Melville Bissell

Melville Reuben Bissell (1843 - 1889)

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Melville Reuben Bissell
Born in Hartwick, New Yorkmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Grand Rapids, Michiganmap
Profile last modified | Created 21 Oct 2014
This page has been accessed 636 times.


Melville Reuben Bissell was an American entrepreneur and inventor of the carpet sweeper. The Bissell corporation is named after him.

Bissell was born in Hartwick, New York and grew up in Berlin, Wisconsin. As a young adult, he opened a grocery store in 1862 with his father, Alpheus, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, selling it in 1869 and opening a crockery and glassware store in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1870. He made money manufacturing crockery and investing in real estate.

Following the Panic of 1873, Bissell began working on a carpet sweeper. In 1876 Bissell patented a sweeper with a central brush, rubber wheels, and other improvements on vacuum technology. A fire in 1884 destroyed his first factory, but he was able to overcome the loss and expand his business.

Following his death from pneumonia in 1889 in Grand Rapids, his wife, Anna Bissell, took control of the company, becoming America's first female corporate Chief Executive Officer


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No known carriers of Melville's ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Melville is 24 degrees from Sharon Caldwell, 14 degrees from Burl Ives and 20 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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