The vacuum cleaner (or the vacuum, hoover, or sweeper) is an instrument that has an air pump that sucks up dirt and dust into a hollow compartment into it.
The suction or the sucking in of air happens because of a difference in the air pressure inside the cleaner and outside. The air outside (because of this difference) pushes towards the hollow (airless) pump of the cleaner, and takes the dirt with it.
It is a great cleaning tool because it is said to kill 100% of young fleas and 96% of adult fleas.
It is mainly used for cleaning floors, but is also used to clean cushions, beds, and the insides of vehicles too.
Before vacuum cleaners were made, people used to hang rugs and sheets on clotheslines or walls and hit them repeatedly to get the dust out with a carpet beater.
The idea of mechanical cleaning has been present for a while, and many people such as Ives McGaffey (the sweeping machine), John Thurman (horse drawn vacuum system), and Hubert Cecil Booth (the motorized vacuum cleaner) played their part.
In 1907, James Spangler, a janitor in a department store, who was suffering from asthma, invented a machine simply to reduce the amount of dust around him.
He invented a portable electric vacuum cleaner with a pillowcase as a dust collector, but received a licence for his invention in 1908.
Spangler went on to form the Electric Suction Sweeper Company, and later joined with his brother in law William Hoover who founded the Hoover Company.
Together they improved Spangler’s design and produced the first market friendly vacuum cleaner that they promoted on a 10-day free home trial.
By 1919, almost every home in America had a Hoover vacuum cleaner that “beats as it sweeps as it cleans”!
Improvements on the Hoover vacuum cleaner followed, with a disposable bag that collected dirt, and later the Cyclon, which was a bag-less dual cyclon machine.
Vacuum cleaners come in various modes, shapes and sizes to fit a variety of conditions.
The Upright vacuum cleaners are found mainly in America, and England, while the Cylinder models (called Canister models in America) are found mainly in the European markets.
The Drum or Shop Vac models are especially suited for heavy duty industrial settings like factories, warehouses and even workplaces and schools.
The Wet/dry vacuum cleaners can clean up both wet or dry spills, and Pneumatic wet/dry cleaners are another type of wet/dry vacuum cleaners, especially used in industrial settings.
Backpack vacuum cleaners also found in commercial settings allow the cleaner to wear it as if it were a backpack and walk around cleaning.
Hand-held vacuum cleaners are not too heavy are can be powered with electricity, batteries or even USB cables.
There are also the Robotic carpet vacuum cleaners, Central vacuum cleaners, and others such as the Scooba, which is a robotic wet vacuum cleaner.