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10 Random Facts About The Vacuum Cleaner

If you're anything like us and love some good facts that others don't know, you can show off your knowledge with these great crackers about the humble, yet trusted, household vacuum cleaner.

1 : Number 1

The first vacuum cleaner was actually invented all the way back in 1866. Yes, 1866! Ives W. McGaffney created a manual vacuum that used a hand crank that helped suck up air from a tube. Due to the difference in air pressure caused by the cranking, the atmospheric pressure pushed air on the surface up into the tube. This meant the vacuum was able to pick up dirt and debris from the floor at the end of the hose. However, the invention had only gone so far, and this debris was just redistributed out of a vent on the device. From one place to another.

2 : Everyone Has One

It's said that approximately 98% of households have a vacuum cleaner. The device has come a long way since the early 1900s when only approximately 30% of households had a vacuum cleaner in the 1930s.

3 : The Middle Class Boom

It was actually after the Second World War that saw vacuum cleaners' popularity rise, increasing twelve-fold between the years of 1945 and 1960. This was due to the booming growth of the middle class. However, it was still a hefty investment for most, with models retailing at around £800-1000 in today's money. Imagine having to pay for that instead of picking up a decent model for 100 quid? I think we'd all be going back to brooms.

4 : More Than Reliable

Vacuums have always been our trusty cleaning sidekicks, but for one woman in Kent, her model was a friend for life. Purchasing an Electrolux hoover all the way back in the 1930s, the machine served her for years to come, all the way into the 21st century when in 2008 it finally blew up. Hearing of the story, Electrolux gifted the woman with a new model so she could continue cleaning with ease.

5 : Where's The Napkins?

Hubert Cecil Booth - British engineer famous for inventing the first powered vacuums - tested his idea of working with an air vacuum in a restaurant. He first laid a handkerchief on a seat of a chair, then used his mouth to suck up air through the handkerchief. With this, he saw that dust had collected on the handkerchief.

6 : Hoover's The Word

Hoover quickly became a synonym for the device due to the popularity of American company Hoover. William Henry Hoover's success was due to offering customers ten days free trial of the vacuum cleaners. Of course, once having the machine in the house and seeing its amazing capabilities, they couldn't say no to buying.

7 : All Down To Spangler

However, Hoover's real success is down to a man named James Murray Spangler. He began his invention of a "suction sweeper" through his job as a janitor. Due to his asthma, manual sweeping caused his health to deteriorate and that's where the idea for the first, electronic upright vacuum cleaner came from. Hoover bought the rights for his machine, kick-starting the industry.

8 : Keeping It Clean

Vacuum is actually the single most effective and economical way for cleaning and removing dust and allergens from your home. Approximately 90 - 95% of all dust and dirt can be removed from carpet by routinely vacuuming.

9 : The Ruler

Vacuum cleaners are actually the device with the largest sales volume, with the United States ranking No.1 in worldwide sales.

10 : Time For The Robots

It's crazy to think that the first robot vacuum cleaner debuted way back in 1997 on BBC's Tomorrow World. The machine used ultrasonic sensors to navigate around the floors, though this kept an inch between the bot and any object, meaning floors were never fully clean. However, it could still detect when its bin was full, and locate and dock to its charging station when it needed to. Its name originally came from the Trilobite, an extinct arthropod that pored over the ocean's floors seeking bits of nutrition to suck up.