Yes, I kid you not – it is true! Who would have ever thought that this man, one of the famous founding fathers of the United States of America, would be involved or associated with a street sweeper machine? After observing that the dry streets were very dusty, and then when it rained they turned into mud and slush, Benjamin Franklin watched and saw that there was no crossing the street without getting mud and muck on your shoes. He saw there was a clean walkway when a woman swept and raked all the dirt into a cart. When they pushed the cart to empty it, some of the muddy contents slopped off back into the street again. Mr Franklin was told by the powers that be that the dusty streets were not swept because the dust would rise and be blown into stores and houses lining the streets.

Not to be put off, he observed a young woman sweeping the street outside his home and then knocking on doors begging for compensation for cleaning the area outside each home. Mr Franklin then devised a type of cart that would be pulled by men employed for the reason of keeping the street clean. This cart would carry away mud while allowing the water to seep out slowly. For the dry dusty street, he proposed the dust be swept into piles in one place and then removed from there.

From these humble beginnings, a man named Charles B Brooks patented the first actual street sweeping device in 1896. He had a truck with brushes attached that pushed the dirt and debris to the curb. Nowadays, a modern street sweeper machine makes short work of wet and dusty roads! They can also pick up small particles of less than 10µm in size, in addition to the larger debris. Since Benjamin Franklin’s time, street sweeping technology has advanced tremendously, but it is still the old fashioned, mechanized broom type of street sweeper machine that is used 90% of the time to keep the streets clean in America today.

If you are looking for a street sweeping machine to use at your business, you will have a large variety from which to choose. There are ‘ride-on’ street sweeper machines and ‘walk-behind’ street sweepers, and then there are bigger street sweepers which can perform a variety of functions. You are bound to find what you need from the huge range available today. And ‘thank you’ Benjamin Franklin for being so observant!