Rise and Fall of the US Broom Industry is an overview of the broom & broomcorn industries in the U.S. The foundation for this post was provided to me by Sam Moyer Ph.D. He gleaned much of this from BROOM, BRUSH & MOP, (especially Tim Monahan’s 1986 review) Sam Moyer, Ph.D. My updates specifically focus on adding items specifically to Baca County Colorado, the last major U.S. production area. However, I have added other key notes of interest from various notes I have gathered.
Although there hasn’t been broomcorn production in Baca County for many years, there actually has been quite a bit of research done in the recent past. My newest broomcorn acquaintance is Dr. Sam Moyer, a geneticist and a broom maker from New Jersey. Dr. Moyer has done quite a bit of work towards bringing a cottage broomcorn industry back to the United States. The work primarily revolves around producing a seedless and harvestable varieties. Much of the work was done in conjunction with Dr. Henry Hadley who worked at the University of Illinois / Urbana. I have permission to repost his writings and will do so in a series of posts. Again, I will also share any other golden broomcorn nuggets I pick up.
- 1757- According to legend Ben Franklin brings broomcorn from Virginia and shares with family and friends in New England.
- 1793- The US “industrial revolution” began in 1793 at Slater’s Mill,Pawtucket RI. The invention of textile machines made factory production more efficient than the cottage industry.
- 1851. The first patent related to attempts to automate the broomcorn industry was for the improvement of machines for stripping seed from Broomcorn. L.D. Grosvenor of South Groton MA.
- 1876 Broom-Corn and Brooms: A Treatise on Raising Broom-Corn and Making Brooms is published.
- 1887 – Broomcorn is introduced into Baca County CO in 1887 by Mr. Roseboom a broom-maker from Eastern Kansas.
- 1888 – D.J. Greathouse starts growing broomcorn in Baca County CO.
- 1869- Invention of a broom sewing machine. The US broom industry may have begun.
- 1904- the first broom corn dealer was from Wichita KS (AMEX today)
- 1910 – The first broomcorn knife patent was issued to Gustaf W. Hanson, of Marquette Kansas
- BROOMS BRUSHES MOPS. First issue published Feb 27, 1912! Started publishing monthly
- 1915- 52,242 tons raw broom corn was grown in US. For 50 years (1915-65) annual average was 41,000 tons.
- 1924- Another dealer began in Wichita, John Denning Co. operated 14 branches in different states including one in NC; which became RE Caddy. At one time, there were 1,500 broom shops in the US, making 45 million brooms.
- 1926– Railroad comes to Baca County CO allowing easier transport of broomcorn and other crops
- 1929 – Baca County CO is reported to produce 12% of the U.S. broomcorn crop.
- 1938 – A Broomcorn Festival is announced for November 3 in Walsh CO with events to include a broomcorn auction, a carnival, a parade, a football game between Springfield and Boise City (OK).
- 1942- November 11. My Dad, Charles Brooks, while aboard the U.S.S Relief writes my Grandma and includes a question about my Uncle Ray’s Broomcorn Crop.
- 1949- In this place called Baca, there were 377 farms growing nearly 75,000 acres of this crop.
- 1950 – Ralph Woods is granted a patent for a broom corn cutter.
- 1951 – September 13, Baca County Democrat reports a labor shortage threatens Baca’s broomcorn crop, 1200 workers needed.
- 1951- The June 27 Hopwell Herald reports that “Witches will have to Ride Imported Brooms” because of the decline of domestic broomcorn
- 1953 – The The New York Botanical Garden published John H. Martin’s “Broomcorn — The Frontiersman’s Cash Crop.” provided an overview of large-scale broomcorn production as a factory industry at its peak in the US
- 1955 – Roy Haney patents Harvesting machine “Method of harvesting broom corn and the like”
- 1965-1975- change from all US to all Mexican broomcorn due to cheaper labor. Peak of 12,201 processed tons in 1976.
- 1967- Ricks of Broomcorn in the field in Baca County Colorado (Photo courtesy of Anita Bishop).
- 1967 – Plastic brooms made an impact.
- 1970’s- Wall to wall carpeting caused a decline in broom consumption.
- 1970 – Le Roy Sunday is granted patent for Process and apparatus for harvesting broom corn. Machine was tested on 60 acres of irrigated broomcorn south of Vilas Colorado
- 1971- Pueblo (CO) Chieftain declares Baca County as the “Broomcorn Capital of the World”
- 1975 – After 60 years of reporting U.S. Broomcorn production, the USDA announced they were sweeping aside that set of statistical data.
