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The Development of the Racing Broom

- Chapter 9
QA9: The Development of the Racing Broom

The history of the development of the racing broom is discussed, including the various manufacturers of famous brooms.

Calendar and Dates

1820
Elliot Smethwyck invents the Cushioning Charm.

1879
Elias Grimstone created the first Oakshaft (called the Oakshaft 79).

1901
Gladys Boothby creates the first Moontrimmer broom.

1926
The Ollerton brothers founded the Cleansweep Broom Company, producing the Cleansweep One as their first model.

1927
By the end of this year, every British Quidditch team was mounted on Cleansweeps.

1929
Randolph Keitch and Basil Horton founded the Comet Trading Company. Their first broom, the Comet 140, used the patented Horton-Keitch braking charm.

1934
Release of the Cleansweep Two.

1935
Jocunda Sykes made the first Atlantic broom crossing on an Oakshaft.

1937
Release of the Cleansweep Three.

1938
Release of the Comet 180.

1940
Release of the Tinderblast by the German company Ellerby and Spudmore.

1952
Release of the Swiftstick by Ellerby and Spudmore.

1955
Release of the Shooting Star by Universal Brooms Ltd.

1978
Universal Brooms Ltd. went out of business.

1967
The Nimbus Racing Broom Company founded by Devlin Whitehorn, releasing the Nimbus 1000.

1990
The Twigger 90 was first produced by Flyte and Barker.

Interesting facts and notes

Much of the Lexicon's historical information on the development of brooms comes from this chapter.

...the invention of the Cushioning Charm by Elliot Smethwyck in 1820 went a long way towards making broomsticks more comfortable than ever before...

This was also discussed in an earlier chapter.

...nineteenth-century broomsticks were generally incapable of achieving high speeds and were often difficult to control at high altitudes.

For some value of "high".

...the Oakshaft is a handsome broom with a very thick oaken handle, designed for endurance flying and to withstand high winds.

Oak is a type of wand wood (PS5).

Too cumbersome to turn at high speed, the Oakshaft...

This may be due partly to the wood from which the broom is made, and/or to the thickness of the handle.

Apparition becomes increasingly unreliable over very long distances, and only highly skilled wizards are wise to attempt it across continents.

Interesting.

The Moontrimmer...these slender, ash-handled brooms

Ash is a type of wand wood.

The Moontrimmer's principal advantage over other brooms was its ability to achieve greater heights than ever before (and remain controllable at such altitudes).

The Firebolt's handle is also made of ash.

....the Twigger has been found to warp under high speeds and has gained the unlucky reputation of being flown by wizards with more Galleons than sense.

Oh dear. This fits into Arthur Weasley's pronouncement about the Veela: "And that, boys.... is why you should never go for looks alone!" (GF8).

Memorable lines

(Before that time, wizards preferred to take ships rather than trust broomsticks over such distances. Apparition becomes increasingly unreliable over very long distances, and only highly skilled wizards are wise to attempt it across continents.)

The patented Horton-Keitch braking charm meant that Quidditch players were much less likely to overshoot goals or fly offside, and the Comet now became the broom of preference for many British and Irish teams in consequence.

However, though highly finished and including a number of new gimmicks such as an inbuilt Warning Whistle and Self-Straightening Brush, the Twigger has been found to warp under high speeds and has gained the unlucky reputation of being flown by wizards with more Galleons than sense.

Characters Introduced

Commentary

Related images:

            Students window-shopping for Firebolt brooms.       

Lexicon timeline of Quidditch

Lexicon list of Broom Manufacturers

From the Web

Writing by J K Rowling on WizardingWorld (Pottermore):

Harry Potter Wiki: Brooms

WizardingWorld (Pottermore) features:

Pensieve (Comments)

Tags: brooms / broomsticks games match pitch racing racing brooms speed

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The Harry Potter Canon