Squeegee, Squilgee, SquimJim, Scraper

Thus begins (and ends) the declension* of “Squeegee.”

For the three people out there who don’t know what I’m talking about, a “squeegee” is a handled tool (often metal or plastic) with a rubber blade used “to remove or control the flow of liquid on a flat surface.”  Most of us see and use them most commonly around windows.

Since I needed an “S”-shaped dinglehopper (and yes, I know it’s Friday but Thursday was pre-empted by Tesla’s little mishap with the remote control), I thought I’d share a few facts about the squeegee:

– The name is an onomoatopoeia – a word or name which imitates the sound of the object or item it describes.

– In addition to cleaning windows, squeegees are used to wipe floors, spread ink in printing or silkscreening applications, and clean horses. (Yep. Horse scraper, aka horse squeegee – owned and used them myself.)

– On September 11, 2001, a window washer at the World Trade Center used his squeegee to save  himself and five other people stuck in an express elevator on the 50th floor of the north tower following the terrorist attacks. The passengers pried open the elevator doors and the quick-thinking window washer used his squeegee to dig a hole in the drywall of the elevator shaft. All five escaped safely before the tower fell. (The heroic squeegee is on display at the Smithsonian Institution as part of the September 11 exhibit.)

– In 2002, a New York man acquired a patent for a “body squeegee” glove intended to replace towels as a post-bath drying mechanism. (Somehow the thought of stepping from the bath into a warm … squeegee … just doesn’t have the same allure.)

Have more facts about squeegees? Hop to the comments and share.

* Extra points to the other Latin geeks who got the joke.