- 1978 – The last Baca County CO broomcorn crops were sold mostly for flower arrangements.
- 1971– 1985 Imports averaged 11,800 T/yr.
- 1980’s- Mexican government tried to control price of broom corn by creating a shortage. This created a demand for broomcorn from Hungary and other countries. Plans for growing it in two places in IL, didn’t happen.
- 1981– Oct. 24, Front page ad Dal Maschio, Italy by W. Petzold & Co Cockeysville MD: Model 80; patented sewing device for totally blind.
- 1982- comment in article:” one of the industry’s problems: difficult to glamorize a broom; innovation is needed” (not profitable for wholesale marketing) .
- 1982 March Advertisement by Perfex Corp.: Metal cap brooms polypropylene and tropical fibre:” tons of pressure assemble and riviet caps to fibres bonded by exclusive Perfex adhesive.
- 1982– BROOM and BROOM CORN NEWS was published for 70 years until March 6 1982 (mailed in a plain brown wrapper).
- 1982- Feb 27, article: Breeding, Production and Sale of Broom Corn in Hungary US varieties sent by Dr. Weibel, Oklahoma, didn’t perform as well as domestic varieties. But Deer has good disease resistance is good breeding material
- 1983- Dr. Hadley (in IL) and I (in NJ) started research to develop machine harvestable broomcorn to grow in US.
- 1986 Dec 6 Professor (Henry Hadley) Trying to Develop Broom Corn Hybrid. Trying to develop plants uniformly 3-4 feet tall that allows the fiber to grow out of the leaves.
- 1986- Contest for the fastest broom maker at Arcola IL Broomcorn Festival. make three brooms: four rows of stitching; first row 10 stitches, second row 11, 3rd 12, 4th 13.
- 1986- April 12, Historical article by Tim Monahan reported In 1915,the earliest year for which records can be found, 52,242 tons raw broom corn grown in US. For 50 years (1915-65) annual average was 41,000 tons. In 1965, first Mexican 2,400 tons. Between 1965 and 1970 ave. US production=19,600 T/yr; Mexican import ave.=6,500 T/yr. During 1971-1985 imports ave=11,800 T/yr. Plastic brooms made an impact about 1967. Decline in broom consumption in 1970’s: carpeting. “When broom makers are forced to increase their prices because of increased broom corn prices, sales of broom corn brooms fall.”
- 1987- 21. Professor Makes Brooms His Hobby. “When Dr. Samuel Moyer finishes teaching classes and completes research into the genetics of broom corn as a biology professor at Burlington County College in NJ, he moonlights as a handcrafted broom maker…”
- 1987– June Drug Activity caused problems with the Mexican supply.
- 1987– Dec. Riots by Cuban Detainees Destroy Broom Factory: Atlanta Federal prison. By law, the federal government must get its brooms or industries for the blind…”
- 1988- New Prison Factory Catches Attention From Private Sector.
- 1989– Jan 1 Carlos Petzold/Bodam International Ltd. asked industry $10,000 support to Dr. Hadley. Dal Maschio invested $100,000 to develop a broomcorn harvesting machine; stopped until a proper broomcorn plant is developed.
- 1991– April Machinery Issue: NO broom making equipment featured.
- 1994 –NAFTA went into effect Jan. 1. After NAFTA : 1995: 5,691 tons of broom corn a year by 2006: 1,497 tons a year.
- 1995- February Last Denning Co. ad; Nov. Not listed in 1995 Suppliers directory; Nov. comment on dealer survey “… the business isn’t there anymore. …broom corn use will just keep going down in the future.”
- 1998– President Clinton removes protection: 100,000 dozen may enter duty free.
- 1998– July National Broom Co, CA “…close to developing a harvesting machine…”
- 1999- Bobbie McClure, Van Horn, TX turns brooms into an art form (most artistic brooms I have seen)
- 2000– Mexican factory work causing labor shortage and problems with the supply of broom corn.
- 2003– Jan. “at least 19 countries trying to help replace the Mexican crop”
- 2003 – Dr. Hadley completed dwarf Deer broom corn.
- 2004– Roaming camels destroy 5% of the crop of Ethiopian broom corn.
