Sarah Boone (1832-1904)

Black History Month

Sarah Boone (1832-1904)

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Sarah Boone began life as Sarah Marshall, born in 1832.

In 1847, at age 15, she married freedman James Boone in New Bern, North Carolina. They moved north to New Haven, Connecticut before the Civil War. She worked as a dressmaker while he was a brick mason. They had eight children.

She filed her patent July 23, 1891, listing New Haven, Connecticut as her home. Her patent was published nine months later. There is no record found of whether her invention was produced and marketed.

Sarah Boone patented an improvement to the ironing board (U.S. Patent #473,653) on April 26, 1892. Boone’s ironing board was designed to be effective in ironing the sleeves and bodies of ladies’ garments.

Boone’s board was very narrow and curved, the size and fit of a sleeve common in ladies’ garments of that period.

It was reversible, making it easy to iron both sides of a sleeve. She noted that the board could also be produced flat rather than curved, which might be better for the cut of the sleeves of men’s’ coats. She noted that her ironing board would also be well-suited for ironing curved waist seams.

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