A broom is a cleaning tool consisting of stiff fibers attached to, parallel to, a cylindrical handle, the broomstick. It is thus a variety of brush with a long handle, it is used in combination with a dustpan. A distinction is made between a spectrum in between. Soft brooms are for sweeping walls of cobwebs and spiders, like a "feather duster". Hard brooms are for rougher tasks like sweeping dirt off concrete floors; the majority of brooms are somewhere inbetween, suitable for sweeping the floors of homes and businesses, soft enough to be flexible and to move light dust, but stiff enough to achieve a firm sweeping action. The word "broom" derives from the name of certain thorny shrubs used for sweeping; the name of the shrubs began to be used for the household implement in Late Middle English and replaced the earlier besom during the Early Modern English period. The song Buy Broom Buzzems still refers to the "broom besom" as one type of besom. Flat brooms, made of broom corn, were invented by Shakers in the 19th century with the invention of the broom vice.
A broom handle is sometimes called a "stale". A smaller whisk broom or brush is sometimes called a duster. In 1797, the quality of brooms changed when Levi Dickenson, a farmer in Hadley, made a broom for his wife, using the tassels of sorghum, a grain he was growing for the seeds, his wife spread good words around town. The sorghum brooms held up well, but like all brooms, fell apart. Dickenson subsequently invented a machine that would make better brooms, faster than he could. In 1810, the foot treadle broom machine was invented; this machine played an integral part in the Industrial Revolution. One source mentions that the United States had 303 broom factories by 1839 and that the number peaked at 1,039 in 1919. Most of these were in the Eastern United States; the state of Oklahoma became a major center for broom production because broom corn grew well there, with The Oklahoma Broom Corn Company opening a factory in El Reno in 1906. Faced with competition from imported brooms and synthetic bristles, most of the factories closed by the 1960s.
In the context of witchcraft, broomstick is to refer to the broom as a whole, known as a besom. The first known reference to witches flying on broomsticks dates to 1453, confessed by the male witch Guillaume Edelin; the concept of a flying ointment used by witches appears at about the same time, recorded in 1456. In Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West used a broomstick to fly over Oz, she used it to skywrite "Surrender Dorothy" above the Emerald City. The Wizard commands Dorothy and her three traveling companions to bring the Wicked Witch's broomstick to him in order to grant their wishes. Dorothy carries it to the Wizard with the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion after the Wicked Witch's death. In Disney's 1940 film Fantasia, Mickey Mouse, playing The Sorcerer's Apprentice, brings a broom to life to do his chore of filling a well full of water; the broom overdoes its job and when chopped into pieces, each splinter becomes a new broom that flood the room until Yen Sid stops them.
This story comes from a poem by Goethe called Der Zauberlehrling. The Disney brooms have had recurring cameos in Disney media portrayed as janitors, albeit not out of control or causing chaos such as in the original appearance; this flight was in Bedknobs and Broomsticks as well as Hocus Pocus. In eSwatini, witches' broomsticks are short bundles of sticks tied together without a handle. Flying brooms play an important role in the fantasy world of Harry Potter, used for transportation as well as for playing the popular airborne game of Quidditch. Flying brooms, along with Flying carpets, are the main means of transportation in the world of Poul Anderson's Operation Chaos; the Flying Broom is a feminist organization in Turkey, deliberately evoking the associations of a Flying Broom with witches. The Métis people of Canada have a broom dancing tradition. There are broom dancing exhibitions; the lively broom dance involves fast jumping. "Jumping the broom" is an African-American wedding tradition that originated in marriages of slaves in the United States in the 19th century.
