What Did Sarah Boone Invent?

Sarah Boone was an African American dressmaker who received a U.S. patent in 1892 for her designs for an improved ironing board. Prior to her invention, ironing boards generally consisted of a wooden board laid on a table or between two chairs.

Sarah Boone’s design made it easier to iron the sleeves and bodices of women’s dresses. It featured a narrow wooden board that was curved to correspond to the inside and outside seams of the sleeve of a dress or coat. The board was reversible to enable both sides of the garment to be easily ironed. The board featured a padded cover and collapsible wooden legs so it could be stored when not in use.