A Brief History of Vacuum Cleaners

November 14, 2018 1:53 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Today, vacuum cleaners are standard equipment for American households. For the most part, they are compact, affordable and easy to use. However, this was not always the case. Vacuum cleaners and vacuum repair in St. Louis, MO have changed drastically over the years.

In fact, you probably wouldn’t recognize some of the earliest models as being “vacuum cleaners”! If we take a tour through vacuum history, we find some interesting developments.

1850 to 1900

In 1860, Daniel Hess invented a carpet sweeper. This creation became the predecessor to the modern vacuum cleaner. The sweeper generated some suction and featured a rotating brush and bellows. Nine years later, Ives W. McGaffey gave us his “Whirlwind,” which featured a hand-operated fan. This sold a bit better than Hess’s sweeper, even though it was difficult to operate.

The next advancement in design occurred in 1876, when “Grand Rapids” were invented. This carpet sweeper featured brushes that were connected to its wheels. As the unit was moved on the wheels, the brushes were rotated to clean the floor.

The last major development for the vacuum cleaner in the 1800s came in 1898. That year, John S. Thurman invented the pneumatic carpet renovator. This was a gas-powered unit that blew rather than sucked the air into a vacuum.

1900 to 1950

During the next 50 years, the vacuum cleaner and the process of vacuum repair in St. Louis, MO saw many changes. In 1901, the first motorized vacuum cleaner appeared on the market, but it was driven by a combustion engine and had to be placed on a horse carriage due to its size. Four years later, Walter Griffiths invented the first vacuum that could be hand-carried.

1908 saw the first motorized, portable vacuum cleaner. This style featured a box, an electric fan and a pillowcase to collect the debris. Inventor James Murray Spangler sold his patent for this design to a man with a name you probably recognize: William Henry Hoover.

After 1910, vacuum sizes became smaller, thanks to the invention of a small motor that could run on either AC or DC power. Then, in 1920, Air-Way Sanitizor became the first to manufacture vacuums that featured a disposable bag. The first vacuum model made of plastic appeared in 1930, and by 1950 the first upright vacuums were in production.

1950 to 2000

Hoover introduced the first hovercraft vacuum cleaner in 1954. The first self-propelled units weren’t introduced until 1969, when Hoover put them on the market. By the late 1970s, Dyson was starting to experiment with bagless vacuum cleaners, but the company didn’t produce their dual cyclone machine until 1993. Meanwhile, Black & Decker began distributing small, cordless vacuums in 1979 that operated on batteries. Just before the end of the millennium, Electrolux introduced robotic cleaners, with their Electrolux Trilobite, which appeared in 1997.

2000 to Present

The most recent developments with vacuum cleaners have been further advancements with robotics. In 2002, iRobot gave us Roomba, which is a vacuum that features AI and sensors that enable the unit to clean the room without human effort.

Looking to the Future

What does the future have in store for vacuum cleaners and vacuum repairs in St. Louis, MO? Partner with your local experts to keep up with the latest trends. The professionals at Fenton Sew & Vac offer a great selection of vacuums and accessories that are sure to help make your future cleaner!

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