Booth's original red trolley vacuum cleaner
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Booth's original red trolley vacuum cleaner, 1905. Original vacuum cleaner supplied to the Royal Naval College, Osborne. Hubert Cecil Booth made the first succesful vacuum cleaner in 1901; 'Puffing Billy' which had a 5hp piston pump driven by a petrol/gasoline engine or electric motor. There were no brushes; dust was extracted entirely through nozzles at the ends of long flexible tubes. Too large for domestic application, Booth's red mobile units would park outside a house, whilst yards of hose would pas in though the windows to reach inside and clean.