Evolution of the Vacuum Cleaners

As we know, the vacuum cleaner is the most modern and common tool when it comes to household or professional cleaning. It’s so widespread that about 80 – 95 % of households have got one. The vacuum cleaners have been the most trusty of assistants for many decades now, but what were they like before, back when we didn’t know them as they are now?

The vacuum cleaner is based on a centrifuge air pump that creates vacuum and has a focused suck in point. The very first attempt to create an automated process such as this one dates back to the late ‘fifteen-hundreds’. Back then, the only way to clean a carpet or a rug was to hand it from a pole and beat it to pound out dirt out of it. That was a very crude method. But it wasn’t until the late ‘eighteen-hundreds’ that a mechanical device was first created in order to improve all of this. This was a quite big gap in time…nearly three hundred years. Anyway, a man from Chicago called Ives McGaffey gave the world what he had called “The Whirlwind”. This was a hand pumped non-motorized sweeper that had been created with the sole purpose of carpet cleaning.

A few decades later in Saint Louis, the first motor powered vacuum cleaner was born. Made by John Thurman who made the most of if, by enforcing a door to door service for which he charged the vast amount of four dollars per visit.  A few years after, a British inventor called Hubert Cecil had created another motor powered vacuum cleaner. During that period all of these gizmos had to be horse-driven due to the lack of motorized vehicles and due to their size they had to stay outside the building and then long hoses had to be used in order to perform cleaning. But by all means, these were cleaners on the same basis of vacuuming as we know now.

And only shortly, James Spangler made the first ever portable version of a vacuum cleaner. The construction itself was quite crude, involving simple things like pillow casings, soap boxes, a broom handle and a motor. But nevertheless, it was a proper, portable vacuum cleaner.

After James Spangler sold the rights to William Hoover and started to design for his company, they had made some improvements to the old Spangler vacuum. The Hoover design was a odd bagpipe lookalike contraption which actually did the job surprisingly well. And that’s how the commercial vacuum cleaner was born. And ever since, the vacuum cleaner industry always finds something innovative, some new and better bits and piece that improve the overall design. But in its essence the vacuum cleaner hasn’t changed considerably since.