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Vacuum Cleaner: From A Pillowcase To A Housewife's Best Friend

Aug 6, 2008
In olden times, they were called "whirlwinds". When the 50's came, they were named as "the housewife's best friend". Nowadays, some call them hoovers. However it is called, this machine still occupies an irreplaceable position in every household. No machine works harder to keep floors free of dust bunnies. These extraordinary appliances are more commonly known as vacuum cleaners.

Vacuum cleaners first made an appearance in Georgia, U.S.A. in the year 1900 but back then, they were unwieldy and difficult to operate. The early machines required you to crank a handle while pushing them along the floor. Needless to say the housewives wanted a more elegant and maneuverable appliance. In 1901, the inventor Hubert Cecil Booth created a huge version of a vacuum cleaner that sucked dust out of large buildings. It was so big it had to be carried in a wagon and pulled by a team of horses. Again, this machine was useful in some ways but for normal homeowners, it was a bit too large.

W.H. Hoover and his company, the Electric Suction Sweeper Company, made the most famous and most handy vacuum cleaners. Most people credit Hoover with the idea for the portable vacuum cleaner but it was actually deserved by a man called James Spangler, a cousin of Hoover's wife. Spangler was originally a janitor in Ohio. He wanted a better cleaning device for the floor of the department store where he was working because the dust was giving him a very bad cough. And so, with a pillowcase, a broom handle and an old fan James Spangler created the first crude version of a portable vacuum cleaner.

It was just in time, because his cousin's husband, Hoover, was looking for a new investment and so he took Spangler's invention. Under Hoover's care the production and sales of the vacuum cleaner flourished. In the year 1908 Hoover started mass-producing vacuum cleaners and selling them to wealthy homeowners.

Hoover improved the old vacuum cleaners and made them look more like the ones we see around today. He created new and improved attachments, brushes to clean the floor as dust is sucked up, filters for the dust, and a new exterior design for the machine itself. At first the machines weren't so popular with the public but Hoover used door-to-door salesmen to boost his sales. He also came up with the '10-day free trial' idea. He left each customer a vacuum cleaner for ten days, free of charge and at the end of the trial they could choose to buy it or not. This idea worked miracles. Housewives all over America started trying the vacuum cleaners and falling in love with them. Sales went through the roof.

Nowadays vacuum cleaners have been modernized and completely revamped. Vacuum cleaners use an air pump to create a vacuum that sucks up the dust and particles from floors. The new and improved vacuum cleaners use air pressure to force the dust out of the carpet or floor and into the sucking spout of the cleaner. Brushes have also been added to most models of vacuum cleaners. They sweep the dust up and into the vacuum. These additions create a better type of cleaner for homes. Brushes and vacuum root out dust particles that settle into tiny cracks and fissures.

Usually when the air is sucked into the cleaner it passes through a filter that catches the dust and particles. The dirt is deposited in a bag attached to the handle of the machine. A small motor runs the air pump and powers the created vacuum. A small fan cools this motor; however in some vacuum cleaners the air sucked into the machine also cools the motor. A smaller motor within the machine usually powers the brush attachment that loosens the dirt on the floor.

The vacuum cleaner is perfectly built to cater to the needs of janitors, cleaners, and homeowners everywhere. Inventors have been tinkering with the design for decades and new models for every kind of floor have popped up all over the world. There are vacuum cleaners for hardwood, carpet, and even a vacuum cleaner that works on its own with no help from a person. The vacuum cleaner has come a long way since James Spangler and his pillowcase. It's become a necessity to every house and home and a serious threat to dirt and dust everywhere.
About the Author
If you need more information and tips about vacuum cleaners , you may want to have a look at my vacuum cleaner blog .
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