Broom Factory Flourishes Here

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: May 1, 1905

Broom Factory Flourishes Here

Manufacturing of the Housewife’s Weapon of Defense Against Dirt.

Process of Making Described

Starting in a Small Way The Business is Constantly Growing – Output of 125 Dozen Brooms Per Week at The Present Time.

One of the most flourishing small manufacturing concerns of the city is the Fort Dodge Broom Company, located at 425 Central avenue. The factory is owned and managed by the Brennan Brothers, formerly of Waterloo. They came here in the spring of 1903 and started their plant on April 5 of that year, induced by a grant of six months’ free rent. The business is in a flourishing condition their trade being about four times as great as it was when they first started. Four men are now employed in making brooms and turn out over one hundred and twenty-five dozen per week. These are sent to the outside trade for the most part.

This indispensable weapon of the housewife against dirt is made from broom corn grown in Oklahoma and shipped here for a consideration of from fifty to one hundred dollars a ton, according to the grade. The raw materials is packed in large bales and is a mass of tangled whisks. To straighten these out and knock off the seed is the first step, one of four, in the making of a broom.

The next one is that of sorting the different lengths which is done by a boy at a long table. After he sorts them into four piles of different lengths he ties each pile into a bundle and  passes it to the men at the tying machines. Here the broom is made up, step by step.

First a handle is taken and run through a hold in the center of a revolving wheel where it is securely clamped. Then, taking a bunch of whisks from the pile, he bonds the bases and places them against the handle. They by foot power, he fastens it in place by a wire.

Again he selects a bunch of whisks and goes through the same process, although laying them end to end with the first bunch. Gradually the outer portion of the broom is reached, suing finer grades of material. Then the whole is secured at the base by a piece of cloth fastened by wire and a tin guard railed with staples.

After these steps the unfinished article reaches the stitching machine. This machine is run by a gasoline engine and has a capacity of forty dozen brooms per day. A single broom is securely clamped into position and shoved between the needles. These pass through the broom and catch the cord at the other side with the eyes, drawing it through the broom. This action is repeated until that row of stitches is finished. The broom is completed by being stitched in four rows and by having the label pasted on the handle.

This process is similarly used in the manufacturing of all the five different grades of articles made here. The only difference is in the class of material employed. These articles are sent all over the state and as they bear the label with the name Fort Dodge printed thereon, form quite an advertisement for the city.

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