Its revived popularity among African Americans is due to the 1976 novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family. During World War II, American submarine crews would hoist a broom onto their boat's fore-truck when returning to port to indicate that they had "swept" the seas clean of enemy shipping; the tradition has been devalued in recent years by submarine crews who fly a broom when returning from their boat's shake-down cruise. This tradition no doubt stems from the action of the Dutch admiral Maarten Tromp who tied a broom to his main mast after defeating the British admiral Robert Blake at the Battle of Dungeness in 1652; this has been interpreted as a message that he would "sweep the British from the seas". This story remains unsubstantiated, but may have its origin in the tradition of hoisting a broom as a sign that a ship was for sale, which seems more as Tromp had captured two of Blake's ships in the battle. In 1701 Jonathan Swift wrote a "Meditation Upon a Broomstick", a parody of Robert Boyle's Occasional Reflections upon Several Subjects:But a Broom-Stick you wi
A sawmill or lumber mill is a facility where logs are cut into lumber. Modern saw mills use a motorized saw to cut logs lengthwise to make long pieces, crosswise to length depending on standard or custom sizes; the "portable" saw mill is iconic and of simple operation—the logs lay flat on a steel bed and the motorized saw cuts the log horizontally along the length of the bed, by the operator manually pushing the saw. The most basic kind of saw mill consists of a chainsaw and a customized jig, with similar horizontal operation. Before the invention of the sawmill, boards were made in various manual ways, either rived and planed, hewn, or more hand sawn by two men with a whipsaw, one above and another in a saw pit below; the earliest known mechanical mill is the Hierapolis sawmill, a Roman water-powered stone mill at Hierapolis, Asia Minor dating back to the 3rd century AD. Other water-powered mills followed and by the 11th century they were widespread in Spain and North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, in the next few centuries, spread across Europe.
The circular motion of the wheel was converted to a reciprocating motion at the saw blade. Only the saw was powered, the logs had to be loaded and moved by hand. An early improvement was the development of a movable carriage water powered, to move the log through the saw blade. By the time of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, the circular saw blade had been invented, with the development of steam power in the 19th century, a much greater degree of mechanisation was possible. Scrap lumber from the mill provided a source of fuel for firing the boiler; the arrival of railroads meant that logs could be transported to mills rather than mills being built besides navigable waterways. By 1900, the largest sawmill in the world was operated by the Atlantic Lumber Company in Georgetown, South Carolina, using logs floated down the Pee Dee River from the Appalachian Mountains. In the 20th century the introduction of electricity and high technology furthered this process, now most sawmills are massive and expensive facilities in which most aspects of the work is computerized.
Besides the sawn timber, use is made of all the by-products including sawdust, bark and wood pellets, creating a diverse offering of forest products. A sawmill's basic operation is much like those of hundreds of years ago. After trees are selected for harvest, the next step in logging is felling the trees, bucking them to length. Branches are cut off the trunk; this is known as limbing. Logs are taken by rail or a log drive to the sawmill. Logs are scaled either upon arrival at the mill. Debarking removes bark from the logs. Decking is the process for sorting the logs by species and end use. A sawyer uses a head saw to break the log into flitches. Depending upon the species and quality of the log, the cants will either be further broken down by a resaw or a gang edger into multiple flitches and/or boards. Edging will trim off all irregular edges leaving four-sided lumber. Trimming squares the ends at typical lumber lengths. Drying removes occurring moisture from the lumber; this can be done with kilns or air-dried.
Planing smooths the surface of the lumber leaving a uniform thickness. Shipping transports the finished lumber to market; the Hierapolis sawmill, a water-powered stone saw mill at Hierapolis, Asia Minor, dating to the second half of the 3rd century, is the earliest known sawmill. It incorporates a crank and connecting rod mechanism. Water-powered stone sawmills working with cranks and connecting rods, but without gear train, are archaeologically attested for the 6th century at the Byzantine cities Gerasa and Ephesus; the earliest literary reference to a working sawmill comes from a Roman poet, who wrote a topographical poem about the river Moselle in Germany in the late 4th century AD. At one point in the poem he describes the shrieking sound of a watermill cutting marble. Marble sawmills seem to be indicated by the Christian saint Gregory of Nyssa from Anatolia around 370/390 AD, demonstrating a diversified use of water-power in many parts of the Roman Empire. By the 11th century, hydropowered sawmills were in widespread use in the medieval Islamic world, from Islamic Spain and North Africa in the west to Central Asia in the east.
