One thing we can always be certain of is that things change over time. Nothing can stop this from happening. People change, technology changes, situations change as well. Change is inevitable! Look back at your own life, for example. How much has actually changed? Especially when it comes to advancements in technology. It can be rather scary to look back and see just how much has evolved. But, it can also be quite refreshing!

Remember the good old days when cleaning was a laborious task? We bet you won’t know what this unusual contraption is from the ’30s. Unless you were around back then, chances are, you won’t know what this is. Can you guess what this odd-looking flask-like object could possibly be?

This funny-looking item that resembles a flask or some sort of carrier is actually a 1930’s vacuum cleaner, known as the Hercules! It’s a retro vacuum that is worlds apart from the powerful hoovers we have today. Just think about it – as I sit here typing, my Roomba® is quietly cleaning my floor! Can you imagine what life used to be like? How exciting and innovative a machine like this must have been in its time? And now, we all take for granted just how easy our lives have become thanks to technology and progress.

The Hercules Vacuum cleaner was not just a cleaning tool, but also a style statement. The one pictured above was covered in luxurious crocodile skin, making it quite an expensive purchase. It’s hard to envision such an elegant machine being sold during the Great Depression when many families struggled to make ends meet, let alone afford a Hercules. Back then, this machine represented a world of sophistication and luxury that most could only dream of.

Did you know that the humble broom wasn’t even perfected until 1797? It was created by a farmer from Massachusetts who watched his wife struggle to sweep effectively. Soon, his broom, called broomcorn, became a household name. But as time went on, people yearned for an easier way to clean. It wasn’t until the 1860s when Daniel Hess created the first real vacuum cleaner. According to his patent, his invention consisted of drawing fine dust and dirt through the machine using a draft of air.

In 1869, Ives McGaffey of Chicago took the concept even further. However, his design proved to be more challenging to use than a regular broom. His patent aimed to solve the annoyance of accumulating dust and dirt in homes. Unfortunately, his invention did not gain traction.

Several designs came and went, but it was James Murray Spangler, a humble janitor aged 60 from Canton, Ohio, who revolutionized the vacuum cleaner. He tirelessly perfected his design, even at the cost of his health. His machine stood out from the rest because it was not only upright but also portable. Although crude, it worked efficiently by sucking dirt and blowing it out the back into an attached pillowcase. Spangler patented his invention in 1907 and took a leap of faith, quitting his job to open the Electric Suction Sweeper Company.

Spangler’s innovation was a true game-changer. His machine utilized a ceiling fan motor and paddle blades to create the necessary airflow. By journaling a leather belt to a rotating brush, he achieved unparalleled cleaning power. No one else could get carpets that clean because they didn’t have a motor-driven brush. This marked the birth of the Hoover when Spangler faced financial trouble and sold his company to his cousin, Susan Hoover!

So, the next time you effortlessly clean your living space with your modern vacuum cleaner, take a moment to appreciate the journey it took to get here. From the stylish Hercules to the groundbreaking Hoover, the evolution of vacuum cleaners has undoubtedly made our lives easier, and cleaning more convenient than ever before. Share this fascinating history with your family, and watch their jaws drop as they realize just how far we’ve come!