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Vacuum Cleaner Timeline: Entire History of Vacuum Explained

Published by: Katherine Frame

Vacuum Cleaner Timeline

The invention of the vacuum cleaner is because of the necessity of individuals in improving their way of living. Back in the 17th century, some middle-class individuals could not afford carpets and rugs. Mere brooms and dustpans are just cleaning their hardwood floors.

However, as time passes by, vacuum cleaners became prominent because of their ultimate uses, importance, and benefits to all users.

To better understand the vacuum cleaner’s evolution, you may take a glimpse at the timeline below.

Vacuum Cleaner Timeline

By studying the outlines and timelines that were listed below, anyone has the chance to know the interesting history of vacuum cleaners.

1791 – The 1st Carpet Mill 

The 1st carpet mill was discovered and founded in Pennsylvania by William Sprague. During this year, woven carpets are still pricey and are used by luxurious ones only. 

1839 – The Carpet’s Mass Production

In 1839, Erastus Bigelow invented the power loom, which reshaped various business industries. His invention became popular during these times, and there’s mass production for the carpet in the first year.

Then, the mass production of power loom carpet was tripled in 1850. During this time, the supply of carpet is sufficient, which can already afford even by middle-class individuals. 

1860 – The 1st Invention of Vacuum Cleaner

In 1860, it was highlighted that Daniel Hess was the first inventor of a vacuum cleaner. This invention became the 1st mechanical vacuum cleaner that is designed for cleaning carpets. This vacuum had large bellows and a rotating brush that create suction. Although there was no mass production for this vacuum, it was considered as the inception of the vacuum cleaner’s history. 

1869 – The Invention of Whirlwind

During this year, a manual vacuum cleaner called “whirlwind” was invented by Ives W. McGaffey. Its design was like a contemporary upright vacuum. The invented whirlwind had a manually operated crank containing a pulley. It was powered by a fan at its base to make suction.

1876 – The Invention of Grand Rapids

Melville R. Bissell and his wife had business-selling fine products in China. Their products usually arrive in crates and packed with dust, which then covered the floor of their shop. That’s why they bought a carpet sweeper, and it was named “Welcome.” Bissell had great improvements on this device. After 7 years, Bissell had conquered the market nationwide and started to introduce his own designed inventions. 

1898 – The Invention of Pneumatic Carpet Renovator

The invention of the pneumatic carpet renovator by John S. Thurman had another significant change on the cleaning tool. The product had strong air that was released from the machine, forcing the dust and dirt onto the collection receptacle. 

1900 – The Improvement of Sweeper Design

Corinne Dufour had made some innovations on the machine sweeper. She added an electric motor to it and covered the rollers using a moistened sponge. This innovation brought the machine sweeper to the next level. 

1901 – The Invention of the 1st Vacuum Cleaner with Gasoline Engine 

Hubert Cecil Booth invented the first vacuum that is powered by a gasoline engine.

Hubert Cecil Booth (1871–1955) (Science Museum Group Collection)

The first prototype was too big, which it needs to be transported by a carriage and a horse. He parked this device on the street while the hose is connected through the doors and windows for cleaning the house. 

1905 – The Invention of 1st Vacuum Cleaner which could be Used Without Aid

Walter Griffiths invented his own model, which can create suction attached to a flexible hose. Then, it became prominent during this time since this was the cleaning device at that time that only one person can only operate. 

1906 – The Invention of Domestic Cyclone

The invention of the domestic cyclone by James B. Kirby is truly remarkable. In fact, his invention was the first one that utilized water is collecting dirt. He created 2 different models at that time. The first one was sold for around $25 – this needs to be driven by hand. The second model was sold for around $85 – it had an electric pump to operate. 

1908 – The Invention of the 1st Portable Vacuum with Motor 

James Spangler invented his own model that featured a soapbox with a fan that made suction. The cleaning tool had a rotating brush that loosened the dirt and agitated carpet. 

1909 – The Start of Eureka Vacuum Company

Fred Wardell founded the Eureka Vacuum Company. It was in 1913 that Wardell bought a small factory that has 4 business partners in making the Eureka brand of vacuum cleaners. 

1910 – The Invention of Small Electric Motors 

The inventors of these small electric motors were Frederick Osius, Louis Hamilton, and Charles Beach. The electric motor can be powered utilizing DC or AC, which can also be utilized to power up different vacuum cleaners.

1919 – Kirby Conforms to be a Designer for Carl Fetzer and George Scott

Under the brand name of Kirby, Fetzer and Scott Company started to manufacture and sell vacuum cleaners. 

1920 – The Invention of the 1st Vacuums with Disposable Dirtbag

Air-Way Sanitizer has developed the 1st disposable dust bags for the implementations in vacuums. This is the company that utilizes a seal on a dirtbag and utilize HEPA filter on a vacuum cleaner. 

1963 – The Beginning of Using Commercial Vacuums

This year, Oreck Corporation, founded by David Oreck, started manufacturing the vacuum cleaners used for commercial buildings and hotel industries. 

1978 – Research Has Begun in Making Better Vacuums

James Dyson started to make different prototypes prior to make an ultimate design, in which he will be satisfied with the outcomes. 

1979 – The Invention of the 1st Cordless Vacuum

The inventors of the 1st cordless vacuum in the market are Carroll Gantz and Mark Proett. In fact, it was also manufactured and designed by the Black and Decker Company. 

What Year was the Vacuum Cleaner Invented?

It was in 1901 when Hubert Cecil Booth had invented the 1st vacuum cleaner, which is powered by electricity. The primary function of this newly invented vacuum cleaner was just the same with modern machines. It also utilized tubes in cleaning dirt by applying the vacuum to suck up the dust and particles. 

After its invention, everything started to change. Many people started to think of innovative ideas just to improve the gadget. In fact, different new models with various styles were also invented. 

How did the Vacuum Cleaner Change the World?

A vacuum cleaner is one of the most prominent inventions in the world. With the use of high-end vacuum cleaners, many people are aided in their cleaning procedures at home or even in their workplaces. This cleaning tool helps them to make their tasks easier and more convenient. 

With the advent of high-quality and affordable vacuum cleaners, the lifestyle of many people started to change. It gives them the opportunity to finish their cleaning tasks properly and immediately.


The invention of vacuum cleaners is important to many people since this cleaning equipment helps them clean their homes and offices. It helps them to finish the tasks within the expected time duration without exerting more effort in cleaning.

As time passes by, new designs, styles, and models are developed, which helps individuals to choose the perfect one for them. 


When did Vacuum Cleaners Become Common?

For several years after the vacuum cleaner’s introduction, this cleaning equipment remained a luxury item. However, after the 2nd Word War, vacuum cleaners became prominent among the middle classes.

What Year Was the First Vacuum Cleaner?

The first vacuum cleaner was invented in 1901. It was Hubert Cecil Booth who invented the 1st ever vacuum that could run using electricity.

What is the Average Life of a Vacuum Cleaner?

It has been proven and tested by many people that vacuum cleaners have an average lifespan of 8 years. However, this average number of years as the product’s longevity may vary depending on its models and brand.

How did the Vacuum Cleaner Affect the World?

Vacuum cleaners have a great impact on the whole world. Many people can clean their homes, offices, or any rooms as often as possible. This cleaning equipment makes the tasks easier that provides convenience to them when cleaning the home surroundings. People started to realize that this product significantly benefits them in many ways.

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Article by:

Katherine Frame

Katherine Frame is a professional writer and reviewer who worked in higher education for eight years before working on The Hardware Hub. She has written for multiple home magazines and blogs.

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