A mop (such as a floor mop) is a mass or bundle of coarse strings or yarn, etc., or a piece of cloth, sponge, or other absorbent material, attached to a pole or stick. It is used to soak up liquid, for cleaning floors and other surfaces, to mop up dust, or for other cleaning purposes. The word (then spelled mappe) is attested in English as early as 1496, but new refinements and variations of mop designs have been introduced, from time to time. For example, American inventor Jacob Howe received U.S. patent #241 for a mop holder in 1837 and Thomas W. Stewart (U.S. patent #499,402) in 1893. At the 1968 Miss America protest, protestors symbolically threw a number of feminine products into a "Freedom Trash Can", which included mops.
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