On August 3, 1897, Lloyd Ray saved cleaners from having to push dust out doors and into hands or onto flimsy pieces of paper by patenting an improved version of dust pan. A metal plate attached to a short wooden handle, the original dustpan hasn't really changed in the 124 years, and has created offspring such as modern pooper scoopers, janitorial bucket-like bins, and pans with silicone teeth that help scrape clumps of dust and hair off the end of brooms.
Born at the end of the Civil War in 1860 in Springfield, Missouri, Lloyd Ray began his life as a slave and was emancipated not long after. Almost nothing is known about Ray, but we do know that he is one of many African American inventors who created household tools that have made cleaning easier and more efficient.
Today the dustpan has evolved and diversified. Some have long handles, some short, some are made with metal, some plastic. Some come with brushes that sport natural bristles and some are synthetic. Some bristles are distinguished as flagged with split, bushy ends to sweep dry, fine particulate material like dust, and other bristles are unfledged with straight, unspilt ends with a stiff texture ideal for sweeping large debris like leaves.
Can you imagine having to clean floors without a dustpan? Think of how challenging and irritating it would be to remove confetti, shredded paper, or Christmas tree pine needles off the floor without one! Sometimes the simplest inventions make the most difference.
As a black-owned business, PopUP CleanUP seeks to highlight the achievements of the African American community while serving the greater public. We specialize in event and commercial cleaning and service real estate for sale listings and short term rental turnovers as well. Reach out to us to know how we can best serve your needs.