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Vacuum, sweeper, hoover… Whatever you call it, most of us use this cleaning machine weekly! This floor cleaning device has become a very important tool in our lives.

The first manual vacuum cleaner was invented by Daniel Hess of Iowa in 1860! Hess’s patent stated that the vacuum’s purpose was “of destroying dirt.” It gathered dust with a rotating brush and expanding bellows to create suction. The bellow suction blew the dusty air into a water filter container. Soon after Hess, Ives McGaffey created a vacuum cleaner in 1868. His differed from Hess’ because he used a fan driven by a hand-cranked belt. McGaffey’s vacuum was rather awkward and wasn’t very successful in the market.

Toward the end of the 19th century, the first powered cleaners came about. In 1898, John Thurman of St. Louis patented a “pneumatic carpet renovator” that was powered by an internal combustion engine. Thurman took advantage of his product and created a cleaning service that traveled on a horse-drawn wagon.

The first vacuum device that was introduced to the domestic market was invented in 1905 by Walter Griffith in England. His vacuum was the first to resemble modern vacuum cleaners. It was a popular device in the market because it was easy to store, portable, and simple to use.

In 1907, James Spangler of Canton, Ohio created the first portable electric vacuum cleaner. His design was the first to include suction AND a rotating brush. Spangler didn’t have the funds to introduce his innovative device to the market, so he sold his patent a year later to William Hoover. This transaction was the beginning of the Hoover Company.

After World War 2, vacuum cleaners became less of a luxury item and started to become popular amongst the middle class.

The first mass-produced robotic vacuum was created by Electolux, a Swedish corporation in the late 1990s. This evolved into what we know now as the Roomba. These machines move autonomously around furniture while collecting dust with motorized brushes.

The vacuum cleaner has evolved into very interesting technology that made our lives a lot easier.

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