Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Vacuums are 100 years old!

In 1907, James Spangler, a janitor working in a Canton, Ohio department store, deduced that the carpet sweeper he used on the job was the source of his cough. (James Spangler was an asthmatic.) He tinkered with an old fan motor, attached it to a soap box stapled to a broom handle, and using a pillow case as a dust collector on the contraption James Spangler invented a portable and electric vacuum cleaner. Spangler's vacuum cleaner was the first to use both a cloth filter bag and cleaning attachments, he improved this basic model and received a patent for it in 1908.

James Spangler formed the Electric Suction Sweeper Company to manufacture his new vacuum cleaner. One of his first customers was his own cousin, who was married to William Hoover, a saddlemaker and leather merchant looking for a new business. William H. Hoover was so impressed with the vacuum cleaner that his wife bought that Hoover bought into Spangler's business and patents, becoming the president of the Electric Suction Sweeper Company. William Hoover renamed the company the Hoover Company in 1922. James Spangler stayed on with the Hoover Company as the superintendent.

William Hoover made further improvements to the vacuum cleaner that resembled a bagpipe attached to a cake box. A novel look that was very functional. Sluggish sales of the Hoover vacuum cleaner were given a kick by Hoovers ten day, free home trial. Hoover came up with the idea of door-to-door salesmen who gave home demonstrations of the new vacuum cleaners. Eventually, there was a Hoover ® vacuum cleaner in nearly every American home.

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