Melville Reuben Bissell
Life and career
Bissell was born in Hartwick, New York, and grew up in Berlin, Wisconsin. As a young adult, he opened a grocery store in 1862 with his father, Alpheus, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, selling it in 1869 and opening a crockery and glassware store in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1870. He made money manufacturing crockery and investing in real estate.
Following the Panic of 1873, Bissell began working on a carpet sweeper. In 1876 Bissell patented a sweeper with a central brush, rubber wheels, and other improvements on vacuum technology. A fire in 1884 destroyed his first factory, but he was able to overcome the loss and expand his business.
- Baxter, Albert (1891). History of the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Munsell
- Krismann, Carol (2005). Anna Bissell, In Encyclopedia Of American Women In Business: From Colonial Times To The Present, Volume 1. Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 9780313333835
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