Vacuum Cleaner Timeline

We don’t have vacuum cleaners too long now - a hundred and some years and today they are part of almost every household. Here is how vacuum cleaners came to be:

  • 1860 : Daniel Hess of West Union, Iowa, invented a carpet sweeper, a predecessor of vacuum cleaner, which had a rotating brush and bellows which generated suction but it was never mass produced.
  • 1869 : Ives W. McGaffey invented his ”Whirlwind”, a cleaner that had a hand-operated fan that although awkward to operate, sold better than Hess’ carpet sweeper (but not much better.)
  • 1876 : “Grand Rapids” were invented - a carpet sweeper that had brushes connected to wheels and when sweeper moves brushes rotate and clean the floor. Inventor of “Grand Rapids” was Melville R. Bissell.
  • 1898 : John S. Thurman of St. Louis, Missouri, invented a "pneumatic carpet renovator" which was gasoline powered and blow the air to clean the dust instead of creating vacuum.
  • 1900 : Corinne Dufour improves carpet sweeper by powering it with electricity and covering the rollers with sponge which were moistened with water to better collect the dust.
  • 1901 : Hubert Cecil Booth from England invented the first motorized vacuum cleaner driven by an internal combustion engine. It was placed on the horse carriage because of its size.
Picture Of The Dedusting Pump Vacuum Cleaner 1906
  • 1905 : Invented the first vacuum-cleaning device that could be carried without aid. It was invented by Walter Griffiths.
  • 1906 : James B. Kirby invented a "Domestic Cyclone"- a vacuum cleaner that used water to collect dirt.
  • 1908 : The first motorized, portable vacuum cleaner invented by James Murray Spangler, a janitor from Canton, Ohio. It had electric fan, a box, and a pillowcase to collect dust. He later sold the patent to William Henry Hoover.
  • 1909 : Founded Eureka Vacuum Company by Fred Wardell, businessman from Detroit.
  • 1910 : Charles Beach and Frederick Osius, and Louis Hamilton, invented a small motor that could ran on either AC or DC electrical power and which will later power many vacuum cleaners and make them smaller.
  • 1919 : Jim Kirby agreed to become a main designer of vacuum cleaners for George Scott and Carl Fetzer.
  • 1920 : Air-Way Sanitizor of Toledo, Ohio starts to manufacture vacuum cleaners with a disposable bag and was the first to do so.
  • 1921 : The first vacuum cleaner with metal sleds instead of wheels was invented (Lux V) which becomes a sort of a standard.
  • 1926 : Hoover invented a “beater bar” (marketed as “Positive Agitation”). It’s a metal bar attached to the rotating brush roll in the floor nozzle and it vibrates the carpet while sucking which removes dirt more efficiently.
  • 1930 : The first model of vacuum cleaner made of plastic appears on the market.
  • 1935 : The first vacuum cleaner by Scott and Fetzer to carry Kirby's name appeared in shops this year. It was the Kirby Model C.
  • 1950 : The first upright vacuum cleaners appear in production.
  • 1954 : The first hovercraft vacuum cleaner made by Hoover. It doesn’t have wheels but it floats on its own exhausts.
  • 1963 : In this year David Oreck started making industrial strength upright vacuum cleaners but which have reduced weight and are easier to use.
  • 1969 : The first self-propelled vacuums were made by Hoover.
  • 1978 : James Dyson starts experimenting with bagless vacuum cleaners. Until 1993 he built over 5000 prototypes and finally made his Dual Cyclone machine.
  • 1979 : Black & Decker starts selling small cordless vacuum cleaner that works on batteries.
  • 1997 : Year of the first robotic cleaner: Electrolux’s Trilobite. It appeared for the first time at BBC’s Tomorrow’s World.
  • 2002 : iRobot makes Roomba: a disc-shaped vacuum cleaner with AI and sensors that cleans the room without human involvement.
  • 2011 : Jake Tyler from Britain invents cardboard vacuum cleaner.
Picture Of The Dedusting Pump Vacuum Cleaner 1906