Hoover 'Junior' vacuum cleaner, 1936.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
William Hoover (1850-1938) began marketing his 'suction sweeper' in 1908. He placed advertisements in the pres offering his suction cleaner on free home trial to anyone that requested it. He then established a network of dealers in reputable stores who would take a commision on any resulting sales. This continues to be the main channel for the distribution of Hoover products. The company went on to innovate the disposable paper bag, the vacuum cleaner headlight, and the side-mounted attached hose. Hoover's domination of the market led to vacuum cleaners becoming commonly referred to as 'hoovers'.