This Day in History: 1896-03-17

African American inventor Charles B. Brooks receives US Patent #556,711 for his street sweeper design. Unlike other sweepers at that time (1890s), Brooks’ sweeper was the first self-propelled street sweeping truck. His design had revolving brushes attached to the front fender, and the brushes were interchangeable so that when snow fell, scrapers could be attached for snow removal. Learn more.