There are always names we associate with specific products. When we hear "vacuum cleaner" we might instantly think of several major manufacturers, and Bissell is likely to be one of them.
What might surprise many is that the firm has been in existence since the late 1800s, which is a time when most people did not even know the word vacuum at all. It was Melville Bissell who created the first "carpet sweeper", and it was a machine that was helpful in keeping up the condition and cleanliness of the carpets in his family crockery shop.
In 1876, however, Bissell wisely patented his invention, and over the next five years he built a large scale business that would soon take the world by storm. In fact, within its first few years the firm had become an international sensation, and its factory in Michigan was pumping out around one thousand sweepers every day of the year.
When Melville Bissell died in 1889, his wife Anna became the head of the company and remained on board in some sort of leadership capacity until the 1930s. She was the first female CEO in the U.S. and she was an aggressive leader. Ensuring that her company''s patents remained protected, marketing broadly, and looking for new ideas, she was responsible for tremendous growth in the firm.
As the mid-1900s arrived, the firm had already perfected carpet sweepers and was introducing manual carpet shampooers to the markets. This won the firm an award for its use of molded plastic, and so the company expanded their line further with the first combination of vacuum and floor scrubber, two brush sweepers, and more.
With basic care and upkeep properly managed by Bissell''s line of products, the firm moved into deep cleaning gear in the 1980s and introduced a deep cleaning machine. They innovated the technology so much that within that decade they had a free standing machine that did not need to be attached to a water source to function.
Then came the first upright vacuum released by Bissell, and in the new century they took on the unending dilemma of pet hair. They introduced technology that deep cleaned pet stains, the SpotBot, and continue to innovate further with dual machines, allergy and antimicrobial units, hard floor cleaning, vacuums, steam mops, and cleansers, among many other products.
The official list of categories of products Bissell offers for sale through its own website and major retailers is:
* Carpet Cleaners
* Carpet and Floor Cleaning Formulas
* Steam and Hard Floor Cleaners
* Pet Hair Tools
* Febreeze Freshness
In 2004, Bissell also bought the licensing for all Woolite brand carpet cleaning compounds, as well. This is directly in line with their approach to offering specialized gear along with the specific formulations meant to be used with the different machines.
A Family Business
The Bissells remain involved in the operation and growth of their brand. They remain as committed to the effectiveness of the Bissell products as their ancestors, and have branched out through community involvement and sustainability initiatives, too.
For example, when research for the SpotBot pet stain system was underway, Cathy Bissell discovered that many pets remained un-adopted simply because of the messes they can make in a home. This spurred development of an affordable and effective set of solutions that would help more pets to be placed in loving homes, but she also created the Bissell Pet Foundation.
This non-profit raises funds through direct sale of Bissell pet products and has given away more than $600k towards pet related charities and causes.
The company also has the ForEverGreen sustainability initiative in place as well. This is a segment of the business that is in charge of ensuring that the company efficiently uses resources in operations as well as in product design; that they are responsible about choices of chemicals; and that waste is managed responsibly during product life cycles.
As a truly unique company that has achieved a great many "firsts" in American industry and business, the Bissell company and line of products still stand apart from the rest. The brand ranks as the number one producer of vacuum and carpet cleaning machines in the world and is known for its quality, reliability, and value.
Bissell.com. About Bissell History. Bissell.co.nz. 2014. https://www.bissell.co.nz/Our-History/