Sarah Boone

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Sarah Boone
BornSarah Marshall
Craven County, North Carolina, US
Died1904 (aged 71–72)
New Haven, Connecticut, US
Other namesBoon
  • Inventor
  • Dressmaker
Known forInventor of an ironing board improvement
Spouse(s)James Boone (m. 1847)

Sarah Boone (née Sarah Marshall; 1832 – 1904) was an African-American inventor. On April 26, 1892, she obtained United States patent number 473,563[1] for her improvements to the ironing board. Boone's ironing board was designed to improve the quality of ironing the sleeves and bodies of women's garments. The ironing board was very narrow, curved, and made of wood. The shape and structure allowed it to fit a sleeve and it was reversible, so one could iron both sides of the sleeve.[2][3]

Boone is regarded as the second African-American woman to attain a patent, after Judy Reed.[4] Along with Miriam Benjamin, Ellen Eglin, and Sarah Goode, Boone was a pioneering African-American woman inventor who developed new technology for the home.[5]

Personal life

The patent drawing for the ironing board invented by Sarah Boone.

Sarah Marshall was born in Craven County, North Carolina, near the town of New Bern, in 1832.[6] Along with her three siblings, she was born into slavery and barred from formal education.[7][8] Sarah was educated by her grandfather at home.[8] On November 25, 1847, she married James Boone (or Boon)—a free black man—in New Bern and was granted freedom from slavery.[6][9][10] They had eight children.[11]

The Boone family left North Carolina for New Haven, Connecticut, before the outbreak of the American Civil War.[12][6][10] They settled into a house at 30 Winter Street.[13] Boone worked as a dressmaker [6][14] and belonged to the Dixwell Avenue Congregational Church.[1]


Boone died in 1904, and is buried in a family plot in Evergreen Cemetery in New Haven.[6]

See also


  1. ^ a b Ramirez, Ainissa (July 26, 2020). "Two inventors who should have statues". The Hartford Courant. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  2. ^ Patent US473653 - IRONING-BOARD - Google Patents
  3. ^ Sullivan, Otha Richard (2002). African American Women Scientists and Inventors. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp. 12. ISBN 9780471387077.
  4. ^ Helton, Daniel (2018-07-04). "Sarah Boone (1832-1904) •". Retrieved 2021-04-18.
  5. ^ McNeill, Leila (7 February 2017). "These Four Black Women Inventors Reimagined the Technology of the Home". Smithsonian. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e Bellis, Mary. "Hate Creases? Sarah Boone's Invention Could Help". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  7. ^ "Simply Ingenious: The Ironing Board". Tampa Bay Times. 1998-02-14. p. 37. Retrieved 2018-02-06 – via
  8. ^ a b by (2020-03-11). "Who Invented the Ironing Board?". HomeCult IroningLab. Retrieved 2021-04-18.
  9. ^ "Craven County North Carolina Marriages 1740-1868". FamilySearch. Raleigh, North Carolina: State Archive of North Carolina. 25 November 1847. p. 30. Film #004364799, image 35. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  10. ^ a b Boyd, Herb (5 August 2021). "Sarah Boone, inventor of the ironing board and first Black woman to get a patent". New York Amsterdam News. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  11. ^ "1900 U. S. Census City of New Haven, Connecticut". FamilySearch. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. 11 June 1900. p. 13-A. NARA record series T623 roll 146. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  12. ^ Perry, Paul Wardell (1 January 2000). "Little Things That Made a Big Difference". The New Crisis. Archived from the original on 23 April 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  13. ^ "1880 U. S. Federal Census for New Haven County (Connecticut) Enumeration District 91, Sheet 46, Lines 46-50 and Sheet 47, Line 1". FamilySearch. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. 8 June 1880. pp. 46B–47A. NARA record series T9, Roll 106. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  14. ^ "1870 U. S. Federal Census for the First Ward of the City of New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, Line 34". FamilySearch. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. 9 July 1870. p. 175. NARA record series M593, Roll 109. Retrieved 7 February 2018.

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