Monday, March 4, 2019

Chicagoan Sarah Elisabeth Jacobs Goode was the first Negro woman to receive a U.S. patent.

Born into slavery in 1855 as Sarah Elisabeth Jacobs, she was the second child of seven to Oliver and Harriet Jacobs. Sarah went on to become the first Negro woman to be granted a patent, № 322177 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, for her invention of the folding "Cabinet Bed" on July 14, 1885.

Sarah Goode
Sarah grew up in Ohio. According to Census records, her father was a carpenter. Her family gained their freedom at the end of the Civil War in 1865. By 1870, her family had moved to Chicago where Sarah met and married Archibald "Archie" Goode around 1880.

Archie, who was originally from Wise County, Virginia would have six children with Sarah, of whom three would live to adulthood. He described himself in the records as a "stair builder" and an upholsterer. She and Archibald opened a furniture store, where they would eventually sell the folding beds she had invented. Many of Sarah Goode's customers, mostly working-class, lived in small apartments and didn't have much space for furniture, including beds.

As a solution to the problem, Goode invented a Cabinet Bed, which she described as a "folding bed." When the bed was not being used, it could serve as a roll-top desk, complete with compartments for stationery and other writing supplies.
Sarah E. Goode died on April 8, 1905 and is buried in Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois.
Goode's "Cabinet Bed"
Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy a Chicago Public School at: 7651 South Homan Avenue. (STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). The Goode Academy is one of five CPS Early College STEM Schools which opened for the 2012-2013 school year.

In 1919, a cramped San Francisco resident named William Murphy would update Goode’s space-saving bed with his own patent, though Murphy’s invention folded into a wall.

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.



SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent N0. 322177, dated July 14. 1885. Application filed November 12, 1883. (No model.)

To all whom it may concern.

Be it known that I, SARAH E. GOODE, a citizen of the United States, residing at Chicago, in the county of Cook and State of Illinois, have invented a certain new and useful Improvement in Cabinet-Beds, of which the following is a full, clear, concise, and exact description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, forming a part of this specification.

This invention relates to that class of sectional bedsteads adapted to be folded together when -not in use, so as to occupy less space, and made generally to resemble some article of furniture when so folded.

The objects of this invention are, first, to provide a folding bed of novel construction, adapted, when folded together, to form a desk suitable for office or general use; second, to provide for counterbalancing the weight of the folding sections of the bed, so that they may be easily raised or lowered in folding or unfolding the bed; third, to provide for holding the hinged or folding sections securely in place when the bed is unfolded, and, fourth, to provide an automatic auxiliary support for the bedding at the middle when the bed is un folded.

My invention consists in the arrangements and combinations of parts hereinafter described, and pointed out in the claims.

In the accompanying drawings, Figure l is a perspective View of my improved folding bed folded together so as to form a desk, which is shown open. Fig. 2 is a partial vertical sectional view of the same, showing the desk closed. Fig. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view of the bed unfolded. Fig. 4 is a sectional view of the same on line m x in Fig. 3. Figs. 5 and 6 are views of portions of the bed in detail, referred to hereinafter.

Like parts are indicated by similar letters of reference throughout the several views.

The main frame of the bed I make in three sections, A B C. The center or stationary section, A, consists of a stout rectangular frame, of a length corresponding to the width of the bed, and of sufficient width to form, in connection with the folding sections B and C, when folded together thereon, a receptacle large enough to contain the necessary bedding. The folding sections B C are hinged to the stationary section A on opposite sides thereof, so that when unfolded the stationary section A becomes the middle portion of the bed, while the folding sections B C form the respective end portions thereof, the width of the stationary section A being thus included in the length of the bed when unfolded. By this well-known construction a full-length bed 6o may be obtained which will occupy but little vertical space when folded up. The hinged or folding sections B C are preferably constructed so as to form equal halves of the upright box which contains the bedding when the bed is folded, and they may be provided with suitable panels and trimmings to repre sent the lower part of an ordinary office-desk.

