The first brooms probably originated on the African contininent before moving to Europe and eventually to the United States in the 1700's. Early brooms were merely twigs tied together with some form of string. Eventually handles appeared with the use of shorter straw for the sweep. The early brooms were tied using sorgum . Later, broomcorn was developed from the more than30 varieties of cane. It is somewhere between sugar cane ane sorgum. I,ve heard that the British named it corn because they had a tendency to name anything with seeds as corn.
These early brooms were usually poorly tied and soon fell apart. Gradually ,settlers grew enough broomcorn to satisfy their own needs and they also became more efficient at tying brooms so they would last longer. Usually , one person in the village or settlement became known for his or her proficiency at tying brooms and other neighbors would take their harvested broomcorn to him. He would tie the brooms and keep a portion for himself as payment.
Eventually hand tying of brooms began to give way to using some type of device or machine to help with the process. These devices were especially helpful to hold twine and wire that was used to bind the brooms. Brooms were still considered to be hand made because no power other than man was used. These early machines were probably referred to as hand tying benches.
In the early 1800,s the tredle machine was invented by the shakers. They began to tie brooms flat using wire for extra strength. Flat brooms didn't move dirt as well as the early round brooms but they covered mor area in a shorter amount of time and were very popular. There were many two man broom shops throughout the United States well into the late 1900's. IN 1990 the tariffs were remove from imported brooms. Mexico and China flooded the market with cheap brooms and most of the small broom shops dissappeared.
Most hand made brooms are sold at craft shows or through craft shops. Many are of course very functional and widely used and perferred by the public. Not only are they very attractive but seem to last forever because of the fine woorkmanship that goes into each one.