Black History: Special Delivery!!
Thomas W. Stewart (1823 – 1890) was born in Kalamazoo, MI. He is perhaps, best known for making design improvements to the mop. In 1893, Stewart invented a new mop that had a clamp and springs which allowed the user to press a lever that would wring out the excess water in the mop. He also designed the mop head to be detachable, making it easier to clean and replace.
Stewart also received a patent in 1883 for a station and street indicator. Prior to his invention, there were only street signs that were used to provide warnings at train crossings. Stewart’s invention worked by activating a lever that was built into the train tracks that indicated a train was coming.
Stewart also invented a metal binding machine in 1893. The machine also had the capability of oscillating; making the process of bending steel safer and more efficient.