Although we might not always realize it, vacuum plays a role in countless aspects of our everyday lives. In this series, we take a closer look at just how much we rely on vacuum, from the way we breathe to our bicycle helmets to life-saving medical procedures.
The vacuum cleaner is a staple in most households. With so many different types and brands available today, it’s no wonder that this product has been a solid part of the housekeeping world for many decades. While rudimentary vacuum technology had been used since the mid-1800s, Popular Mechanics wrote that it wasn’t until James Murray Spangler that the modern-day vacuum cleaner came into existence.
“Vacuum cleaners use suction technology – the vacuum created by a difference in air pressure.“
Though Spangler didn’t invent the vacuum cleaner, he did popularize it when he patented his vacuum technology in 1907, opening up the Electric Suction Sweeper Company in the same year. While he had investors who helped launch his business, he was in need of money so desperately that he turned to his cousin’s family, the Hoovers, for help. William Hoover, a well-known leather goods manufacturer, purchased Spangler’s patent in 1908 and decades later, the everyday consumer still associates the Hoover name with this crucial piece of technology.
Vacuum cleaners use suction technology – the vacuum created by a difference in air pressure – to lift dirt, dust and debris from hard surfaces and carpets. There are numerous types of vacuum cleaners on the market, from upright, traditional bag models, to innovative vacuum cleaners that use cyclone technology – like a contained tornado – to suck dust into the cleaner, according to How Stuff Works. Even as innovation continues, the device most people think of when they hear the word “vacuum” has been a home labor-saving essential for over a hundred years.
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