Your home is covered in dust, dirt, hair and other little particles of debris that have your furniture looking unpleasant. What can you turn to that will allow you to dust off your furniture quickly and efficiently? More often than not, you’re going to grab a feather duster. These days there a variety for you to choose from including microfiber dusters, micro feather dusters, lambswool dusters and of course the newest to the duster party, Swiffer. But, you can always turn to the time-tested and granddaddy of them all, the original Ostrich feather duster.
For most of us, we’ve always had a feather duster to turn to when the need to dust arrives and for many; we get that vision of a French maid lightly dusting off furniture in a palace or mansion. But, where and when did this little cleaning gem originate? That would be in Johannesburg, South Africa in the early 1900s. Missionary Harry S. Beckner, a broom factory manager, found that Ostrich feathers were convenient for cleaning the broom factory machines, so he wound feathers onto broom handles using wire and voila, the first feather duster was born in 1903. Ten years later, in 1913, Beckner, along with his brother, George Beckner, started the first Ostrich feather duster company in the U.S., Beckner Feather Duster Company. It is still running to this day, churning out feather dusters on a daily basis.
Today, as we said, feather dusters come in a variety of types and brands, as well as sizes. While most think of feather dusters as a short, 14-inch tool, many dusters are extendable up to over 100 inches long for ease in cleaning hard to reach places. Some dusters come with a flexible head to dust on top of tall pieces of furniture, ceiling fans and shelves.
The majority of feather dusters are able to collect dust and debris because the feathers act almost like fingers, picking up dust, dirt and hair. Swiffer dusters work differently, using an electrostatic charge to attract dust and particles to the duster.
While Swiffer is probably the most recognizable brand of dusters on the market today, there are a variety of leading brands that make your dusting job just as easy. Names like 3M, Ettore, Libman and Rubbermaid give consumers a variety of options when it comes to choosing what type of duster they want to help keep their homes and offices clean.
Needless to say, feather dusters have come a long way in the last century when it comes to design, quality and ease of use, but one thing is certain – they have lasted the test of time. Best of all, they get the job done.