'Grand Rapids' Bisell carpet sweeper, 1895.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
As it is pushed along, the wheels of the carpet sweeper rotate a brush underneath. The brush dislodges the dirt and sweeps it inside. It was invented by Melville and Anna Bisell in 1876 and they went on to build a Bisell factory in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the US in 1883. After her husband's death in 1889, Anna went on to become the world's first female chief executive.