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Hundred-year cleaning. Hoover Vacuum Cleaner History



If you type in "Google Translator" the word "hoover", it will pop up its only meaning in English - "vacuum cleaner". There is nothing to be surprised. A rare manufacturer of household appliances can boast of such a long and interesting history. Why did the Hoover brand become a household name?

Homemade from Ohio

Combine the mechanical brush for cleaning and the flow of air for the first time guessed the British. Industrial design historian Carroll Ganz, in the pages of The Vacuum Cleaner: A History, reports that back in 1850, London companies provided services for blowing dust through windows using steam and hand machines. So cumbersome that they were brought to the buildings in a horse-drawn carriage — such units were in demand right up to the beginning of the 20th century. But as soon as the invention crossed the ocean, how energetic Americans set about improving it. The design was improved so that it could be easily used by one person. In other words, adapted for domestic use.

British vacuum cleaner 1901

British vacuum cleaner 1901

In the summer of 1860, Iowa resident Daniel Hess issued a patent for a compact device made of a movable brush and furs akin to the accordion - the dust drawn by them was deposited inside the water tank. This design did not earn loud fame, but the first step was hard times. In 1869, Aivis McGuffy from Chicago realized that a simple fan was also capable of providing the difference in pressure needed to absorb garbage. Only it was suggested to set it in motion on its own: the faster the user rotated the belt drive, the more actively the device worked. They demanded 25 dollars for such a “simulator” - for those times a large amount.

Later, McGuffy tried to improve the apparatus by transferring it to steam traction, and at the turn of the century, he proposed an electric model. But both initiatives were less successful. Do not think that the development of a vacuum cleaner at the time was engaged in only one person. There was also John Thorman from Missouri with a “carpet renovator,” Melville Bissel from Michigan invented his “mechanical brush”, and Corrin Dufort from Georgia - “dust collector”. Sometimes successful ideas came from where they did not expect - from talented self-taught people who just wanted to come up with something useful. One of these was James Murray Spangler.

Hoover Vacuum Cleaner

Thanks to the invention of Spengler vertical vacuum cleaners have become fashionable in the US

He started with agriculture - he invented a combine harvester and several upgrades to it. Then the attention of James attracted fashionable bikes at the end of the XIX century. To make deals with the manufacturer of bikes, he moved to Ohio, where he got a job as a cleaner at the store of the entrepreneur William Zollinger. Spangler found himself in an unenviable position: the patents he had never enriched the author - and now he, at the age of 59, and even asthma, was busy in the dust from morning to evening.

But even in this situation, the American did not lose his head. He suspected that the reason for his cough was the imperfection of the mechanical brush, which he was given at work. The machine would rather raise dust into the air than clean it. Spengler decided to remake the construction: he took the Bissell brush, the motor from the sewing machine, the wooden soapbox, the bag from the pillowcase and put everything on the handle from the broomstick. The result was a vacuum cleaner, as we would say right now, with vertical parking - and this is convenient to use, and it does not take up much space.


It sounds simple, but in fact, the assembly of the device took about six months.

But the design turned out to be simple and cheap - in 1908, when Spangler received a patent, in the United States James Kirby's electric vacuum cleaners were already running, only they cost from $85. A simple Ohio cleaner offered an option available to everyone. Without losing time, the inventor borrowed money and opened the company Electric Suction Sweeper Company, where he collected his devices in small batches. But I quickly realized that without proper advertising and a customer base, it would be impossible to get rich. Then he turned to Cousin Susan for help, because her husband was an experienced businessman and leather merchant William Hoover.

Battle of the living rooms and Europe

In 1908, Hoover’s revenues began to fall: Americans suddenly decided that a car was better than a horse, so harness was less and less in demand. Vacuum cleaners are another matter. Having seized upon this idea, William bought a patent from a relative and opened a small workshop for assembling new devices in a leather workshop. They produced only six cars a day, but they also sold by themselves. The head of the company came to the conclusion that it is necessary to radically change the approach to advertising.

Factory and advertising Hoover, the first quarter of the XX century

Factory and advertising Hoover, the first quarter of the XX century

He came up with an economical and at the same time an effective way of selling goods. Placed on the pages of The Saturday Evening Post announcement, offering everyone who wants to free to use a vacuum cleaner for ten days. Who liked the equipment, could buy it, and the disgruntled returned the goods? The venture worked: by 1912, the business embraced not only the United States but also other countries, including pre-revolutionary Russia. It became clear that the promotion of products through the press opened up tremendous opportunities. “Give her a Hoover for Christmas in 1917,” “To be honest, this cleaner is even better than what is needed in most homes,” the newspapers were full of catchy slogans.