Sawmills became widespread in medieval Europe, as one was sketched by Villard de Honnecourt in c. 1250. They are claimed to have been introduced to Madeira following its discovery in c. 1420 and spread in Europe in the 16th century. Prior to the invention of the sawmill, boards were rived and planed, or more sawn by two men with a whipsaw, using saddleblocks to hold the log, a saw pit for the pitman who worked below. Sawing was slow, required strong and hearty men; the topsawer had to be the stronger of the two because the saw was pulled in turn by each man, the lower had the advantage of gravity. The topsawyer had to guide the saw so that the board was of thickness; this was done by following a chalkline. Early sawmills adapted the whipsaw to mechanical power driven by a water wheel to speed up the process; the circular motion of the wheel was changed to back-and-forth motion of the saw blade by a connecting rod known as a pitman arm. Only the saw was powered, the logs had to be lo
A brick is building material used to make walls and other elements in masonry construction. Traditionally, the term brick referred to a unit composed of clay, but it is now used to denote any rectangular units laid in mortar. A brick can be composed of clay-bearing soil and lime, or concrete materials. Bricks are produced in numerous classes, types and sizes which vary with region and time period, are produced in bulk quantities. Two basic categories of bricks are non-fired bricks. Block is a similar term referring to a rectangular building unit composed of similar materials, but is larger than a brick. Lightweight bricks are made from expanded clay aggregate. Fired bricks are one of the longest-lasting and strongest building materials, sometimes referred to as artificial stone, have been used since circa 4000 BC. Air-dried bricks known as mudbricks, have a history older than fired bricks, have an additional ingredient of a mechanical binder such as straw. Bricks are laid in courses and numerous patterns known as bonds, collectively known as brickwork, may be laid in various kinds of mortar to hold the bricks together to make a durable structure.
The earliest bricks were dried brick, meaning that they were formed from clay-bearing earth or mud and dried until they were strong enough for use. The oldest discovered bricks made from shaped mud and dating before 7500 BC, were found at Tell Aswad, in the upper Tigris region and in southeast Anatolia close to Diyarbakir; the South Asian inhabitants of Mehrgarh constructed, lived in, airdried mudbrick houses between 7000–3300 BC. Other more recent findings, dated between 7,000 and 6,395 BC, come from Jericho, Catal Hüyük, the ancient Egyptian fortress of Buhen, the ancient Indus Valley cities of Mohenjo-daro and Mehrgarh. Ceramic, or fired brick was used as early as 3000 BC in early Indus Valley cities like Kalibangan; the earliest fired bricks appeared in Neolithic China around 4400 BC at Chengtoushan, a walled settlement of the Daxi culture. These bricks were made of red clay, fired on all sides to above 600 °C, used as flooring for houses. By the Qujialing period, fired bricks were being used to pave roads and as building foundations at Chengtoushan.
Bricks continued to be used during 2nd millennium BC at a site near Xi'an. Fired bricks were found in Western Zhou ruins; the carpenter's manual Yingzao Fashi, published in 1103 at the time of the Song dynasty described the brick making process and glazing techniques in use. Using the 17th-century encyclopaedic text Tiangong Kaiwu, historian Timothy Brook outlined the brick production process of Ming Dynasty China: "...the kilnmaster had to make sure that the temperature inside the kiln stayed at a level that caused the clay to shimmer with the colour of molten gold or silver. He had to know when to quench the kiln with water so as to produce the surface glaze. To anonymous labourers fell the less skilled stages of brick production: mixing clay and water, driving oxen over the mixture to trample it into a thick paste, scooping the paste into standardised wooden frames, smoothing the surfaces with a wire-strung bow, removing them from the frames, printing the fronts and backs with stamps that indicated where the bricks came from and who made them, loading the kilns with fuel, stacking the bricks in the kiln, removing them to cool while the kilns were still hot, bundling them into pallets for transportation.
It was hot, filthy work." Early civilisations around the Mediterranean adopted the use of fired bricks, including the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The Roman legions operated mobile kilns, built large brick structures throughout the Roman Empire, stamping the bricks with the seal of the legion. During the Early Middle Ages the use of bricks in construction became popular in Northern Europe, after being introduced there from Northern-Western Italy. An independent style of brick architecture, known as brick Gothic flourished in places that lacked indigenous sources of rocks. Examples of this architectural style can be found in modern-day Denmark, Germany and Russia; this style evolved into Brick Renaissance as the stylistic changes associated with the Italian Renaissance spread to northern Europe, leading to the adoption of Renaissance elements into brick building. A clear distinction between the two styles only developed at the transition to Baroque architecture. In Lübeck, for example, Brick Renaissance is recognisable in buildings equipped with terracotta reliefs by the artist Statius von Düren, active at Schwerin and Wismar.
