About BISSELL | History


A History of Good Business Since 1876

BISSELL’s goal is to help you improve the ways you take care of your home, right down to the microscopic irritants. Since 1876, we’ve spent years developing cleaning tools like carpet sweepers and formulas designed to keep your living environment up to the highest standards.

In the mid-1800s, Anna and Melville Bissell owned a small crockery shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan. While cleaning up after the day’s work, Anna often became frustrated with the sawdust that was embedded in the carpet. The tiny, stubborn particles clung to the carpet, and trying to sweep them up was becoming a time-consuming nuisance.

Anna presented the problem to Melville, her mechanically inclined husband. Melville designed and constructed a carpet sweeper machine that he hoped would solve the problem once and for all.

Anna and Melville Bissell

His ingenious carpet sweeper design was a success, and word of Melville Bissell’s carpet sweeper spread quickly. People soon began asking where they could purchase a carpet sweeper for themselves. The BISSELL Carpet Sweeper was patented in 1876, and in 1883 the first BISSELL manufacturing plant was built in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Following Melville Bissell’s untimely death in 1889, Anna Bissell stepped in and confidently took control of the company, becoming America’s first female corporate CEO.

Bissell Factory


Under Anna’s aggressive and innovative management, BISSELL soon began to look in new directions in product development for their budding carpet sweeper line and to expand their carpet sweeper business to include all the continents of the world.

bissell maid

As lifestyles changed, the company expanded beyond the carpet sweeper and introduced additional products that helped people clean better while saving time. In the 1950s, BISSELL invented a new multi-purpose formula and shampooer that reduced the time involved in and the drudgery of carpet cleaning. To meet the growth of smaller living spaces, BISSELL introduced practical, lightweight cleaners that people could use quickly and store easily. And BISSELL made deep cleaning (once the exclusive domain of commercial providers) available to everyone with its introduction to the consumer market of the current carpet deep cleaners that feature a built-in heater to optimise performance. Additionally, BISSELL recently acquired the Woolite® Carpet and Upholstery business, which includes its renowned line of carpet cleaning products. Even though the dust is now somewhat settled, BISSELL remains focused on the future.

So as you can see, at BISSELL when we say clean…WE MEAN CLEAN®!

Crockery Shop