- 2006- I completed multicolored dwarf broomcorn: too late to help save the US industry.
- 2006– Dec. Problems importing broom corn due to fungi on seeds, which is a risk to the US sorghum industry. The US Department of Agriculture does not allow the seeds in shipments.
- 2007- New Broom Stitching Machines made in China. Same function/spare parts as Italian machine.
- 2008– Is the US broom production returning to “cottage industry”?
- 2008– January “Mexican broomcorn crop is shrinking 10%/yr., similar to what happened decades ago in IL, TX, NM, will disappear: high labor costs +competing crops.
- 2015- Kent Brooks presents “Dirt & Brooms” at the 2015 Baca County Fair . Below is the ad and the slidedeck from this presentation
- 2016- September Broomcorn Crop in Mexico. Dr. Sam Moyer’s harvestable broomcorn variety. From an email excerpt about the broomcorn crop growing in Matamoros, Coahuila taken on Sept 9, 2016. I should have new pictures soon. We have been told it is looking good. The crop will be harvested in the next 2 weeks. We are going to wait until the seed is mature so it can be used next year. The broomcorn has been sprayed several times to kill the aphids. Broomcorn is so valuable in Mexico this year, that a guard has been hired to protect the crop from being harvested by broomcorn “rustlers”
As a note of interest to those you who raised Baca County Broomcorn the crops above will not produce the greenish/ yellowish brush that you were accustomed to seeing. The picture below represents the product that will result from this machine harvestable variety developed by Dr. Moyer. The product coloring is apparently very popular among artesian broom makers.
There is some redundancy from the timeline list in the items below but it probably makes sense to categorize for greater understanding of the industry over time.
March 1982- Perfex Corporation Ad: Metal cap brooms polypropylene and tropical fibre:” tons of pressure assemble and rivet caps to fibres bonded by exclusive Perfex adhesive. Polypropropylene fibres a fused by modern construction technology. Hard baked finish gives long lasting eye appeal. riveted handle holds tightly”
September 1986 Baltimore Broom Machine Co. Ad. Rotex Automatic broom & brush making machine Utilizes a patented thermal method to form plastic fibers into a complete broom….
September 1989 …wound brooms are better, but we don’t want to fight the labor problems, so they make nailed brooms. And the customer doesn’t always have a choice.”
Broom corn supply:
1978- August 5. Out of the Past: 50 years ago “Approximately 39,000 tons of broom corn from the 1927 crop have been accounted for…
Sept 2, 1978 Letter to Editor: …farmers in the US were raising about 50,000 tons per year, this is the first year that (B&BCN) had no mention of broomcorn raised in US.
From the 1953 journal, ECONOMIC BOTANY; “broomcorn was grown on some 200 to 300 thousand acres annually in the US producing 30 to 50 thousand tons of cured brush”.
Verbal communication from Richard Caddy: Plastic fibers were imported from Italy in the late 50’s. Mexico began exporting broomcorn 1965.
In the Aug. 13,1983 issue, a chart: beginning1974 10,385 tons (processed?) imported from Mexico, with a peak of 12,201 tons in 1976.
July 17, 1982 article: Hungary Hopes to Increase Broom Corn Sales Here: “As the Mexican situation continues to deteriorate, Hungarian broom corn should become acceptable.”
Oct 30, 1982; article: Broom Corn Demand Down:”Record high prices, lower-priced substitutes and declining broom sales…
Jan 1, 1983 Strong Market Expected for Hungarian Broom Corn: “American broom manufacturers began searching for a substitute for the high priced Mexican broom corn”
May 21, 1983 Hungarian Corn Demand Up…”…the current shortage of Mexican corn…”
June 25, 1983 Announcement: Meeting on Broomcorn shortage; photo: Planting broomcorn in IL “France Broom co.” decide to plant this year after the Mexican shortage
July 2 1983 article From the past: Early 70’s See End to US Broomcorn Production: Comment:”The shortage of Mexican broomcorn…Just 10 years ago the broom industry witnessed the end of American broomcorn production” In 1972, US production fell below 10,000 tons; 3,300 tons in 1973, under 1000 tons in 1974. Cheap labor in Mexico…
Sept 24, 1983 article :40 Acres of Broom Corn Recently Harvested in IL “1,200 lbs. per acre”; manual harvest
August 13, 1983: 28 tons were imported from Argentina.