Long-distance bulk transport of bricks and other construction equipment remained prohibitively expensive until the development of modern transportation infrastructure, with the construction of canal and railways. Production of bricks increased massively with the onset of the Industrial Revolution and the rise in factory building in England. For reasons of speed and economy, bricks were preferred as building material to stone in areas where the stone was available, it was at this time in London that bright red brick was chosen for construction to make the buildings more visible in the heavy fog and to help prevent traffic accidents. The transition from the traditional method of production known as hand-moulding to a mechanised form of mass-production took place during the first half of the nineteenth century; the first successful brick-making machine was patented by Henry Clayton, employed at the
The French are an ethnic group and nation who are identified with the country of France. This connection may be ethnic, historical, or cultural; the heritage of the French people is of Celtic and Germanic origin, descending from the ancient and medieval populations of Gauls, Ligures, Iberians, Franks and Norsemen. France has long been a patchwork of local customs and regional differences, while most French people still speak the French language as their mother tongue, languages like Norman, Catalan, Corsican, French Flemish, Lorraine Franconian and Breton remain spoken in their respective regions. Arabic is widely spoken, arguably the largest minority language in France as of the 21st century. Modern French society is a melting pot. From the middle of the 19th century, it experienced a high rate of inward migration consisting of Arab-Berbers, Sub-Saharan Africans and other peoples from Africa, the Middle East and East Asia, the government, defining France as an inclusive nation with universal values, advocated assimilation through which immigrants were expected to adhere to French values and cultural norms.
Nowadays, while the government has let newcomers retain their distinctive cultures since the mid-1980s and requires from them a mere integration, French citizens still equate their nationality with citizenship as does French law. In addition to mainland France, French people and people of French descent can be found internationally, in overseas departments and territories of France such as the French West Indies, in foreign countries with significant French-speaking population groups or not, such as Switzerland, the United States, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. To be French, according to the first article of the French Constitution, is to be a citizen of France, regardless of one's origin, race, or religion. According to its principles, France has devoted itself to the destiny of a proposition nation, a generic territory where people are bounded only by the French language and the assumed willingness to live together, as defined by Ernest Renan's "plébiscite de tous les jours" on the willingness to live together, in Renan's 1882 essay "Qu'est-ce qu'une nation?").
The debate concerning the integration of this view with the principles underlying the European Community remains open. A large number of foreigners have traditionally been permitted to live in France and succeeded in doing so. Indeed, the country has long valued its openness and the quality of services available. Application for French citizenship is interpreted as a renunciation of previous state allegiance unless a dual citizenship agreement exists between the two countries; the European treaties have formally permitted movement and European citizens enjoy formal rights to employment in the state sector. Seeing itself as an inclusive nation with universal values, France has always valued and advocated assimilation. However, the success of such assimilation has been called into question. There is increasing dissatisfaction with, within, growing ethno-cultural enclaves; the 2005 French riots in some troubled and impoverished suburbs were an example of such tensions. However they should not be interpreted as ethnic conflicts but as social conflicts born out of socioeconomic problems endangering proper integration.
French people are the descendants of Gauls and Romans, western European Celtic and Italic peoples, as well as Bretons, Aquitanians and Germanic people arriving at the beginning of the Frankish Empire such as the Franks, the Visigoths, the Suebi, the Saxons, the Allemanni and the Burgundians, Germanic groups such as the Vikings, who settled in Normandy and to a lesser extent in Brittany in the 9th century. The name "France" etymologically derives from the territory of the Franks; the Franks were a Germanic tribe. In the pre-Roman era, all of Gaul was inhabited by a variety of peoples who were known collectively as the Gaulish tribes, their ancestors were Celts who came from Central Europe in the 7th century BCE, non-Celtic peoples including the Ligures, Aquitanians in Aquitaine. Some in the northern and eastern areas, may have had Germanic admixture. Gaul was militarily conquered in 58–51 BCE by the Roman legions under the command of General Julius Caesar. Over the next six centuries, the two cultures intermingled, creating a hybridized Gallo-Roman culture.
