The original vacuum cleaner, 1901.
3 3 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 25cm

The original vacuum cleaner, 1901.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


The invention of the vacuum cleaner is generally credited to Hubert Cecil Booth (1871-1955), an engineer. Booth experimented using a handkerchief placed over his mouth to suck-up dust and then turned this idea into a filter. He offered carpet- cleaning services from a large horse-drawn vehicle which he parked in the street. Cylinder vacuum cleaners still use this basic principle.

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