August 4, 1984 article Plans for Growing Broomcorn Underway In IL;”…growing and processing 2000 acres within 5 years…the shortage of broomcorn, high prices and the cartel in Mexico…” (didn’t happen; “red tape” article May 11, 1985)
Oct 5, 1985 article: Swiss company plan to begin planting broom corn in Ethiopia
1986 April 12 Historical article by Tim Monahan In 1915,the earliest year for which records can be found, 52,242 tons raw broom corn grown in US. For 50 years (1915-65) annual average was 41,000 tons. In 1965, first Mexican 2,400 tons. Between 1965 and 1970 ave. US production=19,600 T/yr; Mexican import ave.=6,500 T/yr. During 1971-1985 imports ave=11,800 T/yr. Plastic brooms made an impact about 1967. Decline in broom consumption in 1970’s: carpeting. “When broom makers are forced to increase their prices beause of increased broom corn prices, sales of broom corn brooms fall.”
Sept 13 1986 and June 20, 1987 map of four Mexican growing areas
June 20, 1987 Mexican Drug Activity Affecting Broom Corn Industry
Jan 1989 8 tons/acre(?) in Mexico
June 2000 Mexican import for one month about half of broomcorn from other countries
Dec 2000 Mexican factory work causing labor shortage for harvesting broom corn
Jan 2003…”at least 19 countries trying to help replace the Mexican crop.
Feb 2003 Hungary exported 4 more tons than Mexico in Nov 2002
Jan 2004 Ethiopian broom corn; broom corn research there. Roaming camels destroy 5% of crop; nomadic workers are not dependable, they move.
Dec 2006 problems importing overseas, potential risk with seeds: US Dept of Agri not allowing a single seed in a shipment
Jan 2008 “Mexican broomcorn crop is shrinking 10%/yr., similar to what happened decades ago in IL, TX, NM, will disappear: high labor costs +competing crops.
Processed imports 1975-1980 ave= 11,232 Tons/yr 1982= 7,570 tons shortage caused by cartel.
After NAFTA in 1994:
Year 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
tons/yr 5691 4501 3472 3460 2938 3020 2968 2441 1929 1974 1389 1497
Broomcorn Dealers advertising:
1951 July 3, Texas Supply Co. Early Texas broom corn Shipped direct from field -Truck loads-Carloads
Oct 24, 1981 A&E de Laredo, Inc , Laredo TX “Direct Supervision Farm to Manufacturers Door”
H.L. Ginns Broom Corn Supply Wichita KS
John L Denning Wichita KS
Nov 14, 1981 Cover: National Broomcorn Co. Laredo TX
unadvertised dealer comments: Tim Monahan; Earl Caddy
April 1997 Joe Allen 69 dies
Sept 2004 Asa Thomas 84 dies Aug 5, 2004. last person in US to grow & sell Deer variety seed.
1924 John Denning Co. founded. Sometimes owned 75 to 90% of all available broomcorn; operated 14 branch companies in different states. At one time, there were 1,500 broom shops in the US, making 45 million brooms. Last Denning ad Feb 1995. Not listed in 1995 Suppliers directory. Nov. 1995 last comment on dealer survey “… the business isn’t there anymore. …broom corn use will just keep going down in the future.”
1996 August Earl Caddy 50 years in industry
Dec 2002 Amex/National Broomcorn 25 years. Harve Pelton started 1904 in Wichita
Oct 24, 1981 ad by Charles Demarest, Inc.: Pamyra stalks & fibres-from India; Bahia-from Brazil; Rice root-from Mexico;Split rattan, broom reed, bamboo from far East; Sulima Sherbro & calabar from West Africa
Oct 30, 1982; article: Broom Corn Demand Down:”Record high prices, lower-priced substitutes and declining broom sales…”
August 13, 1983 Ad by Brush Fibers, Inc. Full range of tampico and other vegetable fiber filling materials: Palmyra, bassine, palmyra stalks, sherbro, bahia, Arenga, coco fibers
Oct 24, 1981:Back page ad by Whiting Co.”Polycorn”
Nov 14, 1981: ad by Polymers, Inc. :”Broomstrand”
ad by Standard Brush & co.: Plastic Brooms now available to Broom & Brush manufacturers Angle plastic broom; fluffy type plastic
March 13, 1982 full page ad by Keystone Plastics: Polypropylene fiber for the Brush and Broom Industries
Non-broom corn brooms:
Ad March 1982 by Perfex Corp.: Metal cap brooms polypropylene and tropical fibre:” tons of pressure assemble and rivet caps to fibres bonded by exclusive Perfex adhesive. Polypropropylene fibres a fused by modern construction technology. Hard baked finish gives long lasting eye appeal. riveted handle holds tightly”
Ad Sept 13, 1986 by Baltimore Broom Machine Co. Rotex Automatic broom & brush making machine
Utilizes a patented thermal method to form plastic fibers into a complete broom….
