U.S. & World History – A 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. Refinements and variations of mop designs have been introduced from time to time, including American inventors Jacob Howe who received a patent for a mop holder in 1837, and Thomas W. Stewart in 1893. Many people in the United States that lived on the east coast and Midwest back then found the invention practical and useful. But the people that lived in the southern states were frustrated, regularly complaining that it did an inadequate job on dirt floors.