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A historic patent, Sarah E. Goode's Patent No. 322,177 for the Cabinet Bed, was granted 14 July 1885 and is one of the first two patents issued to African American women. According to the U.S. Patent Office, Judy W. Reed's patent no. 305,474 for a dough roller and kneader was granted 23 September 1884 and is considered the first.

There is little verifiable information on Sarah Goode s birth and early life although several sources indicate that she was born into slavery in the 1850s She ended up in Chicago Illinois and opened a furniture store that was fairly successful Many customers probably complained about the cramped rooms in their small urban apartments there was very little room for full size beds and other furniture Responding to the need to utilize space efficiently Goode designed and constructed a type of folding bed which doubled as a working desk cabinet When ...

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Due to unscrupulous landlords and discrimination-fueled scarcity, rents in Harlem were often double those of white New York City neighborhoods. The majority of residents—many fresh arrivals from the South—were poor and forced to devise ways to make rent. One popular scheme was the “rent party”: a nighttime gathering where for a small fee revelers could dance, drink, and socialize in a cash-strapped tenant’s apartment. Parties were most frequent on Saturdays, the day workers were paid. Rent parties were enormously popular in the 1920s; there could be “as many as twelve parties in a single block and five in an apartment building” (Drowne, Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance).

As the below interview with a former rent party host named Bernice makes clear practical motivations often gave way to more commercial ones and thus the buffet flat was born A buffet flat was a makeshift brothel set up in much the ...

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Granted 24 December 1991. Many of Lonnie Johnson's patents are held on imposing-sounding contraptions such as the Thermo-Electrochemical Converter, but the nuclear engineer's most famous invention is decidedly uncomplicated. Originally named the Power Drencher, Johnson's "Pinch Trigger Pump Water Gun," patent No. 5,074,437, added a separate pressurized air chamber to the water gun, traditionally a simple hand-propelled device. In 1991 toy manufacturer Larami Corporation launched the far-shooting gun—now branded Super Soaker—which would become one of the bestselling toys of all time.