The History of the Vacuum Cleaner



Pictured above; an early vacuum in use


The need for a cleaning device was great in the late 1800's. Up until that time the only way to clean carpets was to take them outside and beat them and this was only done once a year during the spring clean.
It was not until 1900 when small engines were available that people tried using compressed air to blow away the dust. All that did was blow the dust about the room and let it settle were it came from.

In 1901 a civil engineer by the name of Herbert Cecil Bothe saw this method used on train. He came up with the idea that it would be better to suck up the dirt through a filter. He built his machine and it worked well but was so big it had to be parked outside customers' houses. He was frequently sued as the noise often frightened passing horses.
In 1902 just before the crowning of Edward the 7th, it was noticed that the carpet in Westminster abbey was dirty and the only way of cleaning it was with Bothe's machine. when the king heard about this he ordered a demonstration and later bought two of Bothe's cleaners. This guaranteed the success of his company and other companies started producing hand powered vacuum cleaners.

In 1907 an American named James Murray Spangler, who was working as a cleaner, Designed the first small electric cleaner. he sold the patent to a harness maker named Hoover. By the 1920's Bothe started to produce his own range of electric cleaners under the Goblin name. He had 2500 door to door sales representative's in England selling mainly under hire purchase. Both the Hoover and the Goblin range were very successful and are still operating today selling machines that have not changed much in basic design since their first prototype.

In England the Hoover brand became so popular that many people refer to the chore of vacuuming as doing the hoovering, soon this chore may be a thing of the past as several companies are starting to produce robotic vacuum's. A robotic vacuum is much like a normal vacuum but without a handle. The robot can navigate your house by itself and return to its charger when finished, you don't even have to be at home. One such Vacuum is the iRobot Roomba Vacuum, this small vac is designed to be placed in the centre of a room and left to do its job, It starts going in circles until it finds a wall and then starts following the wall and crosses  the room back and forth until completely vacuumed. 

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Did You Know?

In 1853 the Passenger lift or "safety elevator" was invented by Elisha Otis, one of today's largest lift manufacturers sill bears his name.



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