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Commercial Window Washing: A History

30 Jul2015

By the mid 19th century, America’s Industrial Revolution was in full swing. Part of the transformation was the construction of skyscrapers, an engineering feat that required an industrial quantity of clear glass. The construction of these brand new skyscrapers led to the birth of the first professional commercial window cleaning companies.

In no time, the old ways of cleaning office buildings proved impractical so new inventive methods were developed for tackling the mammoth structures.

It was at this time we see the introduction of the squeegee. First used by fishermen to clean their decks, it was a big wooden tool with long handles affixed with a rubber blade. Chicago window cleaners were the first to adopt this tool and thus the Chicago Squeegee was born. Unfortunately, it was heavy and uncomfortable and was very difficult to hold upright to clean vertical surfaces (windows).

Enter Ettore Steccone, an Italian immigrant who invented and patented the modern squeegee in 1936. He manufactured a smaller item that consisted of a brass handle and a fixed rubber blade in a T-shape. Steccone’s squeegee was lighter and more comfortable to use. It took a while to catch but eventually, other professional window cleaners realized the benefit of Steccone’s squeegee and thus, the Ettore Company was born.

Steccone squeegee

Ettore Company squeegees are still used by professional window cleaners today. However, as buildings started becoming taller and taller, the need of a new, safer way arose. In the early 1990s that need born the pure water fed pole cleaning system. This system uses deionised, purified water that cleanse the dirt off the window, letting it to dry naturally and leaving no streaks or smells. Today, this is the safest and best way for a window cleaning.

Just like our cities and office buildings, the professional window cleaning profession has evolved quite a bit in the last century. That’s why it’s important to use a professional commercial cleaner that’s up to speed with all the technological and environmental changes to the business. KEVCO uses the latest and safest equipment available in the industry to get the job done.

Whether it’s thirty stories up, at ground level, a storefront or car dealership, an entranceway or a difficult to access area, our comprehensive inventory of equipment can tackle any job with excellent results. Contact KEVCO today to find out how we can make your office building shine.

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