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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Discovering an Inventor in the Graveyard : Following a Paranormal Hunch

A few years ago, I volunteered, along with two assistants, to attempt to index and photograph a rather large cemetery in the southern half of Oak Brook, Illinois, called Bronswood.  I noticed that the county genealogical society had completed this task for most of the cemeteries of the region, except this one. Why had no one indexed this cemetery?  Maybe it was because this cemetery is still open and expanding. Or, maybe it was because the cemetery already had over 10,000 "residents", and was still growing.  Whatever the reason, I had decided that no task was too big for me. Hahahahaha.  It took us over 2 years to index and photograph what we could, which included 10,300 burials at that time.  The cemetery has since been sold, and is ever expanding again.  I had an index posted on the Oak Brook Historical Society website,, along with all of it's mistakes and inadequate information...another task to take care of at a later date.  Currently, I am adding my photos for these interments to Find a Grave,

Not too many people know that on occasion, I have a sixth sense about it a sort of paranormal intuition.  When in cemeteries, I get a tapping on my shoulder...a hunch...a distraction...a calling from some gravestones.  I think that it is someone who has passed on, trying to get my attention to ask me to stay for a while and talk with them. I know, creepy, right?  There are those persons who have a story to tell, and they want me to listen.  So, I do.

Such was the case when I was indexing section H in this cemetery.  I came upon a memorial stone dedicated to Mr. Adolph Rebernak.  This name might not mean much to you, but it will when I tell you about Adolph.  Have you ever used a cleaning product named Endust?  What about using a squeeze sponge mop made by O'Cedar?  Of course you have, haven't you?

Bronswood Cemetery, Section H Lot 76

Adolph Rebernak was the inventor of  the squeeze sponge mop, Dri-Glo and Endust.  Now, you might be thinking, "this gal is really nuts" and that is your right.  But read on and learn a bit about this man who wanted me to listen to his story.

Mr. Rebernak passed on February 7, 1990.  He had a rather nice obit written about him.  Here is what I found in the Chicago Tribune :

As you can see, this guy had quite the background in education and profession.  Notice that it mentions his patent for the sponge mop that was manufactured by O'Cedar Corporation.  Here is more information about this mop and it's patent :

patent for the foldable compression mop

patent drawing for the foldable compression mop by A. Rebernak
Mr. Rebernak did not stop there.  No way.  He decided to make some revisions to his mop.  He made it an angular sponge mop.  Probably easier to handle for the person using the mop and less taxing on the back.  Here is the patent information for this new, and improved mop :
information found at

Patent 3,038,188 has a file of drawings regarding the sponge mop invented by Mr. Rebernak :

I never knew it took this much technology and thought to come up with such an idea.  Remember the O'Cedar commercial jingle....O'Cedar makes your life easier?  Well now you can thank Mr. Rebernak each time you grab a sponge mop and put it to use. Just think of how many lives he made "easier" by inventing this mop, along with the cleaning products.  I find myself singing the jingle, "O'Cedar makes your life easier", each time I grab a mop, and think of Mr. Rebernak.

Now, who else from this cemetery will want to tell their story to me?  I'll let you know....


A little more information about the O'Cedar Corporation, taken from it's website, :

Our History

The Channell Chemical Company started as a manufacturer of waxes and wood polishes, which were sold door to door in the early 1900s. One of the main ingredients in the polish was cedar leaf oil, which led to the product being called “O-Cedar Polish.” As the company expanded, so did the brand awareness of O-Cedar, and the name just stuck!

O-Cedar Makes Your Life Easier!®

We’ve dedicated our 100-year history to taking the “work” out of housework with a constant focus on innovation. We were the first to produce a self-wringing mop, to market the first angle broom, and to introduce the first spray mop to offer both disposable and machine washable microfiber pads! 
Plus, each and every one of our products is designed to help you get the job done quickly, easily and with confidence.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the lovely writeup. Adolph was my husband's grandfather. I came across your notes while searching to see if I could find any online pictures of Adolph. We have family pictures, but are hoping to find pictures of him at O'Cedar. I think Adolph would love to know that his 7 grandchildren have given him 13 greatgrandchildren.