28 days of Black Inventions: Street Sweeper

28 days of Black Inventions

February 15th, 2017

Street Sweeper

As we normally do this time of year, we’re going to celebrate Black History Month by acknowledging 28 of the most influential, world changing inventions by Black People. Our goal is to shed light on some inventions that most people probably didn’t know about, some of the lessor known inventions as well some of the more notable inventions. So, join us on our 28-day journey and you might learn a thing or two.

Street Sweeper


Let’s face, it we all dread it, if you live in a city and do not have a Garage or somewhere private to park your car you know what this is. Alternate Side Parking is like a curse word for the private parking deprived many of us who rely on street parking for our beloved vehicles. (It’s understandable that the streets need to be cleaned, but 6 times a week c’mon that’s too much. Sorry folks i’m venting a little, back to the story). Insert the Street Sweeper the city’s version of a one giant human driven Vacuum. These are the big noisy sanitation trucks that clean our streets, hence the reason for Alternate Side Parking Regulations. But if you think that’s bad imagine how things were before it. Trash would have to manually & tediously picked up and that would take a while.

Charles Brooks


Until an African American man by the name of Charles Brooks Invented the Street Sweeper. Designed for city streets for ease of use and a quicker though much noisier way of Street Cleaning. On March 17th, 1896 his Patent was issued fr this creation, and the modern day street Trash removal was in effect. Though not fully accepted by most until the cities got bigger & dirtier the need for the Street Sweeper took full effect. Taking advantage of its broad and sturdy design trash would be swept up and stored in a trash chamber inside of the truck.

Charles Brooks was no slouch, he was an accomplished Inventor, also having Patented the hole puncher, a new and improved way of storing garbage in receptacles. Hailing from  Newark, New Jersey, he knew the Street Sweeper was needed. Also the Wheel Drive unit for the Street Sweeper and its rotating brushes. This product it still used today in most homes and offices. However it is the Street Sweeper that is his most notable creation. Forward thinking s a major requirement for any creative person. Knowing what is needed from a society to flourish in present day as well as planning for the world ahead of time.

Editor’s Note: 

Somebody’s got to do the dirty work, somebody figured out a way to do it more effectively. Once again we are not sure we have an accurate photo of Mr. Brooks. We will continue to research this a little further but in the mean time we’ll display the image above. #Thankyou



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