First Christian Church

The Evolution Of Vacuums

Although you probably cannot imagine your life without your vacuum cleaner making it so much easier to keep your entire home clean easily and quickly, there was a time when vacuums did not exist. It took many decades before the vacuums that we know today even hit the market, but thanks to innovation from creative inventors who wanted to make life easier for people, we have been able to enjoy powerful vacuum cleaners throughout the years, with newer and even better vacuums hitting the market all the time. You can also read these shark vacuum reviews to find out more on how vacuums evolved.

To get an idea of how vacuums evolved over time, continue reading for a brief history.


In 1860, a carpet sweeper was invented, complete with rotating brush as well as suction to lift up dirt and dust from carpets. It was invented by Daniel Hess of Iowa and was a huge success.


In 1868, a vacuum cleaner called the Whirlwind was invented by Ives W. McGaffey in Chicago. Even though it was more compact and lightweight when compared to earlier vacuum models, it was very difficult to use. You had to push a hand crank at the same time as pushing it. Therefore, it was a manually powered device that people did not really enjoy using.


In 1876, Melville Bissell, a name that is very well known today in the vacuum industry, invented the first vacuum that was powered by gasoline, thereby giving people another option. Rather than sucking up the dirt and dust, though, it was blown into a receptacle. Nevertheless, this is considered the first official vacuum cleaner.


The person who is most associated with the first motorized vacuum cleaner, though, is Hubert Cecil Booth, who was from England. His goal was to suck the dust and dirt up rather than blow it away. His first invention contained an internal combustion engine, but it quickly evolved into an electric motor. However, his vacuum lacked brushes and relied solely upon the suction power of the unit.


James Murray Spangler is credited with creating the first portable vacuum cleaner that used both suction and rotating brushes, along with disposable filter bags and attachments, all in an upright design that debuted in 1926. He could not do it without the help of William Henry Hoover, who bought the patent and gave him the necessary funding to make his dream a reality.

As technology continued to advance rapidly throughout the rest of the 20th century, vacuum cleaners dramatically improved into what we have today.