A broom is a cleaning tool consisting of usually stiff fibers (often made of materials such as plastic, hair, or corn husks) attached to, and roughly parallel to, a cylindrical handle, the broomstick. It is thus a variety of brush with a long handle. It is commonly used in combination with a dustpan.
A distinction is made between a "hard broom" and a "soft broom" and a spectrum in between. Soft brooms are for sweeping walls of cobwebs and spiders, like a "feather duster". Hard brooms are for rougher tasks like sweeping dirt off sidewalks or concrete floors (or even smoothing and texturing wet concrete). The majority of brooms are somewhere inbetween, suitable for sweeping the floors of homes and businesses, soft enough to be flexible and to move even light dust, but stiff enough to achieve a firm sweeping action.
The word "broom" derives from the name of certain thorny shrubs (Genista and others) used for sweeping. The name of the shrubs began to be used for the household implement in Late Middle English and gradually replaced the earlier besom during the Early Modern English period. The song Buy Broom Buzzems (by William Purvis 1752–1832) still refers to the "broom besom" as one type of besom (i.e. "a besom made from broom").
A broom handle (the broomstick) is sometimes called a "stale".
A smaller whisk broom or brush is sometimes called a duster.
In 1797, the quality of brooms changed when Levi Dickenson, a farmer in Hadley, Massachusetts, made a broom for his wife, using the tassels of sorghum, a grain he was growing for the seeds. His wife spread good words around town, creating demand for Dickenson's sorghum brooms. The sorghum brooms held up well, but ultimately, like all brooms, fell apart. Dickenson subsequently invented a machine that would make better brooms, and faster than he could. In 1810, the foot treadle broom machine was invented. This machine played an integral part in the Industrial Revolution.
One source mentions that the United States had 303 broom factories by 1839 and that the number peaked at 1,039 in 1919. Most of these were in the Eastern United States; during the Great Depression in the 1930s, the number of factories declined to 320 in 1939. The state of Oklahoma became a major center for broom production because broom corn grew especially well there, with The Oklahoma Broom Corn Company opening a factory in El Reno in 1906. Faced with competition from imported brooms and synthetic bristles, most of the factories closed by the 1960s.
In the context of witchcraft, broomstick is likely to refer to the broom as a whole, known as a besom. The first known reference to witches flying on broomsticks dates to 1453, confessed by the male witch Guillaume Edelin. The concept of a flying ointment used by witches appears at about the same time, recorded in 1456.
In Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West used a broomstick to fly over Oz. She also used it to skywrite "Surrender Dorothy" above the Emerald City. The Wizard commands Dorothy and her three traveling companions to bring the Wicked Witch's broomstick to him in order to grant their wishes. Dorothy carries it to the Wizard with the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion after the Wicked Witch's death.
In Disney's 1940 film Fantasia, Mickey Mouse, playing The Sorcerer's Apprentice, brings a broom to life to do his chore of filling a well full of water. The broom overdoes its job and when chopped into pieces, each splinter becomes a new broom that flood the room until Yen Sid stops them. This story comes from a poem by Goethe called Der Zauberlehrling ("The Sorcerer's Apprentice"). The Disney brooms have had recurring cameos in Disney media, mostly portrayed as janitors, albeit not out of control or causing chaos such as in the original appearance.
Flying brooms play an important role in the fantasy world of Harry Potter, used for transportation as well as for playing the popular airborne game of Quidditch. Flying brooms, along with Flying carpets, are the main means of transportation in the world of Poul Anderson's Operation Chaos.
But a Broom-Stick, perhaps you will say, is an Emblem of a Tree standing on its Head; and pray what is Man, but a Topsy-turvey Creature, his Animal Faculties perpetually mounted on his Rational; His Head where his Heels should be, groveling on the Earth, and yet with all his Faults, he sets up to be an universal Reformer and Corrector of Abuses, a Remover of Grievances, rakes into every Sluts Corner of Nature, bringing hidden Corruptions to the Light, and raises a mighty Dust where there was none before, sharing deeply all the while, in the very same Pollutions he pretends to sweep away: His last Days are spent in Slavery to Women, and generally the least deserving; till worn to the Stumps, like his Brother Bezom, he is either kickt out of Doors, or made use of to kindle Flames, for others to warm themselves by.
