Carpet Sweepers

The carpet sweeper is manually operated. Its rotating brushes pick up dust, which is then deposited in the pan above. In the late 1850s, many patents for carpet sweepers were lodged in the United States. They were based on the same principles as the first street-sweeping machine patents granted to the British engineer Joseph Whitworth in 1840 and 1842. These early patents did not result in commercial production.

In 1876, Melville Reuben Bissell, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, patented an improved design of carpet sweeper. He began production and the Bissell carpet sweeper became the first commercially successful model. It consisted of a long pivoted handle, a wooden dust box on wheels and a set of rotating brushes. Bissell’s innovation was the central bearing brush, which allowed the sweeping brushes to self-adjust to suit different surfaces. By 1906, annual production of Bissell carpet sweepers had exceeded the one million mark. In Britain, similar carpet sweepers appeared in the 1880s. Carpet sweepers have become even more portable since being made of plastics and lightweight metals but their design has changed little, except for minor details such as the addition of corner brushes. They have retained a market niche because of their convenience for small cleaning jobs.