Sept 1989 …wound brooms are better, but we don’t want to fight the labor problems, so they make nailed brooms. And the customer doesn’t always have a choice.”
Oct 24, 1981 Full page ad by Thomas Monahan Co.: Twine war: Imported Hong Kong vs. Domestic Tiger Twine
June 18, 1983 back page ad: Monahan’s Bold Twine Private label imported twine beats Hong Kong twine
July 1993 Ramin Prices increase as Shortages Develop. Indonesain government put on a reforestation tax to help save rainforest.
June 2006 ad by Monahan’s for a manufactured bamboo handle, (Never had 42″?)
Broom Stitcher/sewing machines:
Oct 24, 1981 Front page ad Dal Maschio, Italy by W. Petzold & Co Cockeysville MD: Model 80; patented sewing device for totally blind and/or instruction of new operators
P.9 full page ad by Baltimore Broom Machine Co. “How much better is the Simplex 4? Operate the Simplex, compare with an Italian stitcher: We’ll pay the fare to Baltimore from anywhere in North America”
Feb. 7, 1987 Article Baltimore Broom Machine Co. changes ownership. …McCaffray, 74, retired
August 1988 Machinery Issue: Photo of Dal Maschio Broomcorn (hurl?)selector “5 lengths” (looks like 7) 220 lbs/hr. Since 1960
August 1989 Machinery Issue: Description of “Simplex V stitcher. Last photo Aug 1990
April 1991 Machinery Issue: NO broom making equipment featured
Sept 1993 Machinery Issue; Baltimore listed, no ad; Bodam listed broom machinery
Sept 1993 machinery issue NO Baltimore; Ad for American Machine & supply (last?)
Nov 2007 New Broom Stitching Machines made in China. Same function/spare parts as Italian machine
Broom corn research, Dr. Henry Hadley of the University of Illinois:
July 23,1983 comment:”…research should continue on finding a variety best suited for mechanical harvesting. (He invited me, letter Aug 30, 1983, to collaborate after I read this)
August 6, 1983 article Research Continues Into New Broomcorn Varieties. Hadley reported the establishment of the Nolan Broomcorn Trust to help solve the broomcorn shortage problem (in 1983) by bringing broomcorn production back to US with mechanical harvesting
Nov. 26, 1983 grant from Am. Brush Manufacturers Asso. $5000 per year three years to Hadley
May 11, 1985 Professors Working to Improve Broom Corn. Dr. Dale Weibel working on is own at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater on disease resistance. Hadley creating a type that can be harvested mechanically in US for cheaper transportation and political problems (attempt by the Mexican gov’t to set price levels in July 1984) The tops of grain sorghum emerge from a protective sheath; breed broomcorn the same way for easier mechanical harvesting.
Oct 5, 1985 article: Dr. Janos Berenji, from Yugoslavia visits Dr. Hadley and Dr. Weibel to learn breeding for mechanical harvesting.
Dec. 6 1986 Professor Trying to Develop Broom Corn Hybrid. Trying to develop plants uniformly 3-4 feet tall that allows the fiber to grow out of the leaves.
April 25 1987 Progress on Broom Corn Project 3 new varieties, some hybrids better
Nov 21, 1987 Front page: Financial Support lags for Broom Seed Project. Mentioned that I (Dr. Moyer) has worked with Dr. Hadley to create new varieties.
Jan 1989 Carlos Petzold/Bodam International Ltd. asked industry $10,000 support to Dr. Hadley. Dal Maschio invested $100,000 to develop a broomcorn harvesting machine; stopped until a proper broomcorn plant is developed.
Jan 1990 Progress on Broom Corn project. Five lines promising, including one uniformly 2 feet from ground to knuckle, erect brush completely out of the sheath. Need research to develop a mechanical broom corn harvester. (Why not Dal Maschio?)
