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Charles Brooks - Black Inventor - The Street Sweeper

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Charles Brooks – Black Inventor

If you have ever used public transport or walked on a street, then you need to acknowledge the contribution of Charles Brooks.

Yes, the work of Charles Brooks is that important. He received two key patents in seemingly unrelated work, although it has been suggested that he had a desire to improve the transport sector. His most famous patent came for his improvement to the street sweeper carts, which have remained relatively unchanged to this day. Brooks took the existing truck layout and completely overhauled it so that it became far more efficient. He added the spinning brushes that are characteristic of the modern machines, and also made attachments that could be fitted in their place in order to tackle more testing streets conditions, such as those that were muddy or full of snow. He also saw a gap in the collection process, and improved the design of the compartment that collected the debris that could not be swept aside. His invention was so profound at it has lasted centuries, and has become such an integral part of our lives that we really do take it for granted. The patent awarded to him is one of the longest standing in the commercial world.

Brooks was also responsible for a ticket punch design that was also virtually indispensable until modern magnet strip and barcode technology took over. It looked a lot like a pair of scissors, and what it did was punch a hole on the ticket, and collect the circle of paper in a receptacle that was attached to the device itself. This was an effective way of making sure that people had paid, and also eliminated the thousands of circles of paper that littered buses, trams, and trains alike. The technology is still in use today in less developed countries.

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

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