Charles B. Brooks was the extraordinaire inventor of the “street sweeper.” During Brooks time, it was common for the trash on the streets to be cleaned by walkers or those hired to keep the walkways and sidewalks clean with nothing more than a broom. For many, it was a good paying job.
Brooks devised a machine that had a series of broom-like brushes that pushed trash and debris to the side of the road. His invention was met with resentment because his invention would put an end to jobs for those who cleared away trash for a living.
Brooks patent was approved on March 17th, 1896; his application for the patent was filed on April 20, 1895. The street sweeper was best described as “a truck frame mounted on the axles which are supported by front and rear wheels. There are drive-wheels for the sweeping, elevator mechanisms, and an endless chain that 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.”
Over the years as cities grew larger, so did the need for the street sweeper. Workers admitted to the city’s need for such a machine and the Street Sweeper became indispensable.