Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Top 10 Inventions by African-Americans

        Science | Inventions

Folding Cabinet Bed

In 1885, Sarah Goode became the first black woman to receive a U.S. Patent. Goode was born into slavery in 1850, and after the Civil War, she moved to Chicago and opened a furniture store. It was there she came up with an idea that would bring more urban residents with limited space into her store. She invented a folding cabinet bed. By day, the piece of furniture could be used by as a desk, but at night, it could be folded out into a bed. Goode received her patent 30 years before the Murphy bed, a hideaway bed that folds into a wall, was created.