Although the vacuum cleaner had been invented in the early 20th century, the mass production and sales of vacuum cleaners did not take off until the economic boom that followed the decade after the First World War (1914-1918). This Hoover vacuum model 700 was produced between 1926 and 1929 and was the first of its kind to feature an aluminum body, an on/off switch, and the agitator brushroll—an innovation that used metal beater strips to vibrate pieces of dirt from carpets. The vacuum was one of the many supposedly labor saving devices marketed in the 1920s that promised to liberate middle-class women, now managing their houses without live-in maids, from the drudgery of housework. Accordingly advertisements for the Hoover 700 depicted a chic flapper of the late 1920s using the vacuum. Although the vacuum did clean more thoroughly than the broom and dustpan, the popularization of such appliances created more exacting standards of cleanliness thus making the hope of simplified housework largely illusory.
Currently not on view
Object Name
vacuum cleaner
Date made
Hoover Company
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
cloth (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 104 cm x 31 cm; 40 15/16 in x 12 3/16 in
Place Made
United States: Ohio, North Canton
ID Number
catalog number
nonaccession number
catalog number
1990.3134.1 A,B
Family & Social Life
Domestic Furnishings
Artifact Walls exhibit
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Artifact Walls exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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