It is used as a symbol of the following political parties:
Media related to Brooms at Wikimedia Commons1972 Air Canada Silver Broom
The 1972 Air Canada Silver Broom was held at the Olympic Eisstadion in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany from March 19–21, 1972. The 1972 Air Canada Silver Broom was the site of the infamous incident that led to the Curse of LaBonte.Besom
A besom is a broom, a household implement used for sweeping. The term is now mostly reserved for a traditional broom constructed from a bundle of twigs tied to a stout pole. The twigs used could be broom (i.e. Genista, from which comes the modern name "broom" for the tool), heather or similar. The song "Buy Broom Buzzems" from Northern England refers to both types of twig. From the phrase broom besom the more common broom comes. In Scotland, besoms are still occasionally to be found at the edge of forests where they are stacked for use in early response to an outbreak of fire.Bobby Broom
Robert Broom Jr. (born January 18, 1961) is an American jazz guitarist, composer, and educator. He was born and raised in New York City, then moved to Chicago, which has been his home town since 1984. He performs and records with The Bobby Broom Trio and his organ group, The Bobby Broom Organi-Sation. While versed in the traditional jazz (bebop and post-bop) idioms, Broom draws from a variety of American music forms, such as funk, soul, R&B, and blues.Broom-Stick Bunny
Broom-Stick Bunny is a Warner Bros. Looney Tunes short released in 1956 and directed by Chuck Jones.Broom of the Cowdenknowes
"Broom of the Cowdenknowes", also known as "Bonny May", is a traditional Scottish love ballad, Child #217. It has been traced to the seventeenth century, but its exact origin is unknown.The title of the song references the Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) flower, a vibrant yellow flower found throughout Scotland, including Cowdenknowes, a Scottish barony east of the Leader Water (River Leader), 32 miles southeast of Edinburgh in Berwickshire.Broomball
Broomball is a recreational ice game originating in Canada (also contested as being Swedish) and played in certain other countries. It is played in a hockey rink, either indoors or outdoors, depending on climate and location.
In a game of broomball there are two teams, each consisting of six players: a goaltender and five others. The object of the game is to score more goals than the opponent. Goals are scored by hitting the ball into the opponent's net using the broom. Tactics and plays are similar to those used in sports such as ice hockey, roller hockey and floorball.
Players hit a small ball around the ice with a stick called a "broom." The broom may have a wooden or aluminum shaft and has a rubber-molded triangular head similar in shape to that of a regular broom (or, originally, an actual corn broom with the bristles either cut off or covered with tape). Players wear special rubber-soled shoes instead of skates, and the ice is prepared in such a way that it is smooth and dry to improve traction. The ball can differ whether the game is played indoors or outdoors. The indoor ball is smooth while the outdoor ball has ridges and resembles a small soccer ball .Curling
Curling is a sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four concentric circles. It is related to bowls, boules and shuffleboard. Two teams, each with four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones, also called rocks, across the ice curling sheet towards the house, a circular target marked on the ice. Each team has eight stones, with each player throwing two. The purpose is to accumulate the highest score for a game; points are scored for the stones resting closest to the centre of the house at the conclusion of each end, which is completed when both teams have thrown all of their stones. A game usually consists of eight or ten ends.
