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The History Of The Vacuum Cleaner As We Know It

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The history of the vacuum cleaner is a long and dusty one, which goes right back to the very early 1900’s in the UK, when it was a luxury item afforded by only the wealthy. Before vacuum cleaners, rugs were hung over a wall or line outside and hit repeatedly with a carpet beater to pound out as much dirt as possible. Initial attempts to provide a mechanical solution to floor cleaning were in England in 1599, but it was Hubert Cecil Booth who first offered vacuum cleaning services in the UK in 1901. Since then, domestic and commercial cleaning services in Londonhave skyrocketed, and the vacuum cleaner has evolved in more ways than one.

A Look Back At The Vacuum Cleaner

1901 – The first powered vacuum cleaner was invented by a British engineer, Hubert Cecil Booth, though it was extremely large (too large to enter buildings) and had to be drawn by horse and carriage. Those who were interested in Booth’s commercial cleaning services in London would have long hoses fed through their windows which would then suck away the dust into his machine, a design that lay the foundations of all modern vacuum cleaners today.

1905 – The first portable vacuum cleaner of some resemblanceto those of today was built in 1905 by a manufacturer named Walter Griffiths in Birmingham, England. Unlike Booth, his vacuum cleaners were small enough for domestic use, and he marketed them as such.

1906 – A year later James B Kirby invented his first vacuum cleaner, named the “Domestic Cyclone”, which incorporated the use of water to help separate dirt during use.

1907 – The first electric, portable vacuum cleaner was created by James Murray Spangler, who, unlike Kirby, incorporated a rotating brush to his suction machine to loosen dirt and debris instead of water. Hepatented his idea but ran out of funding shortly afterward and sold his patent in 1908 to William Henry Hoover, who redesigned Spangler’s machine.

1908 – William Henry Hoover marketed his first redesigned model of Spangler’s vacuum cleaner, named ‘Model O’ in 1908. He added steel casing, casters and other attachments, which turned out to be a popular design! He rebranded his company to ‘HOOVER’ – a name that we’re all familiar with today.

The vacuum cleaner has improved over time, but the same principle that Booth first established hasn’t changed.

Looking For Commercial Cleaning Services In London?

Julius Rutherfoord offer educational and commercial cleaning services in London, including carpet cleaning using specialist machines to ensure your carpets look as good as new! If you require award-winning, professional cleaning services in London, visit their website today at or give them a call on 020 7819 6700 for more information.

Julius Rutherfoord