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Chimney sweep

A Chimney sweep is a person who cleans chimneys for a living.

Although the need to clean chimneys has existed ever since the structure was created, chimney sweeps were best known after the Industrial Revolution. With rise of dense urban population, the resulting rise of housing with chimney's grew in pace and the dedicated profession of cleaning them arose.

In Victorian Age[?] Britain, the business became notorious for employing young boys who were small enough to enter the chimneys themselves and clean them from inside. The work was dirty and dangerous to the children and their employers were notorious for being abusive and exploitive of them.

Eventually, the public outcry led to a search for a technological substitute for children and the solution was found in the form of special brushs and brooms with a collapsable handle structure. This allowed a sweep to reach into a chimney to an extended distance without the need to enter it.

Eventually, with the rise of alternative heating systems with the resulting decline of the use of chimney's, the sweep profession became less prevalent although the service still in most communities on a much smaller scale to this day.

In the arts, chimney sweeps were often depicted in Victorian literature[?] as heartless, abusive scoundrels typified in the book, The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley. However, with the development of the newer brush equipment and phasing out of the child labor, the profession changed its image as one of agile and good natured adult men with the chief example being in the book series Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney film adaptation.

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