In 1876, Grand Rapids entrepreneur Melville Bissell designed and patented America’s first fully functional carpet sweeper - first to clean in his own shop. The invention was such a great success that Bissell opened up a factory in downtown Grand Rapids (currently where Devos Place stands). Not long after, tragically in 1889, Melville Bissell died leaving his wife Anna Bissell with the young company as well as her 3 young sons. Anna continued to maintain and grow the business as one of America’s first female CEO’s of an international company. Bissell continues to be the number one seller of floor care products in North America. The Grand Rapids Public Museum collection contains over 1,500 carpet sweepers as well as the Bissell historic archives, documenting the company's history and inventions dating back to the 1890s.