.

Her creation? A cabinet bed.

A desk that was fully functional with drawers and space to work that had a bed hidden in it.

You could do everything you wanted from storing paperclips to using the top of the desk to eat or do your taxes, and when you were ready for bed, you could open it and a full sized bed would unfold. There was a separate piece you could use to reinforce the middle of the bed.


 In the morning, you put the bed away and go on with the day.

Sarah patented the cabinet bed in 1885.

Sarah Goode died in 1905.

Things That Might Or Might Not Be True

The above facts seem to be mostly born out by all of the various sites I looked at and read. Now, there were lots of other things I found that seem either made up or fanciful, and possibly embellished.

This site says definitively that Sarah Goode was born into slavery.
Considering the fact she could read and write, that is highly suspect.

I found out there was a potential other African American woman who'd gotten a patent the year before Sarah. Her name was Judy Reed. Nobody knows anything at all about Judy Reed other than she got a patent in 1884. She signed her name "X".

I am not certain why anybody thinks Judy Reed was black.

Whilst searching for some kind of visuals for this post, I found a very "not an African American woman" picture listed with Sarah Goode's accomplishments on multiple sites.

I tracked the picture down and it turns out it is from a site for a family who was chronicling their  history in Wyoming The woman's name just happened to be Sarah Goode, but there is no reason to believe she invented anything, and she is most certainly not the first or possibly the second African American woman to ever patent anything.

I was amused that so many people had reprinted the picture without questioning it.

In Conclusion

All of that said, I give you Sarah Goode. She created the first cabinet bed that could double as a piece of functional furniture.

Sarah's creation was the precursor of the Murphy Bed, the sofa bed, and all the hideaway beds we have today.

Thank you, Sarah!

Celebrate Black History!

Day 1 - The ABC's of Black History Month
Day 6 - Ernest Everett Just - Biologist, Zoologist, Cell man
Day 7 - Frederick McKinley Jones - The Coolest Man in Modern History
Day 8 - Sarah Goode - A Practical Bed For Small Spaces
Day 9 - William Henry Cling - Did He Invent The Hospital Bed Before Gatch?
Day 10 - Inez Beverly Prosser and Brown V.S. The Board of Education
Day 11 - Jan Ernst Mateliger - Mechanical Engineer/Sole Man
Day 12 - Samuel L. Kountz Jr. - Revolutionized Transplant Surgery
Day 13 - Lewis Howard Latimer - Incandescent Inventor
Day 14 - Marie Van Brittan Brown - Home Security
Day 15 - Norbert Rillieux - Sugar Man
Day 16 - Otis Boykin - He Kept Hearts Beating
Day 17 - Alice H. Parker - Heating It Up!
Day 18 - Lloyd Quarterman - Chemist and Atom Man
Day 19 - Robert F. Flemming Jr. - Guitar Man
Day 20 - Charles S. L. Baker - The Friction Radiator 
Day 21 - Granville T. Woods - The Black Edison
Day 22 - Alfred L. Cralle - Next Time You Have Ice Cream...
Day 23 - Ellen Elgin - Through The Wringer
Day 24 - Dr. Daniel Hale Williams - Holding A Heart In the Palm of His Hands
Day 25 - Benjamin Bradley - Steam Engine Dominance
Day 26 - Elijah McCoy - The Real One
Day 27 - Alexander Miles - Hold The Door, Please!

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