However, some restaurant chains continue to use them (e.g. Perkins) as they are lightweight and very quiet, enabling the waitstaff to quickly clean crumbs up from the floor without disturbing other diners. Carpet Sweepers are still available from major chains like www.carpetsweepersonline.com Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
A carpet sweeper typically consists of a small box. The base of the box has rollers and brushes, connected by a belt or gears. There is also a container for dirt. The arrangement is such that when pushed along a floor the rollers turn and force the brushes to rotate. The brushes sweep dirt and dust from the floor into the container. Carpets sweepers would frequently have a height adjustment that enabled them to work on different lengths of carpet, or carpetless floors. The sweeper would usually have a long handle so that it could be pushed without bending over.
The carpet sweeper was reinvented at the beginning of the 21st century, and fitted with an electric motor to spin the rollers and brushes. The device was rechargeable.
Patented by Melville R. Bissell of Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, in 1876. Manufactured & sold starting in 1883.
In some areas of the U.S., carpet sweepers are colloquially known as a "hoky" after the HOKY brand sweeper; the reference is used in either noun form ("Where is the hoky?") or in verb form ("Are you going to hoky the floor?").