Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuum cleaners lower the cost of cleaning and enables better hygiene.

Booth saw demonstrations of machines that blew air to scatter dust. Reversing the airstream would allow air to be sucked through a filter. Collecting the dirt into a bag reduced the time needed for cleaning while increasing quality. Booth’s machines were full-sized trucks. Long hoses cleaned houses.

Asthmatic janitor James Murray Spangler thought his Bissell cleaning machine was choking him to death. He created an electric version, obtained a patent, and sold them one at a time. He gave one to his cousin, Susan, who showed it to her husband, William H. “Boss” Hoover. He purchased the patent, financed the company, and their vacuum quickly came to dominate the market.

In 1986, British engineer James Dyson created a better vacuum that does not lose suction. His machine has since come to dominate the market.