The player can induce a curved path, described as curl, by causing the stone to slowly turn as it slides. The path of the rock may be further influenced by two sweepers with brooms, who accompany it as it slides down the sheet and sweep the ice in front of the stone. "Sweeping a rock" decreases the friction, which makes the stone travel a straighter path (with less "curl") and a longer distance. A great deal of strategy and teamwork go into choosing the ideal path and placement of a stone for each situation, and the skills of the curlers determine the degree to which the stone will achieve the desired result. This gives curling its nickname of "chess on ice".Cytisus scoparius
Cytisus scoparius, the common broom or Scotch broom, syn. Sarothamnus scoparius, is a perennial leguminous shrub native to western and central Europe. In Britain and Ireland, the standard name is broom, but this name is also used for other members of the Genisteae tribe, such as French broom or Spanish broom, and the term common broom is sometimes used for clarification. In other English-speaking countries, the most prevalent common name is Scotch broom (or Scot's broom); It is known as English broom in Australia.Dust My Broom
"Dust My Broom" is a blues song originally recorded as "I Believe I'll Dust My Broom"
by American blues artist Robert Johnson in 1936. It is a solo performance in the Delta blues-style with Johnson's vocal accompanied by his acoustic guitar. As with many of his songs, it is based on earlier blues songs, the earliest of which has been identified as "I Believe I'll Make a Change", recorded by the Sparks brothers as "Pinetop and Lindberg" in 1932. Johnson's guitar work features an early use of a boogie rhythm pattern, which is seen as a major innovation, as well as a repeating triplets figure. "I Believe I'll Dust My Broom" was issued before blues records were tracked by recording industry trade publications and, as with most of Johnson's recordings, has not been otherwise identified as a big seller at the time.
However, Elmore James' 1951 recording as "Dust My Broom" "made it the classic as we know it", according to blues historian Gerard Herzhaft. James' slide guitar adaptation of Johnson's triplet figure has been identified as one of the most famous blues guitar riffs and has inspired many rock performers. The song has become a blues standard, with numerous renditions by a variety of musicians. It also has been selected for the Blues Foundation Blues Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, and the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry.Genisteae
Genisteae is a tribe of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants in the subfamily Faboideae of the legume family Fabaceae. It includes a number of well-known plants including broom, lupine (lupin), gorse and laburnum.
The tribe's greatest diversity is in the Mediterranean, and most genera are native to Europe, Africa, the Canary Islands, India and southwest Asia. However, the largest genus, Lupinus, is most diverse in North and South America. Anarthrophytum and Sellocharis are also South American and Aryrolobium ranges into India.Jumping the broom
Jumping the broom (or jumping the besom) is a phrase and custom relating to a wedding ceremony where the couple jumps over a broom.
It has been suggested that the custom is based on an 18th-century idiomatic expression for "sham marriage", "marriage of doubtful validity"; it was popularized in the context of the introduction of civil marriage in Britain with the Marriage Act 1836.
There have also been suggestions that the expression may derive from an actual custom of jumping over a "broomstick" (where "broom" refers to the plant common broom rather than the household implement) associated with the Romani people of the United Kingdom, especially those in Wales.The custom of a marrying couple literally jumping over a broom is now most widespread among African Americans, popularized in the 1970s by the novel and miniseries Roots but originating in the mid 19th century as a practice in antebellum slavery in the United States.Leptospermum scoparium
Leptospermum scoparium, commonly called mānuka, manuka, manuka myrtle, New Zealand teatree, broom tea-tree, or just tea tree, is a species of flowering plant in the myrtle family Myrtaceae, native to Australia and New Zealand.Loch Broom
Loch Broom (Scottish Gaelic: Lochbraon, "loch of rain showers") is a sea loch located in northwestern Ross and Cromarty, in the former parish of Lochbroom, on the west coast of Scotland. The small town of Ullapool lies on the eastern shore of the loch.Mauser C96
The Mauser C96 (Construktion 96) is a semi-automatic pistol that was originally produced by German arms manufacturer Mauser from 1896 to 1937. Unlicensed copies of the gun were also manufactured in Spain and China in the first half of the 20th century.The distinctive characteristics of the C96 are the integral box magazine in front of the trigger, the long barrel, the wooden shoulder stock which gives it the stability of a short-barreled rifle and doubles as a holster or carrying case, and an iconic grip shaped like the handle of a broom. The grip earned the gun the nickname "broomhandle" in the English-speaking world, because of its round wooden handle, and in China the C96 was nicknamed the "box cannon" (Chinese: 盒子炮; pinyin: hézipào) because of its rectangular internal magazine and the fact that it could be holstered in its wooden box-like detachable stock.With its long barrel and high-velocity cartridge, the Mauser C96 had superior range and better penetration than most other pistols of its era; the 7.63×25mm Mauser cartridge was the highest velocity commercially manufactured pistol cartridge until the advent of the .357 Magnum cartridge in 1935.Mauser manufactured approximately 1 million C96 pistols, while the number produced in Spain and China was large but unknown due to the non-existence or poor preservation of production records from those countries.Robert Broom
Robert Broom FRS FRSE (30 November 1866, Paisley – 6 April 1951) was a Scottish South African doctor and paleontologist. He qualified as a medical practitioner in 1895 and received his DSc in 1905 from the University of Glasgow.
