Collections Carousel – Rug Beater

Rug Beater, circa 1890 (2018.26.1)

Zumba, kitten yoga, pole dancing, hulu hoops – these are just some the latest crazes in the continuing quest for physical health. Could carpet beating be next!?! Physically demanding, cleaning carpets and rugs with a beater such as this twisted metal device gave quite a workout prior to the vacuum cleaner becoming a common household tool in the early 20th century. It took quite a bit of muscle and no small amount of agility and endurance to clean an average-sized carpet. Also known as carpet whips, dust beaters, carpet beaters, clothes beaters and pillow fluffers, these charming torture-looking devices were usually made of wood, rattan, cane, wicker, spring steel or coiled wire. This particular rug beater is made of a single thick metal wire that is formed into two loops with a small central intertwined section. The entire device is 28″ long with a 4″ long wood handle and a 8.5″ head.

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