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Transcript of Sarah Boone
Sarah Boone was born in 1832 in North Carolina as Sarah Marshall. She lived as a slave on a plantation in North Carolina, which was not a free state. Because slaves' births were not often recorded, no one really knows the exact date she was born. She married a freeman named James Boone and became Mrs. Sarah Boone. Sarah was bought out of slavery. She and her husband had eight kids and the family moved to New Haven, Connecticut before the outbreak of the Civil War. James became a brick mason and Sarah became a dressmaker.
Why the ironing board was improved
Sarah improved the ironing board because as a dressmaker, she had to iron constantly and it was hard to do this without the right tools. One day in 1867, she decided to make an ironing board that allowed both sides of the garment to be ironed. The structure was narrow and curved, and it was made of wood. In her official patent, it states:
"Be it known that I Sarah Boone, of New Haven, in the state of Connecticut, have invented a new improvement in ironing boards; and I hereby declare the following, when taking in connection with accompanying drawings and the letters of reference marked thereon, to I be a clear, and exact description of the drawings constitute part of this specification, and represent. In view, my invention consists in a long, narrow board having its edges respectfully curved to correspond to the back and front seams of a sleeve, and provided at one end with a movable support hinged to the end and extending in line with the board, the outer and inner edges of the same respectively having, in effect, outward and inward curvature."
Sarah's patent was granted on April 26, 1892. It was patent number 473,655. She soon became one of the only female African American inventors. At first people did not accept her improvements, mainly because she was born a slave, African American, and the fact that she was a woman. Even though Connecticut was a free state, there were many people who felt that African Americans were inferior and did not readily accept anything that had to do with them. After they saw its usefulness, they slowly accepted the fact that she was an African American female and used the ironing board. Boone's invention eventually became widely popular. She made a lot of money selling her newly improved ironing boards. She died in 1901 of natural causes.
Sarah Boone was the inventor of the improved ironing board. She was an African american, a former slave, and a woman. She was one of the only African American women to receive a U.S. Patent for an invention. Her design made it easier to iron clothes. We still use her invention today but it has changed. Today we use metal supports and boards, electic steam irons, and cloth covers instead of wood boards and coal-heated irons. This is now a part of our modern world thanks to Sarah Boone.
Sarah Boone was an African American woman that was awarded U.S. Patent rights for her improvment to the ironing board. She created it so that people could iron the sleeves and collars of women's garments. She was one of the only African American women to receive a U.S. Patent at the time she was living. This is her story.
This is a picture of the diagram Sarah Boone used while writing her patent.
McKissack, Patricia and Frederick.
African American Inventors
.Brookfield, CT: The Millbrook Press, 1994. Print
New York City, NY: John and Wiley and Sons, 1998. Print
. New York: Walker and Company, 1991. Print