Hoover Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Hoover Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Description (Brief)
In 1907 Ohio janitor turned inventor James Murray Spangler developed a new type of electrical sweeper for cleaning carpets. Unable to finance large-scale manufacture of his invention, he turned to a local harness and leather goods maker, William H. Hoover, who established the Electric Suction Sweeper Company. In November 1908, Spangler filed for a US patent and almost a year later received patent number 935,558 that he assigned to Hoover’s new company. This 1908 Hoover vacuum cleaner shows the features seen in the patent: a fan to produce the vacuum and push air into a dust bag, rings on the bottom of the unit to keep the carpet from being pulled into the fan, and brushes driven by the same motor as the fan.
Several inventors developed mechanical carpet cleaners during the 19th century and Spangler’s design was not the first attempt to adapt electricity to this task. One of the major innovations that made Hoover successful lay in how he sold the machine. Hoover realized the value of free, in-home trials and live demonstrations by trained sales-people. Innovations in both technology and marketing combined to make the product successful.
Object Name
Vacuum Cleaner, Electric
electric vacuum cleaner
Date made
Hoover Company
overall: 58 in x 13 in x 25 in; 147.32 cm x 33.02 cm x 63.5 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
from The Hoover Company, thru H. E. Buker
Household Tools and Equipment
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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