From 1903 to 1910 he was professor of zoology and geology at Victoria College, Stellenbosch, South Africa, and subsequently he became keeper of vertebrate paleontology at the South African Museum, Cape Town.Therapsid
Therapsida is a group of synapsids that includes mammals and their ancestors. Many of the traits today seen as unique to mammals had their origin within early therapsids, including having their four limbs extend vertically beneath the body, as opposed to the sprawling posture of reptiles. The earliest fossil attributed to Therapsida is Tetraceratops insignis from the Lower Permian.Therapsids evolved from "pelycosaurs", specifically within the Sphenacodontia, more than 275 million years ago. They replaced the "pelycosaurs" as the dominant large land animals in the Middle Permian and were largely replaced, in turn, by the archosauromorphs in the Triassic, although one group of therapsids, the kannemeyeriiforms, remained diverse in the Late Triassic.
The therapsids included the cynodonts, the group that gave rise to mammals in the Late Triassic around 225 million years ago. Of the non-mammalian therapsids, only cynodonts survived the Triassic–Jurassic extinction event. The last of the non-mammalian therapsids, the tritylodontid cynodonts, became extinct in the Early Cretaceous, approximately 100 million years ago.Veil Nebula
The Veil Nebula is a cloud of heated and ionized gas and dust in the constellation Cygnus.It constitutes the visible portions of the Cygnus Loop, a supernova remnant, many portions of which have acquired their own individual names and catalogue identifiers. The source supernova was a star 20 times more massive than the Sun, which exploded around 8,000 years ago. The remnants have since expanded to cover an area of the sky roughly 3 degrees in diameter (about 6 times the diameter, or 36 times the area, of the full Moon). The distance to the nebula is not precisely known, but Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) data supports a distance of about 1,470 light-years.The Hubble Space Telescope captured several images of the nebula. The analysis of the emissions from the nebula indicate the presence of oxygen, sulfur, and hydrogen. The Cygnus Loop is also a strong emitter of radio waves and x-rays.On 24 September 2015 new images and videos of the Veil Nebula were released, with an explanation of the images.Wester Broom
Wester Broom is a district of Edinburgh, Scotland. It borders Broomhouse/Forrester, Corstorphine and South Gyle. It is sometimes considered to be part of one of the latter two. It is mainly residential, with a few small shops and a large Tesco nearby. The Fife railway line is arguably the boundary, although some will extend it south to the Glasgow line, and to include Forresters and two schools.World Curling Championships
The World Curling Championships are the annual world championships for curling, organized by the World Curling Federation and contested by national championship teams. There are men's, women's and mixed doubles championships, as well as junior and senior championships for each gender. There is also a world championship for wheelchair curling. The men's championship started in 1959, while the women's started in 1979. The mixed doubles championship was started in 2008. Since 2005, the men's and women's championships have been held in different venues, with Canada hosting one of the two championships every year: the men's championship in odd years, and the women's championship in even years. Canada has dominated both the men's and women's championships since their inception, although Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany (West Germany), Scotland, the United States, Norway and China have all won at least one championship.