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Charles Brooks
Charles Brooks Charles Brooks


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Charles Brooks designed the street sweeper and patented it on March 17, 1896. If you could imagine the days where a man would manually have to sweep the streets with a long horizontal head broom, shovel and dustpan, one would quickly demise that this invention was not only a time saver but also extremely economical. There was less manual labor, less down time as we know what sweeping can do to ones back. Well, a man by the name of C.S. Bishop from Pennsylvania invented the first street sweeper on September 4, 1849. It was a towed attachment with a built-in rotating brush wheel. It was Charles Brooks who decided to improve on this design. He decided to make the job a lot easier. He decided that the regular way of cleaning the streets was too daunting and not very cost effective. So he decided to create a sort of broom or sweeper and attach this device to a truck, hence “Street sweeper Trucks became a lot like what you’re used to seeing today. Brooks was a black man from Newark, New Jersey. In March 17th, 1896 he patented his invention. His application for the patent was filed on April 20, 1895. The street sweeper could best be described as a truck frame mounted on the axles which are supported by front and rear wheels. There are drive-wheels for the sweeping and elevator mechanisms and an endless chain which travels around a sprocket-wheel and travels up to an additional sprocket-wheel. There is a squared shaft which is mounted at opposite ends in bearings in the upper parts of a pair of vertical standards consisting of the back or rear parts of the truck-frame and then sustained by braces, which extend from the standards to the truck-frame. The patent drawings go on to explain the complete composition of the invention. For those who are lost on the technical jabber, here it is in layman terms. The truck had brushes attached to the front fender which would revolve. These revolving brushes could interchange to a flat scrapper who could be used in the winter months for snow and ice Charles Brooks also patented a sort of paper puncher. He was the third to design his own. The first two were designed by Solyman Merrick in 1838 and Robert James Kellett in 1867. Brooks design looked similar to the hand held metal whole punchers of today; the ones which make single holes and look like an oversized nail clipper with a wide handle grip. His paper punch was called a “Ticket punch” and it had a built in waste holder(receptacle) to prevent a mess of round paper dots which would ordinarily fall to the floor.


 
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