In celebration of “Create A Vacuum Day” (Feb. 4), here is a brief history of the creation, and evolution, of the vacuum.
HISTORY of VACUUMS (includes information from Wikipedia.org)
1860 – – First manual models, using bellows were developed. Daniel Hess of West Union, Iowa created the carpet sweeper.
1898 – – John S. Thurman of St. Louis, Missouri submitted a patent for a gasoline powered cleaner. Dust was blown into a receptacle rather than being sucked in. Thurman took his invention of the horse-drawn motorized cleaning system as part of his cleaning services. (see photo above).
1901 – – The motorized vacuum cleaner was invented by Hubert Cecil Booth of England. Nicknamed “Puffing Billy”, his was driven by an internal combustion engine and his first petrol-powered, horse-drawn vacuum cleaner relied upon air drawn by a piston pump through a cloth filter. He followed up with an electric-powered model, also transported by horse and carriage. The term “vacuum cleaner” was first used by the company set up to market Booth’s invention.
1905 – – The first vacuum-cleaning device to be portable was built by Walter Griffiths in England. It was portable, easy to store and powered by “any one person”.
1906 – – James B. Kirby developed his first vacuum which used water for dirt separation.
1907 – – James Murray Spangler, a janitor from Canton, Ohio, invented the first motorized, portable vacuum cleaner. His design incorporated a rotating brush to loosen debris.
1908 – – James sold his patent to William Henry Hoover. The first vacuum was sold for $60.
1920’s – – First disposal filter bags. 1926 First upright vacuum cleaner
1930’s – – Electrolux vacuum cleaner surviving in use for over 70 years, finally breaking in 2008 was created.
Post-World War II – – Vacuum cleaners remained a luxury item until after the war when they became common among the middle class.
1979 – – James Dyson introduced a portable unit with cyclonic separation (non-filtration bags).
1990’s-2000’s – – Several companies developed robotic vacuum cleaners.
2004 – – A British company released Airider, a hovering vacuum cleaner that floats on a cushion of air.
2009 – – Neato Robotics launched the world’s first robotic vacuum cleaner which uses a laser-based range-finder to scan and memorize its surrounding.
Historical Vacuums on display at Museum of Clean
Don Aslett, founder of Varsity Facility Services, one of the leading national janitorial companies, is a passionate champion of sustainable buildings. Most recently, he received national acclaim for the “Don Aslett Museum of Clean,”a 70,000 square foot green building in Pocatello, Idaho, designed to LEED-NB (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum standards. The Museum of Clean exhibits and promotes the history, science, technology and standards of the cleaning industry. Starting out small, Don realized a bigger space was needed after he acquired 250 premium pre-electric vacuums in 2006.
The photos below show some of the vacuums on display at the Museum of Clean in Pocatello, Idaho. – click on an image to view larger.
Whimsical Vacuums on display at Museum of Clean
There are also some vacuums of a more whimsical nature on display, from “Create A Vacuum Days” gone by.
Modern advancements in vacuuming
Wet/Dry vacuums are a specialized form of the cylinder/drum models that can be used to clean up wet or liquid spills.
Each year approximately 90% of all disaster-related property damage results from flooding, according to FEMA. A seemingly small amount of moisture can end up causing damage that depletes the visual appeal and resale value of the building. When a quick response time can mean the difference between minor cleanup and major restoration, it pays to have a wet/dry vacuum and an air mover on the premises.
Backpack vacuums are commonly used for commercial cleaning: they allow the user to move rapidly about a large area and offer ergonomic benefits to the user and can increase health benefits to building occupants.
LEED requirements include vacuums be ergonomically designed to reduce user-fatigue and have advanced filtration meant to benefit the health of building occupants.
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