Fact File about the Invention of the Ironing Board: Invention: Ironing Board *** Date of Invention: 1892 *** Name of Inventor: Sarah Boone *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1832 - 1904 *** Nationality of Inventor: African-American *** Historical Period: Second US Industrial Revolution / Victorian (1850 - 1914) *** Category: Household Items *** Country of Origin: America *** Facts about the Inventor, Sarah Boone, and the invention of the Ironing Board ***
Fact 1: Who invented the Ironing Board? The Ironing Board was invented by Sarah Boone in 1892 during the Second US Industrial Revolution era of inventions (1850 - 1914).
Fact 2: Who invented the Ironing Board? Prior to the invention of the
Ironing Board in 1892, Electricity become
available as a source of power in homes during the late 19th century and the
electric iron was invented by Henry W. Seeley (1854 -
1908) in 1882. However people continued to use flat irons, charcoal irons and
gas irons until much later when the electrification of American homes was
Fact 3: Who invented the Ironing Board? Ironing was a hot, hard and
arduous task made even harder because no one had designed a convenient and
effective ironing board.
Fact 4: Who invented the Ironing Board? After laundry work was finished
clothes were ironed on a makeshift board that balanced on a couple of chairs, or
used an empty table if one was available. It was inconvenient and really
difficult to iron items such as the collars and sleeves of shirts and dresses.
Until an enterprising and determined young woman, named Sarah Boone, invented
the ironing board.
Fact 5: Who invented the Ironing Board? The African American inventor of the Ironing Board, Sarah Boone, was born
as Sarah Marshall in February 1832 in Craven County, North Carolina, United States and died on
October 29, 1904.
Fact 6: Who invented the Ironing Board? The early years of Sarah Marshall Boone were spent in Craven County, North Carolina, United States where
she lived with her parents who were slaves on a plantation. Sarah Marshall never
attended school because she was a slave . In 1830, two years before Sarah was
born, a North Carolina state law had been passed prohibiting anyone from
teaching a slave to read or write. Despite the obvious danger, her grandfather
taught Sarah to read and write.
Fact 6: Who invented the Ironing Board? At the age of 15 years old Sarah
Marshall left plantation life when she married a freedman named James Boone.
Sarah was bought out of slavery and the couple married on 25 November, 1847 in
the town of New Bern in Craven County and went on to have eight children
Fact 7: Who invented the Ironing Board? North Carolina was a slave state
and would remain so until after the Civil War (1861 - 1865) when slavery was
finally abolished when North Carolina was readmitted to the Union in 1868. James
and Sarah Boone were both free and made the decision to relocate from the
Southern Slave State to a Northern Free State.
Fact 8: Who invented the Ironing Board? Sarah Boone and her husband James
chose to move 600 miles away to New Haven, Connecticut. It is not known exactly
when they made their move but it was possibly influenced by Connecticut
abolishing slavery in the state in 1848, just after Sarah and James Boone were
Fact 9: Who invented the Ironing Board? James Boone established himself
as a brick mason and Sarah Boone worked at home as a dressmaker, helping to
support their large family of eight kids.
Fact 10: Who invented the Ironing Board? Sarah Boone became a skilled
dressmaker and seamstress but she faced prejudice from many directions. Women
who worked were considered to be of low status, black women, an even lower
Fact 11: Who invented the Ironing Board? James Boone died in 1874 and
Sarah was left to raise her children alone and continued her work as a
Fact 12: Who invented the Ironing Board? The job of the dressmaker was
painstaking and there was a lot of competition for this type of work. Sarah
Boone's reputation was built on the new dress looking perfect and pleasing the
Fact 13: Who invented the Ironing Board? When Sarah finished a dress she
had to iron it, making sure the garment was sleek, wrinkle free and did not have
unnecessary creases. The arms of garments proved to be a real problem - it was
almost impossible to iron sleeves without creating a crease.
Fact 14: Who invented the Ironing Board? Henry W. Seeley's invention of
the electric iron in 1882 revolutionized the task of
ironing, making it much easier to press clothes and keep them wrinkle free.
However, its is doubtful that Sarah Boone possessed the new labor saving device
for some time because Electricity did not become
available as a source of power in homes until the late 19th century. It wa
likely that Sarah Boone had to use a gas iron or charcoal iron.
Fact 15: Who invented the Ironing Board? Sarah Boone needed to make all
aspects of her work efficient and focussed on the problem of ironing the new
clothes she had made. She designed a long, narrow Ironing Board with curved to
edges that the back and front seams of a sleeve could be slipped over.
Fact 16: Who invented the Ironing Board? The invention of the Sarah Boone Ironing Board
included a hinge allowing the ironing board to move up and down. Ironing Board
was a cheap, simple, convenient, and highly effective device that was perfect
for ironing the sleeves and bodies of ladies garments and the pressing the
sleeves of men's coats and shirts.
Fact 17: Who invented the Ironing Board? Sarah Boone made the brave
decision to apply for a patent for her invention - it was practically unheard of
for women to invent anything let alone apply for a patent! She arranged for
patent attorneys Fred. O. Earle and Lillian D. Kelsey to act on her behalf and
prepared the patent application for the Ironing-board which was filed with the
United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on July 23, 1891.
Fact 18: Who invented the Ironing Board? The patent was granted to Sarah
Boone for her invention of the Ironing Board on April 26, 1892 under US patent
number 473653. Her patent attorneys Fred. O. Earle and Lillian D. Kelsey
witnessed the patent application for her Ironing Board.
Fact 19: Who invented the Ironing Board? Sarah Boone was one of the first
black women in the United States to ever receive a patent for an invention.
Fact 20: Who invented the Ironing Board? Sarah Boone was never recognized
for her invention of the Ironing Board during her lifetime, nor did she make any
money for her invention.
Fact 21: Who invented the Ironing Board? Sarah Boone died on October 29,
1904 in Evergreen Cemetery, New Haven County, Connecticut. She will always
be remembered for her invention of the ironing board.