Facts About Chimney Sweeps That You May Not Know

The Unknown Facts About Chimney Sweeps

Although the job of a chimney sweep has changed significantly throughout the years, it has been around for generations. It may not seem like a job with a long history would entail cleaning sooty chimneys, but it does. The sweeping drama has both good and bad points, but there is probably not much that is boring about it. These sweeping chimney-related facts are some of the lesser-known ones.

Fact #1: Girls have traditionally cleaned chimneys

Boys were typically sold to sweeps by needy parents or taken from orphanages, though occasionally girls ended up doing the task as well. The children served as indentured workers to master the sweeping of chimneys when they were normally between the ages of 6 and 12. Their job was to ascend within chimneys, cleaning the flues as they went. The phrase “to set a fire beneath” someone comes from their master lighting a tiny fire in the fireplace if they were being too slow to climb. Sadly, the youngsters endured horrible living conditions. They were never permitted to take a wash, frequently went without food and begged for it, and frequently slept on the same sack they used to gather chimney soot.

Fact #2: “Spazzacamini” is another name

In Santa Maria Maggiore, Italy, chimney cleaners have been observed for many years. The word for “chimney sweep” in Italian is “spazzacamini.” The Italian celebration honors the advancement of the sweeping chimneys profession, which has finally liberated kids from the grueling task of scaling chimneys.

Fact #3: Geese as sweeps

It was difficult to find a simple solution to the issue of a dirty chimney. Before practical chimney cleaning instruments were finally created, other options besides using climbing boys were explored. Although it wasn’t always effective, some sweeps employed geese. A goose’s neck was tied with a rope, and the bird was coerced into flying up the chimney. The sweep would pull the fluttering bird back down when it had risen, allowing the bird to remove the soot.

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