First African-American woman to obtain a patent
Sarah Goode was born a slave in 1850. She moved to Chicago after the Civil War and owned a furniture store. Her invention, a cabinet bed (known to us as a hideaway bed), was granted patent #322,177 on July 14, 1885.
Dr. Patricia Era Bath was born November 4, 1942 in Harlem, New York. She is the first African-American woman to be granted a patent for an invention in the medical field. (Not that her high school career was shabby. Dr. Bath conducted work in the field of cancer research at the age of 16, computed a mathematical formula for the rate of the growth of a cancer, and had part of her work published and presented in Washington, D.C.) She was also the first black person to complete a residency in her field at New York University and is a founder of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness and the Opthamology residency training program at UCLA (which she chaired). Her invention, a device which uses a fiberoptic laser to remove cateracts, was patented in 1988.
First African American woman to obtain a patent for a software invention
Janet Emerson Bashen is the founder, president and CEO of Bashen Corporation, which specializes in aiding federal and corporate institutions in Equal Employment Opportunity compliance, affirmative action and diversity initiative administration. She was born in Mansfield Ohio, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in legal studies and government from the University of Houston. Her patent (#6,985,922), granted January 10, 2006 was for LinkLine, Bashen Corporation’s EEO compliance and case management software for clientele which includes Goodyear, Coca Cola,Dow Chemical, Home Depot and IHOP.