The plunger. It’s a dirty topic that no one talks about, but we all have to deal with it. We’ve all had the same experience; we plunge the toilet and don’t know what to do with that nasty plunger afterwards.
A lot of times after use, the go-to is to stick it in the tub or back on the floor to deal with the inevitable later. Two longtime Arlington residents came up with a better way.
The idea of the Schoon was a glimmer in inventor Elaine Steele’s brain one morning in January of 2020 after plunging yet another clog in her old bathroom in her old house in Arlington. A search of the internet for a plunger that has a way to clean itself yielded no results, Elaine realized a self-cleaning plunger did not exist. After an exhaustive search of the Patent and Trademark site for hours and hours to find a product that was already out there, she found that there was none.
Elaine approached her longtime friend and coworker, Pierre, about the idea of a self-cleaning plunger. Being a germaphobe, he was intrigued, and the two started collaborating on the idea that February. Several designs, a few prototypes, lots of testing, and a patent application later, the Schoon was born and is now ready for manufacturing.
So how does the Schoon work? After unclogging your toilet, the Schoon allows you to use the wand to spray disinfectant over the top and the underneath of the plunger cup, cleaning the plunger immediately after use. The Schoon’s design also allows you to spray and disinfect the surrounding bathroom area. Elaine says, “Pierre and I intentionally created a sleek design, with the intention that you leave it out and at the ready for use when you need it.”
Where can you purchase the Schoon? You will find the evolution of the Schoon from idea, to sketches, to prototyping and testing on their Kickstarter Campaign page. Elaine says that the most common question she hears from excited parties after talking about the Schoon is, “what’s a Kickstarter???” She explains “Kickstarter is a platform where inventors go after prototyping to introduce their product to the world. Kickstarter Campaigns allow backers to pre-order and purchase their Schoon as early adopters. Once a Kickstarter Campaign reaches its Campaign goal, the invention goes right to production.” Elaine and Pierre say that once they reach their pre-order goal, the Schoon will go straight to manufacturing with Maryland’s Xometry, and the Schoon will be delivered before the Holidays.
The Schoon launched its Kickstarter campaign May 17th. You can pre-order the Schoon from May 17-June 20. This is the final stage in bringing this product to market. The Schoon is patent pending.
Pre-order the Schoon at the Kickstarter campaign here.
To learn more about the Schoon, visit www.theschoon.com.
Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or Laura@GuidingYourMove.com.
If you’ve ever driven around town, you’ll notice there are some smaller cemeteries placed in random places around town. They’re not all associated with a specific place of worship, but they all have long and interesting histories that most of us don’t know.
I have a house coming on the market near one of them, so I decided to research the history to share with you, so you too can be aware of the rich history Vienna has.
West End Cemetery — 500 block of Lewis St NW
- A 10,019 square foot lot established in 1884 by Captain Harmon L. Salsbury (1838-1913) to be used as a cemetery “for the use of colored people,” which is mostly (if not all) freed slaves. According to research I found online, there are 38 memorials held on this land. This is also located on the Register of Vienna Historic Structures, Sites and Places.
- Captain Salsbury was the commander of the US Colored Troop Company D, 26th Regiment from NY during the Civil War. He owned land around this site and many things have been donated to the town in his honor, like the Salsbury Spring (Lawyers Road and Windover Road), which was the only source of water for the Vienna area during the drought of 1930. In 1938, his wife and children donated the site to the Town to be designated a park in his honor. There’s a plaque on the site.
Sons and Daughters Cemetery — 550 Orchard St NW
- This cemetery was created in 1892, when Captain Salsbury and his wife sold the property to Mr. Andrew Minor and other trustees of the “United Order of the Sons and Daughters of the Liberty Lodge No 9.” There are over 200 graves, many of former slaves, freed colored citizens, and their descendants, along with soldiers who served in the 26th regiment with Captain Salsbury. Ownership of this 1.3 acre active cemetery was transferred to First Baptist Church (located at 450 Orchard St NW) in 1968.
Lynn Street Cemetery — Located between 1008 and 1010 Lynn St SW
- This burial site holds the grave of Dr. James Hunter and his wife Sarah. He is believed to be the first doctor who lived in Vienna and he was the great grandson of Col. Charles Broadwater
Moorefield Cemetery — Tapawingo Rd in the townhouse community Townes of Moorefield
- This gravesite is of Rev. Jeremiah Moore, his wife Lydia and some of their children and grandchildren.
Broadwater Cemetery — Corner of Tapawingo Rd and Frederick St SW (by the water tower)
- Enclosed in a brick perimeter with American Flags, this site holds the graves of Capt Charles Broadwater’s son, Charles, his grandson Charles Lewis, and great grandson Charles Guy.
All of these sites are located on the Register of Vienna Historic Structures, Sites and Places.
They are all maintained by the town and some volunteers so keep them clean.