Magical Brooms

Magical Brooms

I am sure all you women out there are thinking this is really a dream, but to one woman it wasn’t.

In 1915, Frances Gabe Bateson, who lived in Newberg, Oregon, USA, had had enough of doing housework. So she invented and patented her own self-cleaning home. Frances designed her house so that each room had a 10 inch square “Cleaning, Drying, Heating and Cooling” device on the ceiling.

To clean her rooms, all she had to do was to push the button in each room and the process began. Each unit sent a powerful spray of soapy water around the room. It then rinsed and blow dried the room! Every room had also been designed with a sloping floor so that the water would drain away efficiently.

I don’t know about you, but I get instant visions of the Disney film, Fantasia, with the wizards apprentice getting out of control with his cleaning and water everywhere!

But Frances seemed to have got her system to work quite well. She stored valuable objects (items that could not get wet) under glass. Her toilets, bath and sinks were also self cleaning, with her kitchen cupboards doubling up as dishwashers. Even her closets did not escape her plan. Her clothes were cleaned and dried while they hung in their closets.

She held 68 patents to her designs but I do not think they really caught on. I am sure that most people who could afford her designs could also probably afford cleaners, so they did not have to change their home.

But, Frances is a girl after my own heart, as I would much rather spend time doing anything else rather than be cleaning. I hasten to add that I do drag myself away from the more interesting occupations in my life and clean my home when necessary!!

So, let’s finish this article with a few words from Frances G Bateson…..

“Housework is a thankless unending job, a nerve tangling bore. Who wants it? Nobody! With my jaw set hard, I was determined there had to be a better way!”

And she did!



Jo Tempest.

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