A History of the Squeegee

December 21, 2018 11:48 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Keeping your home clean is easy when you have a routine, as well as the necessary cleaning tools and solutions to get the job done right. While you may regularly clean the bathroom and kitchen, and dust and vacuum, remember not to overlook your glass surfaces. Glass dirties easily. As such, it may require more than a simple wiping—you might need to use a squeegee.

Squeegeeing is one method you can use to clean your glass shower doors and window glass in Santa Fe, NM. But what is a squeegee, and where did this handy little tool come from? Let’s take a look.

Squeegees for home and business use

Squeegees come in a variety of sizes and different levels of quality. Regardless, they all have the same goal: to clean glass surfaces without streaking. A squeegee is a tool with a handle and a flat, smooth rubber blade designed to remove water, liquids and cleaning solutions from glass surfaces. Some squeegees are used in printing processes to wipe away printing solutions and residual moisture from the product.

The origin and development of the squeegee

In a sense, the squeegee is not a recent invention. Interestingly enough, a forerunner of the squeegee dates back to the Middle Ages and was a tool used by fishermen. The fishermen at this time would use wooden swabs called squilgees to scrape fish insides off the boat deck.

Squeegees were not used for window glass cleaning until the turn of the 20th century. These more modern designs were then adapted from a rubberized version of the fishermen’s squilgees:

  • Modern squeegees: The Chicago squeegee was a heavy item with two stiff pink rubber blades, but lost its crown in 1936 to a new and improved tool. Italian immigrant Ettore Steccone invented a lightweight, brass-handled tool fitted with a single flexible blade. Still being made today, the “Ettore” continues to be a favorite choice of professionals.
  • Squeegeeing record: There’s a world record for everything, and yes, there’s a record for the fastest squeegee in the West. At the 2002 conference of the International Window Cleaning Association in Reno, Nevada, a man by the name of Richard Moreau of France won first place in an official speed-cleaning contest. Using a 12-inch squeegee, he wiped down three 45-inch square windows in 15.76 seconds!
  • A life saver: A squeegee saved the lives of six people during the September 11 attacks. When window washer Jan Demczur and five other people found themselves trapped in an elevator shaft that terrible day, Demczur used his Ettore squeegee to free the group. The blade did not make it out with him, but the squeegee handle did, and it’s now available for viewing at the Smithsonian.

Whether you’re looking for curb appeal outside or a clean look inside, new window glass and replacement glass shower doors in Santa Fe, NM can make all the difference. If you are looking for a selection of replacement windows or glass shower doors, contact or visit Santa Fe Glass & Mirror. We can help you figure out what you need, provide estimates and install your new glass!

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