Technological advancements in a society rely on innovative, out-of-the-box thinking. In STEM, Black women are constantly breaking the mold and evolving society. The foundation behind some of the most important products and services in technology comes from Black women inventions.

From the sanitary belt to the framework of the home security system, Black women have found a solution for some of life’s most simple and challenging problems. Black women inventions have made some of the most impactful developments in technology. Check out these inventions by Black women that have made life easier for everyone.

The Ironing Board

Sarah Boone is the visionary mind behind the modern-day ironing board. Born in 1832 in Craven County, North Carolina, to two enslaved parents, Boone migrated to New Haven, Connecticut, with her husband and worked as a dressmaker. In April 1892, she received a patent for her design of “a cheap, simple, convenient, and highly effective device, particularly adapted to be used in ironing the sleeves and bodies of ladies’ garments.”

A Dough Kneader and Roller

Judy Reed is the inventor of an improved design for the dough kneader and roller. Recognized as the first Black woman to receive a patent in 1884, Reed’s design allowed dough to mix evenly through rollers, while also protecting it from dust and other particles. There is little record of her life beyond her invention; however, her product left a long-lasting legacy.

The Home Security System

Marie Van Brittan Brown was a nurse, who, along with her husband, invented the technology behind the video home security system. The patent, which was granted in 1969, included a video scanning device and the connected audio intercommunication equipment. Brown and her husband’s technology set the foundation for modern-day security systems.

Voice Over Internet Protocol

Black women inventions

Engineer Marian Croak has more than 200 patents, with almost half of them in Voice Over Internet Protocol technology. Croak is a pioneering inventor in VoIP technology. Many of her patents lay the groundwork for modern digital connections, such as Zoom and Facetime. In addition to her world-changing technology, she also serves as an advocate, encouraging young women and girls to enter engineering.

The Sanitary Belt

Born from an innovative family, Mary Kenner is the genius mind behind multiple inventions. Her first official patent was granted in 1956 for her sanitary belt design. Although she originally came up with the design in the 1920s, she couldn’t afford to pay for the patent. Instead, she spent her time making the product better, eventually getting the money for it. Kenner is also responsible for creating a toilet paper holder, a mounted back washer and massager and an attachment to wheelchairs.

The Folding Bed

Becoming the second Black woman to receive a patent, Sarah Goode’s invention of the folding bed paved the way for space-saving furniture. She received a patent for her folding bed in 1885. Her invention eventually inspired the modern-day murphy bed. The Black women inventor was born in Toledo, Ohio, and moved to Chicago. In the urban city, shared living spaces were regular, making the demand for this product higher.