Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A vacuum cleaner is an electrically powered device that uses the suction of air to gather particles from floors. These particles can be anything from dirt and food particles to dust and broken glass shards. Modern evolutions of the vacuum cleaner have allowed for more mobile cleaning – special attachments have been created that can reach the crevices in between stairs, or smaller heads to reach tight spaces underneath furniture.

The Carpet Beater
It’s only fitting that such a widely used cleaning tool has a storied history to it. Though it wasn’t until the mid 1800s before a prototype vacuum cleaner model was constructed, the first efforts to create a mechanical floor cleaning device dates backs to just before 1600. In those days, rugs and carpets were hung over a line and thoroughly beaten with a specially shaped device that knocks the dirt out.

The Hand Pumped Carpet Cleaner
As far as mechanical solutions go, the first one was invented by Ives McGaffey. He called his device that operates by hand-pump a “sweeping machine.” Taking the concept a step further, a gasoline powered vacuum cleaner was invented by John Thurman. This device served as the backbone of John Thurman’s door to door cleaning service, and he charged four dollars a visit – almost a hundred dollars today when adjusted for inflation.

Big Breakthrough - The Motorized Vacuum Cleaner
Another variation of the motorized vacuum cleaner was invented by Hubert Cecil Booth. This device was huge. The petrol powered device had to be drawn by horses, and did its work while stationed outside the building. Long tubes would be placed through the windows to suck up dirt from the carpet. This concept would serve as the foundation for the vacuum cleaners of today – as the models evolved into smaller, more efficient machines.

The Dust Collector
The vacuum cleaner didn’t always have those convenient dust collectors. A janitor named James Spangler concluded that the carpet cleaner he was using was giving him a major cough. He put together an attachment that would contain the displaced dust, thus keeping it from getting on the cleaner. This attachment proved to be quintessential, and was given a patent in the early 1900s.

The vacuum cleaner has a rich history that continues to evolve. Innovative minds are finding new ways to get more out of the machine – whether it’s by making it smaller and more mobile, or by loading it with even more features.
Written by Kechell Jackson On 2:25 PM No comments


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