In the late Roman era, in addition to colonists from elsewhere in the Empire and Gaulish natives, Gallia became home to some in-migrating populations of Germanic and Scythian origin, such as Alans. The Gaulish language is thought to have survived into the 6th century in France, despite considerable Romanizat
A ZIP Code is a postal code used by the United States Postal Service in a system it introduced in 1963. The term ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan; the basic format consists of five digits. An extended ZIP+4 code was introduced in 1983 which includes the five digits of the ZIP Code, followed by a hyphen and four additional digits that reference a more specific location; the term ZIP Code was registered as a servicemark by the U. S. Postal Service, but its registration has since expired; the early history and context of postal codes began with postal district/zone numbers. The United States Post Office Department implemented postal zones for numerous large cities in 1943. For example: The "16" was the number of the postal zone in the specific city. By the early 1960s, a more organized system was needed, non-mandatory five-digit ZIP Codes were introduced nationwide on July 1, 1963; the USPOD issued its Publication 59: Abbreviations for Use with ZIP Code on October 1, 1963, with the list of two-letter state abbreviations which are written with both letters capitalized.
An earlier list in June had proposed capitalized abbreviations ranging from two to five letters. According to Publication 59, the two-letter standard was "based on a maximum 23-position line, because this has been found to be the most universally acceptable line capacity basis for major addressing systems", which would be exceeded by a long city name combined with a multi-letter state abbreviation, such as "Sacramento, Calif." along with the ZIP Code. The abbreviations have remained unchanged, with the exception of Nebraska, changed from NB to NE in 1969 at the request of the Canadian postal administration, to avoid confusion with the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Robert Moon is considered the father of the ZIP Code; the post office only credits Moon with the first three digits of the ZIP Code, which describe the sectional center facility or "sec center." An SCF is a central mail processing facility with those three digits. The fourth and fifth digits, which give a more precise locale within the SCF, were proposed by Henry Bentley Hahn Sr.
The SCF sorts mail to all post offices with those first three digits in their ZIP Codes. The mail is sorted according to the final two digits of the ZIP Code and sent to the corresponding post offices in the early morning. Sectional centers do not deliver mail and are not open to the public, most of their employees work the night shift. Mail picked up at post offices is sent to their own SCF in the afternoon, where the mail is sorted overnight. In the case of large cities, the last two digits coincide with the older postal zone number thus: In 1967, these became mandatory for second- and third-class bulk mailers, the system was soon adopted generally; the United States Post Office used a cartoon character, which it called Mr. ZIP, to promote the use of the ZIP Code, he was depicted with a legend such as "USE ZIP CODE" in the selvage of panes of postage stamps or on the covers of booklet panes of stamps. In 1971 Elmira Star-Gazette reporter Dick Baumbach found out the White House was not using a ZIP Code on its envelopes.
Herb Klein, special assistant to President Nixon, responded by saying the next printing of envelopes would include the ZIP Code. In 1983, the U. S. Postal Service introduced an expanded ZIP Code system that it called ZIP+4 called "plus-four codes", "add-on codes", or "add-ons". A ZIP+4 Code uses the basic five-digit code plus four additional digits to identify a geographic segment within the five-digit delivery area, such as a city block, a group of apartments, an individual high-volume receiver of mail, a post office box, or any other unit that could use an extra identifier to aid in efficient mail sorting and delivery. However, initial attempts to promote universal use of the new format met with public resistance and today the plus-four code is not required. In general, mail is read by a multiline optical character reader that instantly determines the correct ZIP+4 Code from the address—along with the more specific delivery point—and sprays an Intelligent Mail barcode on the face of the mail piece that corresponds to 11 digits—nine for the ZIP+4 Code and two for the delivery point.
