One theory suggests that the traditional American broom has its origins in Benjamin Franklin's beaver skin hat. In the late 1700s, Franklin received a whiskbroom from France, purchased by a friend who thought the statesman's hat could use a good dusting. The curious Franklin planted a seed from the broom's organic fibers, and it grew into a towering plant. Sprawling masses of "broomcorn" soon became a novelty item in the gardens of Philadelphia. Eventually, the craft of broom making took root in the United States.