• In earlier days, brooms were made of corn strands and were similar to household brooms. Brushes were used primarily by elderly curlers as a substitute for corn brooms. Today, brushes have replaced traditional corn brooms at every level of curling, but are universally referred to as brooms. Brooms are also used by some curlers as a balancing aide during delivery of the stone.
  • As a supplement to the other answer... Players did, at one time, play with corn brooms little different from the one used to sweep off the front porch. However, these evolved into specialized curling brooms more than a century ago. These were much narrower than a conventional corn broom (under 6 inches), contained more straws than a conventional broom, and could be quite stiff, depending on the construction. It took more than a little effort to get the brooms to 'slap' on the ice, as a good sweeper could. Some brooms contained inserts, such as a strip of leather, to change their sweeping properties. There were even a few brooms made from synthetics or other materials. The brush, which was introduced about 40 years ago, was a narrower version of a push-broom and is usually about 8 inches wide. The brushes are made of animal hair (e.g., horse, pig) or synthetic materials.

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