The History of Vacuum Cleaners

The History of Vacuum Cleaners
Articles on Vacuums

For people like us, living in this day and age, thinking of a life without a vacuum is nearly impossible.

But there was a time, and not very long ago when people had to do all sorts of cleaning, even carpet cleaning without the aid of this useful device. Do you know how rugs and carpets, or any heavy flooring clothes were cleaned before the invention of a vacuum cleaner? The cloth would be hung on a wall or clothing line and then beat with a heavy bat or stick to clear all the dust and debris from it. Afterwards, it would either be laid back in its place or washed depending on how dirty the thing was. The process was long, tiring and difficult.

With passage of time, people started thinking of creating a device that would get the dust out of carpets and rugs without using too much mechanical force. The very first vacuum of its kind came into being when Chicago inventor Ives McGaffey came up with a “carpet sweeping machine” in 1869. Even though it was not motorized, it still cleaned rugs. This machine offered great insights and ideas into more vacuum inventions.

The carpet sweeper is not too popular today compared to motorized vacuum cleaner machines, but they do have their purpose for various uses. The newer carpet sweeper models today actually work much better and are great for smaller areas in restaurants, homes, apartments, garages and camps.

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In 1876, Melvill R. Bissel of Michigan came up with a similar carpet sweeping device for his company in Grand Rapids. Improvements were again made when John S. Thurman of Missouri invented the pneumatic carpet renovator. A gasoline powered cleaner, this was used by the inventor to clean carpets at $4 per every visit.

It wasn’t until 1901 that a motorized vacuum cleaner came into being. Invented by Hubert Cecil Booth of England. He created a giant machine that was petrol driven and horse drawn at the time. Booth did not try to patent the machine, but instead gave services to anyone who needed them. The machine got so famous that it also gained approval from the Royal Navy and was used to clean the Westminster Abbey at the time of Edward VII’s coronation ceremony in 1901. Booth continued to better his invention and went towards commercial cleaning afterwards.

The domestic vacuum cleaner took its actual portable form in 1905 and was created by Walter Griffiths of England. In 1906, James B. Kirby also came up with Domestic Cyclones or cleaners that also used water to clean out the dust. Hence started the industry for the modern vacuum cleaners of differing varieties.

The very first electric and portable vacuum cleaner was invented by James Murray Spangler, a store janitor in Ohio in the year 1907. He sold his design to William Henry Hoover, who smarted up the device, added more features to it and came up with the name Hoover Company. This is the reason why vacuum cleaners are also known as Hoovers.

The vacuum cleaner has seen many renovations and advancements from the time it was thought up. Recently, a British company also released a hovering vacuum cleaner known as Airider that floats on air cushion. New innovations continue as time progresses.  So stay tuned for more fun articles…..or visit our home page.

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