These days, vacuum cleaners are a familiar tool in any household cleaning arsenal, but this has not always been the case. In days gone by, cleaning was a job performed by using more primitive tools, like the trusty sweeping brush or broom. And while these tools were undoubtedly of enormous value to the house cleaner who had little else to work with, we have come a long way since then, and, in some ways, have come full circle.
It was the Industrial Revolution that set the cleaning world alight. Before that time, the sweeping brush was king, and really, it was probably quite adequate. But though the presence of heavy dust and grime increased during the revolution, as the cities in which many people lived became covered in soot and other industrial by-products, the dirt that was created was really not sufficient reason for housewives to become the queens of cleanliness they did. Around this time, though, a huge propaganda campaign was born that alarmed people with its prophecies. Health and lives were in mortal danger if dirt was not tamed, and cleaning products of all sorts witnessed an enormous jump in sales.
It was against this backdrop that the first vacuum cleaner came into being. Invented in Chicago in 1865, this hand pumped device lead the way in vacuum cleaner development. Followed by a range of similar devices, the design became more and more intricate as the years progressed, with the cleaners growing ever more ornate and multifunctional, being used as sideboards, among other things. However, requiring two people to operate it, this type of machine was less than user friendly.
The democratization of electricity availability opened new door in vacuum cleaner development. Emerging just after the turn of the twentieth century, the electric vacuum cleaner, made by brands such as Hoover, made housework easier for millions. Using a fan motor and a pillowcase as a dust collector, a man named Spangler began a trend. Soon after, William H. Hoover came aboard, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Today we are eager to eliminate dirt from our lives as were our Industrial Revolution forefathers, and the choice of vacuum cleaners available today reflects this trend. And while housework can be a tiresome chore, it was this enthusiasm for cleanliness that brought the vacuum cleaner into our world, so that now, after a hundred years or so of technological development, we can rid our homes of dust and dirt in minutes.