A Brief History of the Vacuum Cleaner

Though it seems like a piece of “technology” – with its automatic mechanisms and various electronic bits and pieces – did you know that the vacuum cleaner has actually been around for more than 100 years? In fact, the first known record of a person attempting to provide a mechanical solution to cleaning floors dates all the way back to 1599!

In 1901, a British engineer by the name of Hubert Booth patented a motorized cleaner that actually took the strange form of a horse-drawn, over-sized, petrol-driven machine, which he parked outside of buildings and was to be cleaned with long hoses being fed through windows, of all things. It’s believed that Booth’s first successful attempt at using this machine took place inside a restaurant, when it eventually sucked dirt off of the floor.

The Americans followed Booth’s footsteps with inventions of their own. Corinne Duflour invented a machine that, with a wet sponge, sucked dirt into it. And a man name David Kenney actually invented a huge machine that the user installed into a cellar, it was connected to a network of pipes, and those pipes then led to each room of a house. Can you imagine using that as a vacuum today!

Most Americans recognize the Hoover brand of vacuums. William Hoover is the man who invented a machine that actually resembled a bagpipe of sorts, which he attached to a cake box – again, it’s crazy to think how far vacuums have come today. Hoover then took his concept to market, and it was then that the first even commercial bag-on-a-stick vacuum was born. And you better believe it was a success! The product sold so well that eventually, there was a Hoover in every home. By 1919, Hoover was manufacturing his vacuums on a large scale, and doing extremely well.

And the rest is, as we say, history.

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