The amount that can change throughout time is one thing that never ceases to astound us. Change is a given in everything from our personal lives to technological breakthroughs. It can be both frightening and energizing to realize how much has changed in the past.
Can you recall the appearance of cleaning in the 1930s? Now, have a look at this strange device! It’s the 1930s Hercules Vacuum Cleaner. Certainly not like the modern, sleek vacuums we have, is it? A vacuum cleaner such as this was regarded novel and thrilling back then. Just try to picture what life was like in those days!
In addition to being a useful tool, the Hercules vacuum cleaner was also a chic and elegant device. The models were quite opulent; some even had crocodile leather covering them. The idea that these vacuum cleaners were marketed during the Great Depression, when many families were having financial difficulties, is astounding. They represented luxury in the midst of hardship.
Let’s go back even farther now. Did you know that it took until 1797 to perfect the common broom? After seeing his wife struggle to sweep, a Massachusetts farmer came up with the idea for the “broomcorn,” which immediately gained popularity. But as time went on, consumers began to want cleaners that were more effective. Daniel Hess invented the first vacuum cleaner in the 1860s. It used an air draft to pull dust and debris through the device. Though not exactly ideal, it was a positive start in the right direction.
Let’s go back to 1869, when Chicagoan Ives McGaffey gave vacuum cleaner creation a shot. His creation was meant to solve the issue of dust and grime buildup in dwellings. Regrettably, because it was harder to use than a standard broom, it didn’t become very popular.
Then James Murray Spangler, an Ohio janitor in Canton, arrived and truly changed the game. Through relentless design refinement, Spangler produced an upright, portable vacuum cleaner that sucked up dirt and blasted it out the back into a pillowcase that was attached. He founded the Electric Suction Sweeper Company and filed a patent for his invention in 1907. With its motor-driven brush and ceiling fan motor, Spangler’s vacuum cleaner set the standard for contemporary vacuums.
Spangler had to make the painful choice to sell his business to his cousin Susan Hoover when financial difficulties arose. Thus, the Hoover vacuum cleaner came into existence! As a result, the Hoover name has come to represent trustworthy home cleaning equipment.
How far has the vacuum cleaner come, you ask? Our lives have been completely changed by technology, from the humorous-looking Hercules to the contemporary Hoover. Show your kids the Hercules vacuum cleaner the next time you visit them, and see if they can identify it. They won’t be aware, for sure!
So, the next time you use a modern vacuum cleaner to easily clean your house, stop and consider the amazing journey this common household item has taken. It is evidence of both human brilliance and technology’s ongoing advancement.