Create A Vacuum Day – Feb. 4

Create A Vacuum Day – Feb. 4

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

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

Museum-of-cleanDon 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.

Vacuum1-Museum-of-Clean  Vacuum2-Museum-of-Clean  Vacuum3-Museum-of-Clean  Vacuum4-Museum-of-Clean  Vacuum5-Museum-of-Clean  Vacuum6-Museum-of-Clean

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.

Dog-Vacuum-Museum-of-Clean  Elephant-Vacuum-Museum-of-Clean  Mouse-Vacuum-Museum-of-Clean  Vacuum-Bag-Man-Museum-of-Clean

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.

Click here to read more about backpack vacuums and their ergonomic benefit

Click here to read more about ergonomics and safety.

Varsity Facility Services

Varsity is a premier facility service company. But more importantly we are a company that is passionate about helping you meet YOUR goals and solve YOUR building service problems, whether it’s the local community branch, a large campus or a nationwide portfolio, with our R3 approach:

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