Nov 1991 Nolan estate sold in 1989; Trust funds research assistant. 3 lines good for hybrids
Jan 1993 Achieved ideal type in individual plants, but not a line of mainly ideal plants
Jan 1994 Reported efforts on hybrids.
Feb 1996 Hybrids showed hybrid vigor. Report of Dr. Sam Moyer: multicolor dwarf hybrids
Jan 2003 Released new varieties
Feb 2003 Dwarf variety developed almost like Deer except 3.5 feet tall. Could be harvested mechanically (but top leaf covers some of the brush that gives some support)
(I completed “Moyer’s multicolored dwarf”, 2006) (“exserted’ from top leaf, long peduncles) Being maintained by Seed Savers Exchange, Decorah IA
Prison broom factory:
July 2 1983 article: Atlanta Prison Requests 444,000 lbs of Broomcorn: Brooms are purchased by the General Services Administration (Federal government)
May 23, 1987 Broom Firms Battling Prison Competition in Ohio
Dec 5, 1987 Riots by Cuban Detainees Destroy Broom Factory: Atlanta Federal prison….”By law, the federal government must get its brooms or industries for the blind…
Dec 19, 1987 Prison Siege Ends 100 to 200 tons broomcorn burned…Baltimore Broom machine co contacted to supply $400,00 in new machines.
Dec 26 No new site found for prison broom factory. Order for new broom machinery awaits approval. Industries for the Blind will supply brooms for the federal government.
Nov. 1988 New Prison Factory Catches Attention From private Sector. Big spring TX. 29 Paris winders, 3 trimmers, 2 scrapers from Am. Machine Co. Muskogee OK; 7 stitchers from Baltimore Broom Machine co.
May 8, 1982 article: Lions Club Sales Offer Potential (Usually made by blind)
Blind broom making:
March 1990. …president of AP Mills for th Blind, Memphis: business down 18%
June 1995 Suppliers directory listed 3 industries for blind, more than brooms: 225 total employees
June 1998 Only one for blind, in Canada
August 2, 1986 Article: Contest for the fastest broom maker at Arcola IL Broomcorn Festival. make three brooms: four rows of stitching; first row 10 stitches, second row 11, 3rd 12, 4th 13.
North American Free Trade Agreement:
July 1990 US-Mexico Trade Talks to begin in Dec.
March 1991 Debating “fast track”…”Mexico controls the broom corn, they will control the brooms”
April 1992 Members of US broom industry (Task Force Commitee) proposal for negotiations; gradual phase-in for imports and tarifs of Mexican corn brooms
May 1992 “Snap-back provision” proposed
August 1992 Free Trade Talks Nearing Completion
Oct. 1992 “…not as good as what one would hope for, but there’s a certain inevitability about it.”
Nov 1992 Scheduled to go into effect Jan 1, 1994. The industry was “betrayed”: had been promised a tariff reduction plan allowing time for market adjustment. Plan changed at last minute.
Dec. 1992 Trade Talks with Clinton Team: requested changes: “snap-back” provision;return tariff rate to 32% after imports surpass 200,000 dozen. Requested $$ to the Broom Fair Trade Committee; enlisted veteran lobbyist…
Jan 1993 Meeting ‘Productive’ with Clinton Team. Discussed: tariff phase-outs are too abrupt. Clinton would protect US industries, including a “snap-back” provision for broom tariffs. US broom industry had good publicity on ABC-TV WORLD NEWS TONIGHT
Feb 1993 New US trade rep supports side agreements to NAFTA including surge protection
April 1993 Import surge protection will help the future of the broom industry
March 1993 Clinton puts NAFTA on Back Burner
August 1993 Update; Duty-free quota of 100,000 dozen brooms
Dec. 1993. Special Concession Should Protect US Corn Broom Industry.NAFTA becomes law Jan1. From 1994 to 1999 the first 100,000 dozen duty free. Then 22.4 % tariff. In 2000 16%. In 2006 all duty free.
Dec. 1994 More duty free brooms than allowable
Dec. 1995 Industry hopeful government will re impose duties in imports
Dec. 1996 Pres Clinton Rules in favor of Increasing Broom Tariffs
Dec. 1998 Clinton Removes Import Protection: 100,000 dozen may enter duty free, then 22.4%, 16% Jan 1, 2000