April 26th 1892, black inventor Sarah Boone received the patent for her ironing board invention. Before her invention, ironing was usually done by placing a wooden board or two on chairs or tables to iron. Sarah however wanted to design something that was more convenient and effective. She also wanted to design something that was easier for women to iron their dresses. She desired something that women could easily iron the body and the sleeves of their dresses on. Her ironing board was made of a narrow wooden board that had collapsible legs and a padded cover. It was also designed to be able to be folded and put away in a closet or other area. Many others had tried to patent a type of ironing board device. However, they were said not to have the sophisticated design of Sarah’s. Her ironing board was the precursor for the more modern versions of ironing boards that we have today. She was said to become a household name for those who knew of her invention, and its sleek and sophisticated design.
Sarah Boone was born as Sarah Marshall in the Deep South state of Mississippi in 1832. At the age of fifteen she married a man by the name of James Boone. The couple had eight children together. Soon the family relocated to New Haven, Connecticut. Here, Sarah began her career as a dressmaker. Sarah was also one of the first black women in the United States to receive a patent. She, however was not duly recognized for her work nor for her influence on today’s ironing board. Little else is known about Sarah Boone. Sarah died eight years later after receiving the patent for her invention in 1900. She died in her home in New Haven, Connecticut.
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