The first broom-making machine went into production in 1845. Prior to that brooms were all handmade, usually from broomcorn. In his workshop at the old general store in Big Sandy Mush in Leicester, NC, Marlow Gates keeps the fine art of broom-making alive and well. He studied design at NC State University then, after graduation, returned home. Gates is one of a hundred or so broom-makers left in the country.