The section B, which forms the head portion of the bed when unfolded, I provide with an 7o extended piece, a., which projects over the top of the other folding section, C, when the bed is folded, and which forms the head-board of the bed when unfolded. The back portion, I), of section B is also extended, (see Figs. 2 and3,) 7 5 and by the addition of suitable end pieces, c c, and top board, d, a receptacle, D, is formed, into which I place the usual complement of pigeon-holes and drawers found in an ordinary office-desk. The desk D thus formed is provided at the front with a cover, c, of any suitable form. I prefer to use an ordinary cylinder cover, as shown in Fig. 2. The head-board a, which also serves as the bottom or table of the desk, is preferably constructed with its center portion adapted to slide in and out, whereby a greater amount of table surface for the desk may be provided by drawing out the sliding portion a', as shown in Fig. l. The pieces o c, which form the ends of the desk also serve as braces for the head-board a, thus making a very strong as well as a neat construction. When the bed is folded, the headboard extends over the folding section C and rests partly thereon. The desk Dis thus uniformly supported over the other portions of the bed, which when so folded become converted into an ordinary office-desk- In order that the folding sections B C may be easily folded or unfolded I provide a counter rooter-balance in the form of springs, the tension of which is adapted to act against the weight of the said folding sections as they are raised or lowered in folding or unfolding the bed. For this purpose I prefer to use flat springs f f, (see Figs. 3 to 6,) secured at one end to the inside of the rectangular frame of stationary sections A, the free end of said springs passing through clips or slides g g, secured to the inside of the bottom of the respective folding sections B C. Any desired number of these springs may be used to secure the proper degree of tension. Being attached to the inside of the respective sections, they are completely covered by the bedding, and therefore do not interfere in any way with the other working parts of the bed. The bedding of the bed is supported, in the usual manner, by a suspension-support secured at each end to the respective folding sections of the bed. For this purpose I preferably use au ordinary wovenwire spring or mattress, which is secured at each end to suitable cross-pieces, in the folding sections B C.

In order that the woven-wire spring may have additional support at the center when the bed is in use, I provide a yielding support, E, adapted to be automatically raised up to support the woven-wire spring when the bed is unfolded, and to be lowered automatically into the stationary section when the bed is folded. This yielding support E (see Figs. 3, 4, and 6) consists of a platform, 7c, carrying a series of coiled springs, l, said platform k being suspended by links or arms m from the side boards, n, of the respective fold ing sections B C, so that as the sections B C are lowered the platform k is raised, and vice versa. The coiled springs l are thus brought up to and form a support for the woven-wire spring h when the bed is unfolded, and are automatically lowered out of the way when the bed is folded.

In order that the folding sections B C may be rigidly held in place when the bed is unfolded, and thus keep the suspended bedding support stretched when the bed is in use, I provide at each side of the bed a brace, o, consisting of two arms joined together in the nature of a toggle-joint. These braces are pivoted at each end to the side boards, n, of the respective folding sections B C, and are each adapted when straightened out to form a continuous bar or brace which shall be inflexible as to end pressure, but capable of being folded sidewise. When the bed is unfolded, these braces are straightened out in a horizontal position between the respective folding sections B C, and thus hold said sections rigidly in place. In folding the bed the braces are drawn out of line at their joints, and will then easily fold up with the other portions of the folding sections are provided with the usual legs, which may be made to resemble a portion of the ornaments or trimmings of the desk when folded. The customary hooks or clasps for holding the folding sections together when folded are also provided.

Then folded together, the bed has all the appearance of an ordinary office desk, and may be used as such. The entire desk, being attached to and forming a part of the head-section of the bed, does not in any way interfere with the folding or unfolding of the bed, and by the novel construction thereof the contents of the desk will be very little deranged by the turning necessary in unfolding the bed.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim, and desire to secure by Letters Patent;

l. The combination, with the stationary section A and the folding sections B C, hinged on opposite sides of said stationary section, of a suspended bedding-support, h, secured at each end to the respective folding sections B C, the automatic auxiliary support E. and the jointed braces 0, substantially as and for the purpose set forth.

2. The combination, with the stationary section A, folding sections B C, and head-board a, of end pieces, c c, top board, d, and cover e, substantially as and for the purpose set forth.

In witness whereof I hereunto subscribe my name this 8th day of November, A. D. 1883.


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