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How the Vacuum Revolutionized Spring Cleaning

May 25, 2016

There’s a keystone in every great invention.

Do you know the history behind spring cleaning? Whatever the origin, it’s always good to clean away winter’s dust and dirt and open up the house to nicer weather. Many decades back, spring was the time to beat the grime out of the rugs and have the floors swept clean. In modern day, we can clean our rugs and floors anytime we want thanks to the vacuum cleaner!
History of the Vacuum Cleaner
A vacuum cleaner is a fairly simple concept but was a long time in the making. In the 1600’s a German scientist named Otto von Guericke began experimenting with the power of a vacuum. Essentially, a vacuum is an empty space devoid of air that, because of pressure, creates a very strong force. Guericke created this empty space by suctioning water out of leak-proof glass or metal containers (Challoner, 184).
Using this idea of creating a vacuum by suctioning, there were many versions of an automatic cleaning device. It wasn’t until 1908 when William Henry Hoover redesigned a portable electric vacuum cleaner developed by a department store janitor that we see a machine resembling what we use today. Hoover sold them door-to-door and by the 1920’s his Hoover Company vacuums featured innovations such as a beater bar, disposable filter bags, and an upright version. 
How the Modern Day Vacuum Works
This appliance may look complicated, but it is made up of only six components. When the machine is turned on, the motor starts which turns the fan. The fan forces air toward the exhaust port and causes the air pressure to increase in front of the fan and decreases it behind the fan. The suction comes from the partial vacuum that is created inside the machine. 
While the fan is running, the constant stream of air creates friction to suck up dirt and debris. Rotating beater brushes help to loosen dirt from carpets. All of the dirt, dust, and debris is deposited in a bag or container as the air makes its way to the exhaust port. 
Today’s Vacuums
The vacuum cleaner may have a simple premise (create a vacuum and suck up dirt) but the machines of today combine electronic capabilities with advanced filtration for powerful cleaning. Improved motors and fans are controlled by circuit boards that regulate the suction and manage airflow. Every vacuum has a light on the carpet head to see into dark spaces. Size has also be reduced considerably with weights being reduced to a few pounds, unlike the original 40 lb models. Can you imagine carrying around a 40 lb vacuum?
Although there are many different types of vacuum are on the market today, they all require electronic circuitry to be effective. Just as we couldn’t live without a good vacuum, these machines couldn’t work without high-quality spacers and standoffs, LED products, test points, and quick terminals provided by Keystone. 
So, next time you run the vacuum to clean up, remember that there’s a Keystone in every great invention!