An inventor from Kalamazoo, Michigan, Thomas Stewart, aimed to create products that streamlined processes and made lives easier.
For much of history, floors were made of straw, packed dirt, and plaster. Aristocrats used more expensive, more opulent materials like marble and stone, materials which later became more commonplace for the middle class as well. While brooms were useful for dirt floors, harder materials needed a wet cleaning method. The original mop was a rag or rags attached to a wooden pole that needed to be wrung out by hand. Before that, cleaning floors involved scrubbing them on your hands and knees with brushes and rags.
Stewart obtained U.S. Patent #499,402 in 1893 for his invention of a mop head that could be screwed on and off so that when the mop was dirty or worn out, it could be cleaned or replaced; he also created a T-head that attached to the head of the mop that wrung water when pulled by a lever, both designs that are incorporated in mops today.
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