And the business flourished. In 1915, the company was renamed Hoover Suction Sweeper to emphasize the merit of William Hoover in winning the market. The boss is not only skilled in advertising but also took care of the introduction of new technologies that were not available to competitors. That is why, under this brand, the first vacuum cleaner with mode switching came out, the 700th model of 1926 was able to clean and knock out the carpet, and in 1930 a compact device for use with one hand appeared - the Dustette. This baby turned out to be incredibly tenacious: some copies were “on the move” even 80 years after graduation. Gradually, the brand became a household name - like a photocopier with us. "Honey, I bought a hover, we will now chuck up the rooms every day. "

The first portable vacuum cleaner

The first portable vacuum cleaner

Technical innovations were accompanied by experiments with style. For example, in 1932, you could buy a real headlamp for your “hover” for $ 5, so that it would light up the carpet during cleaning. "Shows the dirt, which you did not know," - said the advertisement. Illumination took root and for a long time served as a hallmark of the brand. In the 1930s, the collaboration of the Hoover Company and industrial designer Henry Dreyfus began. He acted in the spirit of his time: America was overwhelmed by fashion for everything that was streamlined, which primarily affected the shape of the cars, and then the household appliances.


Dreyfus revised the traditional approach to the design of vacuum cleaners.

If earlier manufacturers boasted of motors and defiantly exposed them above the brushes, now the mechanical part is closed by a drop-like bakelite casing. The development of the style of the model 150 cost $ 25,000, but the investment paid off many times over. After all, in addition to the appearance, the 1936 novelty was technically advanced: a lightweight magnesium case, a bag full indicator for dust, a two-speed motor, a handle height adjustment, and a folding design. It is not surprising that competitors began to copy some parts and materials of the famous vacuum cleaner. In the US, Hoover fought for living rooms with other manufacturers, including Air-Way, Eureka and Royal, and overseas butted with Swedish Electrolux. But in 1941, the battle for Europe acquired a more specific meaning. The Ohio plant was reoriented to parachute stitching and helmets punching.

Hoover Vacuum Cleaner

Based on the design of the 150 models, Henry Dreyfus developed a whole series of backlit vacuum cleaners

Immediately after the victory over Germany and Japan, Hoover celebrated the 30th anniversary of the founding of the company. With the assistance of the same Henry Dreyfus model 27 was released, and in addition to the 25th developed the concept of interchangeable nozzles. The kit was called the Model 25 Cleaning Ensemble. It turned out simple and convenient: during cleaning, an additional hose was connected to the vacuum cleaner, and to it - any tip to choose from. “Cleans everything. Carpets, linoleum, mattresses, clothes, car salons. This is the best method of removing dog hair”, - this is how the 1945 advertisement described the merits of the novelty.

New Horizons

In the middle of the XX century art Nouveau and Neoclassicism, which was inextricably linked design Hoover vacuum cleaners, began to become obsolete. The audience needed new solutions — not only externally, but also constructively. The answer to this challenge was the use of original colors, shapes, materials, and technologies. Metallic and gray gave way to more bright colors of technology. In 1950 St has launched the first "Hoover" with rubberized flexible hose Veriflex — invention not only revolutionary but and more reliable, than rag braid. A spherical model Constellation 1954, without wheels, moved on an air cushion.

Three years later, Henry Dreyfus completed the last order for Hoover and switched to other areas, but this did not stop the creative search within the company. The next important decision was the location of the motor behind the dust collector, and not in front of it - this is how the Dial-A-Matic vertical vacuum cleaner, launched in 1963, was arranged. The idea was simple: if in the previous constructions the dust first passed the fan and only then it settled in the bag, now the blades blew out clean air.


Until now, vacuum cleaners of different brands use the same principle: the motor is behind the dust collector, and not in front of it.

Engineers of the company did not forget about the previous developments. So, in a portable Hoover Pixie, the Dustette idea was developed: the device could be worn around the house, slung over a shoulder strap, and used four tips for cleaning. And in Hoover Portable, Pixie compactness and motor layout from Dial-A-Matic were combined. In the summer of 1969, they released the model 1170 with the “self-propelled” Powerdrive system. To roll such a vacuum cleaner in the off state, it took an effort, but it was enough to start the engine, as a special mechanism made the movement of the machine easy.

Hoover Iron, 1960s

Hoover Iron, the 1960s

In parallel, the manufacturer has adjusted the release of other equipment. In the 60s, a round red logo flaunted on toasters, electric knife, blenders, mixers, kettles, irons, washing machines, refrigerators — on a variety of household items. The company, which once produced six vacuum cleaners a day, turned into a huge company with branches in the USA, Canada, Australia, and the UK.

Thanks for a good deal. As early as 1993, the Hoover Trading and Hoover UK divisions merged into the Hoover European Appliances Group. Two years later, the group was acquired by Candy, the Italian company of the Fumagalli family, known for the household appliances assortment. New business owners received the right to use the brand "Hoover" in the countries of the former USSR, and at the same time set up the production of washing machines in Kirov. Now and vacuum cleaners with vertical parking, which are consistently associated with the American style, are sold here. Among modern models, there is a wireless Hoover Rhapsody with two motors: one ensures the suction of dust and the other cleans the filter. Another successor to the traditions of the famous brand is the maneuverable Hoover H-FREE.


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