Murray Spangler was a struggling inventor at the turn of the 20th century. To help make ends meet, he took a Janitor job in a department store, but the primitive vacuum cleaners he used to clean the masses of carpet chucked out as much dirt and dust as they removed meaning a very unhealthy environment to work in. Being an asthma sufferer, Murray put on his inventors cap.
He was determined to improve the design and the functioning of his vacuum cleaner. Using a pillow case to catch the dirt, plus a number of innovations like a suction fan, Murray soon had his first prototype “Suction Sweeper” which was probably the first upright vacuum cleaner. In 1908, Murray got the patent for his new sweeper.
Spangler ended up selling one of his sweepers to a cousin, Susan Hoover, whose husband W. H. Hoover became interested after glowing reports from his wife. W. H. Hoover ended up buying the patent from Spangler in 1908, and he kept Spangler on the payroll to help design more suction sweepers.
Initially, there wasn’t much interest in the new upright vacuum cleaners, but Hoover had a master plan. He offered free 10 day trials of his machines to anyone who wanted on. It really helped kick off sales.
By 1926, Hoover’s research and development department had perfected the “beater bar”, and it was introduced in the 543 & 700 models. The beater bar was an innovation (that became “Positive Agitation”) that tapped the carpet to help dislodge dirt and dust.
Hoover introduced a number of innovations in his vacuum cleaners, including disposable paper bags, and a headlamp which Hoover called the “Hoover Hedlite” which lit up the carpet in front of the cleaner. This was especially welcome in dark corridors and darkened rooms.
Another fine addition to the Hoover vacuums, was the self-propelling mechanism which evolved into the Powerdrive system to help move these heavy machines around the floor for you.
Today, Hoover is a world-known brand that has become synonymous with the term vacuum cleaner. They produce a wide range of cleaners for all types of floor. These include Hoover Upright cleaners, canister vacuums, hard floor cleaners and more.
You can read about some of the more popular Hoover vacuum cleaners below in out review section.