Dusty carpets were a blight of the industrialised nineteenth century and a flurry of patents were lodged by various inventors for carpet cleaners and blowers. Hubert Cecil Booth, a British inventor, was arguably the first to develop a carpet-cleaning machine using suction, being awarded his patents in 1901. This was a horse-drawn service business rather than a machine for individual householders.
In 1907 the American James Spangler attached a fan motor to a soapbox stapled to a broom handle, with a pillowcase as a dust collector. Spangler patented a more permanent version the following year.
The UK Vacuum Cleaner Market
Vacuum cleaners are used in almost every British household and many have more than one for specialist jobs such as cleaning the car. Over 5m. vacuum cleaners are sold in the UK each year.
The bagless vacuum cleaner, which only arrived in the British market in the 1990s, now represents the largest portion of the market by value. There have also been advances in filtration with the development of specialised appliances for asthma sufferers and pet owners.
The popularity of hard floors has led to the development of a range of appliances specifically for use on wood, laminate, stone, marble and tiles. Scrubbing, waxing and polishing hard floors is now effortless and many models include a vacuum to pick up any loosened dirt.