Mar 21, 2014

Elgin Sweeper Celebrates 100 Years

Elgin Sweeper will host a special event to celebrate the company’s rich history

Elgin Sweeper Co. 100th Anniversary April 2014 Street Sweepers

This year, Elgin Sweeper celebrates 100 years in business.

Driven by a desire to address the health hazards caused by streets and roads filled with filth and debris, pioneering automobile enthusiast John Murphy—who was also a resident and alderman of the city of Elgin, Ill.,—brought his design for the first mechanized sweeper to American Tower & Tank Co. of Elgin. After two years of trials with the original design created by Murphy, the first motor sweeper, a three-wheeled machine, was sold in April 1914 to the city of Boise, Idaho.

In the following years, Elgin sweepers quickly found increasing acceptance by other municipalities across the country to address the cleanliness and maintenance of their streets and roadways. In 1917, George Dodge and A.M. Anderson established the Elgin Corp. to manage the Elgin sweeper line and establish distributors.

By 1922, the market for the Elgin sweeper was so promising that the owners of the Elgin Corp. terminated their relationship with American Tower & Tank Co. and the company became the Elgin Street Sweeper Co. Years later, the company incorporated as Elgin Sweeper Co. In 1982, Federal Signal Corp. acquired Elgin Sweeper. Today, Elgin Sweeper is a key brand of Federal Signal’s Environmental Solutions Group.

Elgin Sweeper still operates in Elgin, although in a much larger facility.Elgin Sweeper employs approximately 200 people in factory-related jobs. Another 150 employees hold management, engineering and administrative positions at the company. Many employees have worked for Elgin Sweeper for up to 40 years.

Over the century, Elgin Sweeper has also developed an impressive network of professional dealer partners—with more than 100 dealer locations around the world—who provide unmatched customer service and expertise.

Today, Elgin Sweeper is the best-known sweeper brand, not only in North America, but around the world. Murphy’s original commitment to sustainability and the environment is evidenced in Elgin Sweeper’s product line, which offers the latest sweeping technologies – mechanical, pure vacuum, regenerative air, alternative fuel and waterless dust control – to municipalities, contractors and industries.

The company is at the forefront of the sweeping industry, advancing the use of cleaner, safer, and healthier energy technologies. Elgin Sweeper is also committed to taking advantage of leading technologies to provide exceptional sweeper performance while reducing the overall negative impact of air and water pollution to the environment.

This summer, Elgin Sweeper will host a special event for employees, guests and dignitaries to celebrate the company’s rich history. An antique sweeper from Elgin Sweeper, manufactured in the 1930s, will also be displayed at the company’s exhibit (Booth #801) at the 2014 APWA International Public Works Congress & Exposition this August in Toronto, Canada.