Sarah E. Goode

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Sarah E. Goode
Patent issued to Sarah E. Goode for the cabinet bed
Born Sarah Elisabeth Jacobs
Toledo, Ohio
Died April 8, 1905
Chicago, Illinois
Nationality American
Occupation Inventor
Known for First African-American woman to receive a United States patent.

Sarah Elisabeth Goode (1855 – April 8, 1905) was an entrepreneur and inventor. She was one of the first African-American women to receive a United States patent, which she received in 1885.[1]

She was born Sarah Elisabeth Jacobs in 1855 in Toledo, Ohio, although she would sometimes say that she was born in Spain.[2] Sarah Goode was the second of seven children of Oliver and Harriet Jacobs, both described in public records as mulattos. Oliver Jacobs, a native of Indiana was a carpenter.[3] When the American Civil War ended the family moved to Chicago, Illinois[4] where she met and married Archibald "Archie" Goode, who was originally from Wise County, Virginia; they would have six children, of whom three would live to adulthood.[5] He described himself in the records as a "stair builder" and as an upholsterer; she opened a furniture store.[6]

The idea for her invention came out of necessity of the times. Most people she knew lived in small homes or studios and these residents had a minimum amount of habitable space. Many of her customers complained of not having enough room to store things much less to add furniture.[7] Goode invented a folding cabinet bed which helped people who lived in tight housing to utilize their space efficiently. When the bed was folded up, it looked like a desk, with room for storage. She received a patent for it on July 14, 1885.[8][9]

Sarah Goode died in Chicago in 1905 and is buried in Graceland Cemetery.


  1. ^ "Goode, Sarah E. (c.1855?-1905) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed". The Black Past. Retrieved 2016-05-31. 
  2. ^ 1880 Federal Census for Cook County (Illinois) Enumeration District 2, Sheet 43, Lines 19-26; 1900 Federal Census for Cook County (Illinois) Enumeration District 76, Sheet 12, Lines 97-100 and Sheet 13, Lines 1-3
  3. ^ 1860 Federal Census for the Third Ward of the City of Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio, page 203
  4. ^ 1870 Federal Census for the Second Ward, city of Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, page 148
  5. ^ 1880 Federal census for Cook County (Illinois) Enumeration District 2, Sheet 43, Lines 19-26
  6. ^ "Sarah E. Goode". Inventors. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  7. ^ Hiphopucit (2011-02-27). "Black History: Sarah E. Goode – Inventor Of The Cabinet Bed". Hip Hop U-C-IT. Retrieved 2013-05-30. 
  8. ^ US patent 322177, Sarah E. Goode, "Cabinet-Bed", issued Jul 14, 1885 
  9. ^ Full patent image (12 pages) 322177 - Folding Beds - Sarah E. Goode at National Archives