Web Page No 2458
19th March 2018
First Picture: A Ewbank just like my mum had
Second Picture: The workings of a Ewbank
Third Picture: Early Ewbank advert
Fourth Picture: Early American Bissell machine
Remember the Ewbank Carpet Sweeper, every household seemed to have one? I know my mother had a wooden bodied one at home in the 1950’s
They were originally popular before the introduction of the vacuum cleaner and have been largely superseded by them. However, they continued to be used in many homes as they were lightweight and quiet, enabling users to quickly clean small messes up from the floor without disturbing babies and pets etc.
A carpet sweeper typically consists of a small box. The base of the box has rollers and brushes, connected by a belt or gears. There is also a container for dirt and fluff. The arrangement is such that, when pushed along a floor, the rollers turn and force the brushes to rotate. The brushes sweep dirt and dust from the floor into the container. Carpet sweepers frequently have a height adjustment that enables them to work on different lengths of carpet, or bare floors. The sweeper usually has a long handle so that it can be pushed without bending over.
Founded in Accrington, Ewbank has its origins in a 1864 company which was founded by John Ramsbottom and George Hacking, which made water meters. They were joined by John Haworth, James Entwisle, and James Kenyon, and when the founders retired the company was renamed Entwisle and Kenyon Limited.
Entwisle & Kenyon started making manually operated washing machines around about 1875 and they also manufactured mangles. While one of the company’s representatives, Richard Walton Kenyon, was in the United States in 1882 to source wooden blocks for mangles, he visited a carpet sweeper factory in Chicago and saw the potential for the product, which was already popular in the US. Back home in the UK. Kenyon designed the first Ewbank branded carpet sweeper, which went on sale in 1889. It became the most popular product of its type in Britain, where carpet sweeping became known as “ewbanking”.
The ‘Ewbank’ name came from the Ewbank area of Accrington where the factory was located. Ewbank became a major manufacturer of floor-care products after World War II, including carpet shampooers, mangles, ladders and many more, selling both in the UK and, via an export wing, internationally.
Ewbank has a heritage to be proud of, it’s a household favourite and a much-loved brand that has been providing cleaning solutions for over 150 years. Innovative design, reliability and customer satisfaction have always been a top priority and a byword for their quality.
Today, Ewbank is still selling carpet sweepers and other products, including floor polishers, vacuum cleaners, shampooers and steam cleaning solutions meaning that Ewbank now, and always, has had a practical solution to everyday cleaning.
But what was the item that Richard Kenyon saw in the USA? It was a cleaner designed and patented by Melville R. Bissell of Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1876. Bissell began selling carpet sweepers in 1883. They became popular in the UK after the first Ewbank model went on sale in 1889. New powered versions were designed at the beginning of the 20th century, with rechargeable batteries and an electric motor to spin the rollers and brushes.
The legacy of carpet sweepers lives on in floor cleaning robots that have limited suction power and rely on sweeping to collect larger bits of debris from the floor. While some research models of robotic vacuums only rely on vacuum motors, models on the market such as Roomba invariably combine suction and sweeping.
Looking back I remember that when Pan and I got married 50+ years ago we were given one as a wedding present. Anyone still have a Ewbank in use?
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News and Views:
ON THIS DAY 19th March 1960-1965
On 19/03/1960 the number one single was Running Bear - Johnny Preston and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Wagon Train (ITV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Venereal disease rising in teens.
On 19/03/1961 the number one single was Wooden Heart - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 19/03/1962 the number one single was Wonderful Land - The Shadows and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 19/03/1963 the number one single was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top rated TV show was Conservative Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 19/03/1964 the number one single was Little Children - Billy J Kramer and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 19/03/1965 the number one single was The Last Time - Rolling Stones and the number one album was Rolling Stones Number 2 - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.