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Sweet Street Sweep

Whoever thinks it might be a good idea to own a car in New York City has never heard of alternate side of the street parking. In Los Angeles you can’t live without a car, but parking is often like the Hunger Games. There are so many street signs that sometimes trying to figure out if it’s legal to park makes you hold your breath and hope the odds may be ever in your favor. But pretty much everywhere, streets are swept and if you’ve ever gotten a ticket for having your car parked in a street sweeping zone, yo’ve probably cursed both the sign hidden behind the uncut foliage—or the very existence of street sweeping itself.

But can you imagine our city and suburban streets without it?

The first street sweeping device was patented in 1849, but a Virginia-born African American porter by the name of Charles B. Brooks saw how he could make it better. He improved the first version by creating a pan which collected the swept debris, moved it along a belt, and tossed it into a receptacle on the truck. He also added a scraper for snow and ice that could change out the sweeping brushes. And he improved upon the self-propelled front brush system by added different length brushes that also revolved around to push the dirt into the pan.

The success of his improved sweeper led to a patent in 1896 and financial backing which allowed production of the sweeper for about $2000 each ($64,690 in 2021 dollars). After landing a contract to provide street sweepers for the state of Pennsylvania, Buffalo New York then decided to adopt the newer vehicle, and many others followed suit.

PopUP CleanUP is a black, female-owned small business. We support our heritage and are paving the way for future generations. We provide commercial and event cleaning in the Greater Los Angeles Area.

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