The reality is that everyone has to deal with the monotony of daily housework. Yet simple innovations like the vacuum cleaner have fundamentally altered the way we formerly cleaned our houses. What comes to mind when you think of doing chores around the house?
In your mind, you’re probably doing chores like washing clothes, hanging them up, washing dishes, and maybe even vacuuming. Brooms, shovels, and tubs are just a few everyday cleaning implements that would be instantly recognizable to modern audiences. However, technical innovations like vacuum cleaners have shifted our standards for what constitutes a clean home in the modern day.
Invention of The Vacuum Cleaner
A surprising event took place on the streets of London in 1901, and if you were there at the right time and place, you might have been able to see it. This event would swiftly revolutionize how most people clean their houses.
Hubert Cecil Booth, an engineer, had just rolled his brand-new vacuum through the city’s ritzier neighborhoods.
In the 1890s, he began working with Maudslay, Sons, and Field in Lambeth for the very first time. He was more well-known for creating suspension bridges and fairground Ferris wheels, notably Riesenrad in Vienna.
In 1901, however, he saw a display of new carpet cleaning equipment at London’s Empire Music Hall and decided to use his expertise in that direction instead.
Upon closer inspection, he saw that the machine was defective. Its intended function was to propel air downward, drawing dust from the floor and into a collection bag. However, Booth recommended using a vacuum with a filter to collect the dirt, but the inventor informed him it wouldn’t work.
Taking the challenge seriously, Booth set out to create a device that would suck rather than blow.
Booth is said to have almost choked to death during experiments, during which he placed a napkin cover over his mouth and sucked up dust from the arm of a couch. Following these dangerous trials, He created the British Vacuum Cleaner Company and introduced his new product. At the turn of the twentieth century, this gigantic device was observed roaming the streets of London’s high-class mansions.
Historic First Use Of A Vacuum Cleaner
As recounted by the writer and novelist Jane Furnival, the unique horse-drawn vacuum cleaner and its attired handlers came, instantly announcing to the neighborhood that they were throwing a suction tea party.
Channeling a red and gold fire engine style, the horse-drawn vacuum cleaner was designed to seem like a fire engine. The price of a trip there was comparable to the yearly salary of a novice household worker.
The magical cleaning was accomplished by threading long hoses through open windows, turning on the gasoline- or later electric-powered motor, and sucking air via nozzles.
A further ingenious advertising tactic was inviting passers-by to see inside a glass container on the device’s side and wonder at the quantity of filth and dust that had been gathered.
Premium Vacuum Cleaner
Booth’s incredible invention was the sole vacuum cleaner of its day that truly operated. Despite initial opposition and several court hearings against the disturbance the machine produced on the roads (especially terrifying horses), He ultimately persuaded the jury and judge.
It quickly became a trustworthy cleaning machine after being put to work cleaning anywhere from Buckingham Palace to the Royal Mint to Crystal Palace, where 26 tons of dirt was cleaned from the trusses during an epidemic of yellow fever throughout the First World War.
Tzar Nicholas II of Russia, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, the House of Commons in the United Kingdom, and the prominent department store Dickens & Jones in London all made separate purchases of hoovers.
Although Booth’s machine was full of spectacle and cutting-edge innovation, its underlying suction mechanism was identical to modern vacuums. Eventually, vacuums became more compact, lightweight, and, most significantly, affordable for more people. Before 1915, lighter engine vacuum cleaners emerged, most notably from Hoover and Electrolux.
For affluent families, the custom of temporarily leaving their homes while their staff did their deep cleaning has long since faded away. The modern vacuum cleaners were acquired by privileged families who either wanted to be considered technological pioneers or who were struggling to keep their household staff after the outbreak of World War I.
Access to The General Public
Thanks to the marketing efforts and monopolistic power of a certain American business, the British have come to associate the name “Hoover” with the vacuum cleaner. In 1908, an American entrepreneur and asthmatic patient James Spangler presented his design to William Hoover for an electronic hoverboard with a fabric filtration system and dust-collection sack connected to the long pole.
His innovation is widely regarded as the first household vacuum cleaner to be genuinely practical. During the 1930s, the Hoover Company established a massive facility in Perivale, England, not far from Wembley, where they manufactured sleek, fashionable vacuum cleaners.
However, the widespread use of vacuum cleaners wasn’t yet a reality.
Due to the expensive value of modern electric equipment and the absence of electricity availability, the majority of people continued to use older, less efficient methods to clean their rugs, tapestries, and draperies until after World War II.
Miss Kirby, a Victorian housemaid, described how to clean carpets in a way that many 1950s homeowners could still relate to: by dropping down on the ground with a plastic bin, a variety of hand brushes, and a long straight brush.
Future of Vacuum Cleaners
Beginning in the late 19th century, the use of electricity to power home appliances offered a glimpse into a future when housewives and their domestic staff might spend more time relaxing and less time doing menial tasks.
With time, electric appliances such as dryers and washers, heaters powered by electricity or gas, and dishwashing machines entered the market, followed by high-tech and automated technology.
However, despite these labor- and time-saving technology, families still devote about the same amount of time to housework as they did a century earlier.
Increasing home responsibilities, including those for pets and children, have necessitated more time and effort from the general populace.
Despite the reduced physical exertion, the workload remains constant. In addition, while the gender disparity in household chores has narrowed somewhat, women continue to handle the lion’s share of the work.
Therefore, would the present plethora of smart goods and devices, ranging from self-cleaning screens and microwaves to robotic vacuum cleaners, ultimately deliver that world of recreation and leisure? This is something that can only be determined over time.