For Post Office Boxes, the general rule is. The add-on code is one of the following: the last four digits of the box number, zero plus the last three digits of the box number, or, if the box number consists of fewer than four digits, enough zeros are attached to the front of the box number to produce a four-digit number. However, there is no uniform rule, so the ZIP+4 Code must be looked up individually for each box; the ZIP Code is translated into an Intelligent Mail barcode, printed on the mailpiece to make it easier for automated machines to sort. A barcode can be printed by the sender, it is better to let the post office put one on. In general, the post office uses OCR technology, though in some cases a human might have to read and enter the address. Customers who send bulk mail can get a discount on postage if they have printed the barcode themselves and have presorted the mai
An axe is an implement, used for millennia to shape and cut wood, to harvest timber, as a weapon, as a ceremonial or heraldic symbol. The axe has many forms and specialised uses but consists of an axe head with a handle, or helve. Before the modern axe, the stone-age hand axe was used from 1.5 million years BP without a handle. It was fastened to a wooden handle; the earliest examples of handled axes have heads of stone with some form of wooden handle attached in a method to suit the available materials and use. Axes made of copper, bronze and steel appeared as these technologies developed. Axes are composed of a head and a handle; the axe is an example of a simple machine, as it is dual inclined plane. This reduces the effort needed by the wood chopper, it splits the wood into two parts by the pressure concentration at the blade. The handle of the axe acts as a lever allowing the user to increase the force at the cutting edge—not using the full length of the handle is known as choking the axe. For fine chopping using a side axe this sometimes is a positive effect, but for felling with a double bitted axe it reduces efficiency.
Cutting axes have a shallow wedge angle, whereas splitting axes have a deeper angle. Most axes are double bevelled, i.e. symmetrical about the axis of the blade, but some specialist broadaxes have a single bevel blade, an offset handle that allows them to be used for finishing work without putting the user's knuckles at risk of injury. Less common today, they were once an integral part of a joiner and carpenter's tool kit, not just a tool for use in forestry. A tool of similar origin is the billhook. Most modern axes have steel heads and wooden handles hickory in the US and ash in Europe and Asia, although plastic or fibreglass handles are common. Modern axes are specialised by use and form. Hafted axes with short handles designed for use with one hand are called hand axes but the term hand axe refers to axes without handles as well. Hatchets tend to be small hafted axes with a hammer on the back side; as easy-to-make weapons, axes have been used in combat. Axes were tools of stone called hand axes, used without handles, had knapped cutting edges of flint or other stone.
Stone axes made with ground cutting edges were first developed sometime in the late Pleistocene in Australia, where ground-edge axe fragments from sites in Arnhem Land date back at least 44,000 years. In Europe, the innovation of ground edges occurred much in the Neolithic period ending 4,000 to 2,000 BC; the first true hafted axes are known from the Mesolithic period. Few wooden hafts have been found from this period, but it seems that the axe was hafted by wedging. Birch-tar and raw-hide lashings were used to fix the blade. Sometimes a short section of deer antler was used, which prevented the splitting of the haft and softened the impact on the stone blade itself, helping absorb the impact of each axe blow and lessening the chances of breaking the handle; the antler was hollowed out at one end to create a socket for the axehead. The antler sheath was either perforated and a handle inserted into it or set in a hole made in the handle instead; the distribution of stone axes is an important indication of prehistoric trade.
Thin sectioning is used to determine the provenance of the stone blades. In Europe, Neolithic "axe factories", where thousands of ground stone axes were roughed out, are known from many places, such as: Great Langdale, England Rathlin Island, Ireland Krzemionki, Poland Plancher-les-Mines, France Aosta Valley, Italy. Stone axes are still in use today in parts of Papua, Indonesia; the Mount Hagen area of Papua New Guinea was an important production centre. From the late Neolithic/Chalcolithic onwards, axes were made of copper mixed with arsenic; these axes were hafted much like their stone predecessors. Axes continued to be made in this manner with the introduction of Bronze metallurgy; the hafting method changed and the flat axe developed into the "flanged axe" palstaves, winged and socketed axes. The Proto-Indo-European word for "axe" may have been *pelek'u-, but the word was a loan, or a Neolithic wanderwort related to Sumerian balag, Akkadian pilaku-. At least since the late Neolithic, elaborate axes had a religious significance and indicated the exalted status of their owner.
Certain types never show traces of wear. In Minoan Crete, the double axe had a special significance, used by priestesses in religious ceremonies; the symbol refers to deification ceremonies. In 1998 a labrys, complete with an elaborately embellished haft, was found at Cham-Eslen, Canton of Zug, Switzerland; the haft wrapped in ornamented birch-bark. The axe blade is 17.4 cm long and made of antigorite, mined in the Gotthard-area. The haft is fastened by wedges of antler and by birch-tar, it belongs to the early Cortai