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Sarah Boone Inventor

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Home » Sarah Boone – Black Women Inventor

Sarah Boone – Black Women Inventor

sarah booneThe life of a woman in the past was heavily influenced by societal expectations and stereotypes, and while it is now commonplace for people to joke around about the tasks that a woman is supposed to full, the fact is that women were tasked with some tremendously difficult jobs. In the days before washing machines and tumble driers, doing the laundry was one such task. Women would have to physically wash the clothing by hand, which is quite a physically demanding task, and then let it dry before trying to iron it using what can best be described as a hot sheet of metal. And they were expected to do this without burning anything, and getting the right level of straightness and so forth.

One of the most important inventions in this field was dreamed up by Sarah Boone. Ironing with that kind of technology on a flat surface put the garments at high risk for burning, and working on the sleeves was nearly impossible. What she designed was a long plane or carved wood that curved up to one end. The curve made manipulating the clothing a lot simpler, and because of the shape of the wood, the sleeves could be positioned in over the board itself. And when you wanted to work on the other side of it, all that you had to do was flip the reversible wooden board over to improve access without sacrificing the shape of what whatever you were working on.

Despite the fact that we know almost nothing about Sarah Boone, she made such a big contribution that every household in the developed world features a variation on her original design. While technology has developed around her principle, the fact is that without what she came up with, men and women alike would be struggling to present themselves neatly.

 

 

 
 
 
 

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