A dustpan is a cleaning utensil, commonly used in combination with a broom or brush. The dustpan may appear to be a type of flat scoop. It is often hand held for home use, but industrial and commercial enterprises often use a hinged variety on the end of a stick to prevent the user from constantly stooping to use it. This improved dustpan design was patented by African American inventor, Lloyd Ray on August 9, 1897. Handheld dustpans may be used with either a full-size broom or with a smaller whisk broom or brush sometimes called a duster. This second combination may be sold as one unit. A variant on the dustpan is the silent butler, a handheld, lidded dustpan.
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