The Vacuum Cleaner

In the vacuum of space, no one can hear you clean…

Awful puns aside, if it wasn’t for the humble vacuum cleaner, you, me, your colleagues and your office would be filthy. You’d be up your eyeballs in dust, hair, and all sort of other assorted gunk. So in recognition of this dirt collecting demon, here are Millards Cleaning Services Top 10 Vacuum Cleaner Facts you never knew…

1)      The Carpet Cleaner: The very first vacuum cleaner was invented by Daniel Hess in West Union, Iowa in 1860. He didn’t name it a vacuum cleaner, he called it a carpet cleaner. It’s US Patent Number 29.077. It was powered by an complicated bellows system on top of the main body which gave the machine it’s suction.

2)      The Whirlwind: No, not Jimmy White! A Chicago gent by the name of Ives McAffey invented the first manually powered vacuum cleaner calling it “The Whirlwind” in 1869. The Whirlwind was light years ahead of its time and contained most of the components of a modern day upright vacuum cleaner, except for a motor. Back in the day it would have set you back 25 bucks. I have no idea how much that would be these days…

3)      POWER: Englishman Hubert Cecil Booth invented the first engine powered vacuum cleaner in 1901. It was large and so powerful that it had to be mounted on a cart and pulled through the streets. Queen Victoria was a big fan. She would have one brought to Buckingham Palace to clean the floors, and entertain her guests! Booth’s machine is credited with ending the plague in English Naval Barracks.

4)      IT’S ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!!!: The practical, portable, and electrical vacuum cleaner was invented by the fantastically named James Murray Spangler, a janitor from Canton, Ohio. He created a vacuum cleaner using a wooden crate, a fan motor, a broom handle and one of his wife’s pillowcases in 1907. He took his invention door to door in 1907, and one of his first customers was the wife of mega rich leather-goods maker William Hoover. You know what’s coming next don’t you…

5)      The Electric Suction Sweeper Company: That’s right, Hoov……hang on…What? Wait a minute… Spangler patented his rotating brush design in 1908 and soon sold the idea to Hoover, who became one of the wealthiest men in America from the invention. In Britain, Hoover became so synonymous with the vacuum cleaner that “to hoover” became a verb.  Initially called The Electric Suction Sweeper Company, catchy eh? Hoover’s first vacuum was called the Model O, was released in 1908 and cost the earth shattering $60.

6)      It’s in the bag: The first disposable bag was introduced by the Air-Way Sanitizor Company in 1920.

7)      The Electrolux Trilobite:  The first example of a robotic vacuum cleaner. Hoovering up – see, even I’m doing it now – your house and cleaning your office for you while you put your feet up, or sort through those accounts. It made its debut on Tomorrow’s World in 1996, and was introduced commercially in 2001. It uses ultrasonic sensors to map rooms and avoid obstacles, and when it’s done, the clever little blighter will return to its docking station and charge itself.

8)      Dyson: No article on vacuum cleaners would be complete without mention of the great British inventor James Dyson. Dyson revolutionised vacuum cleaners in the late 1970s with cyclonic separation. Cyclonic separation is a method of of removing particles from an air, gas or liquid stream without the use of filters, through vortex separation. Dyson was inspired to create a vacuum cleaner that didn’t lose suction as it cleaned when his Hoover Junior’s performance diminished as its bag became more full.

9)      Everyone’s favourite vacuum cleaner now has a girlfriend: In the UK, one cheeky little face dominates commercial and domestic vacuums up and down the country; The Henry Hoover. Recently henry got himself a missus in the shape of the lovely Hetty. Awwww…

10)   The future: American company iRobot have invented a robotic wet vacuum cleaner called the Scooba. The Scooba carries its own cleaning solution, will apply it by itself, and then scrub the floor and suck up all the liquid into a collection tank.

For more information on Professional Office Cleaning and Window Cleaning, contact Millards Cleaning Services on 020 7836 2601. Or a for a free quotation visit the website:


2 responses to “The Vacuum Cleaner

  1. O’h well I guess it was only a matter of time. The future of house cleaning is now here. And it most certainly will involve the use of Robots. Yea that’s right! Just like the invasion of the body snatchers.
    For now they are getting a foothold with the vacuum cleaner. But I am fearful they will soon be advancing to larger household equipment! It’s not time to panic just yet though. Stay vigilant and keep an eye on this blog for updates…

  2. Hahaha do you mean the 1956 original Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Or the ’78 remake with Donald Sutherland and Jeff Goldblum?

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