A Woman to Know: Sarah Boone

… a cheap, simple, convenient and highly effective device. — Sarah Boone’s patent

… a cheap, simple, convenient and highly effective device. — Sarah Boone’s patent

(image via Wikimedia)

Before Sarah Boone, people treated ironing as a particularly cumbersone chore: you had to set up an ironing station with unused furniture or random wooden beams or some other flat, stationary surface that could serve as a flat ironing platform. But in 1892 — a whole 40 years after she’d been freed from slavery in North Caroline, married a freedman in Connecticut and moved to New Haven — Sarah Boone patented an invention to simplify this household task. With her curved, collapsible ironing board, ironing was suddenly something women could do anywhere in the house. All you had to do was set up the board, iron the clothes and then tuck Sarah Boone’s invention back in a closet or storage room.

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