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Machine Replaces Street-Cleaning Man in Medford, Ore.

Ben Franklin is remembered for many things, including common sense and the value of a penny saved,  but the World Sweeping Association credits him with creating the first street-cleaning program, thus becoming the Father of Street-Sweeping.

Franklin tells in his autobiography how dirty the streets were until he was inspired one morning by an old lady who was begging for tips by cleaning streets in front of homes of the wealthy.  He paid her a shilling and she swept his street clean.

The last street sweeper in Medford, Ore., was Cecil Morgan, who started work in January 1948.  For nearly 10 years, Morgan pushed his two-wheeled cart through the city streets.  He estimated he had swept debris from more than 25,000 miles of Medford streets, wearing out 80 brooms and collecting some $50 in small change from the streets and sidewalks. 

When Oregon law required him to retire at age 70, the Medford Mail Tribune newspaper published a front-page picture of him receiving his last paycheck from Street Department Foreman L.V. Anderson.

Anderson said no replacement would be hired, but regular shop employees would use a small, mechanical sweeper to keep the streets clean.


Sources:  "Puts Away his Broom." Medford Mail Tribune 24 Oct. 1957: 1. Web. 19 Apr. 2016. https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/96784819/;  "Ben Franklin, Father of Street Sweeping." www.worldsweeper.com. American Sweeper Magazine, n.d. eb. 20 Apr. 2016. .

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.