History of Window Cleaning, by WCM Window Cleaning Melbourne
Did you know that glass is one of the oldest man-made materials around?
Glass was discovered in 7000 BC, it was organised and produced in Egypt around 4000 BC. The mass production of glass occurred in the late 18th century.
The beginning of the mass production of glass meant one thing, humans now needed innovative ways to start cleaning it.
The modern, but traditional rubber squeegee and applicator tools were born. These tools could meet the demand of glass in home, office buildings and sky scrapers across the globe. The first squeegees were bulky, heavy and they even required the removal of twelve different screws to change the rubber blade. This made window cleaning quite slow and inefficient, when compared with modern technology.
Then came the Italian inventor Ettore Steccone, born in 1896, he arrived in the USA in 1922. He invented and patented the modern single blade squeegee with a flexible and lightweight brass handle; what a legend! He patented the invention and called it the ‘New Deal’. This swiftly revolutionised the world of window cleaning and his squeegees are still used today. ‘Ettore’ is still a leading supplier in squeegee development. Funnily, 1936 was the first time the ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’ song was played by George Formby in the movie ‘Keep Your Seats,
Soon after, another man took the squeegee industry by storm; Henry Unger. In 1964, Unger founded his name brand and began exporting the latest products from the United States. Working from his Grandmothers basement, Unger became an innovative worldwide window cleaning sensation. To this day, Unger continues to pride itself on working closely with window cleaning professionals to create the best cleaning gear possible.
As buildings got taller and more complex over the 20th century, the demand for new methods of window cleaning became necesary. With instances of window cleaners falling to their death, safety just had to improve.
Building Maintenance Units were invented. The BMU was made a key component to cleaning large sections of vertical glass on massive sky scrapers, far too high to reach with extension poles. These were produced by one main provider starting in 1955, E.W Cox originated here in Australia.
There are now continuing new ways to clean windows. A recent new invention, the water fed pole allows cleaning with a brush, long pole and purified water feeding. This system allows the highest quality clean from the safety of the ground. When normal telescopic poles become too high, it is extremely difficult to maintain control of the squeegee to perform a consistent good clean. Water fed poles make high reach cleaning easy.
The history of window cleaning is a unique and very interesting story. Only with the mass production of glass, did the need for detailed professional window cleaning become apparent. Since then, the cleaning tools and methods have evolved to meet the ongoing safety and efficiency demands of the window cleaning industry.
Contact WCM Window Cleaning Melbourne today!