Week 21 2024

Early Vacuum Cleaners

The Daisy Sweeper (pictured in the middle) was built and patented around 1908 in England. Although called a sweeper, it is really a vacuum cleaner. It features a dual bellows arrangement which is linked via levers to the wheels. As the unit is pushed back and forth, the movement of the wheels pumps the bellows which moves air from the nozzle at floor level, through the tubing into the bag. It is exhausted through the bellows. The cloth dust bag is inside the box, at the back. Its power was very limited and it only just raised crumbs and dust from the floor.

The vacuum cleaner, ‘Star’, (pictured on the left) was in production in Great Britain from 1910 to 1919. It is a cylindrical, sheet metal dust container, containing a fabric bag for holding dust. From the upper end of the dust container extends a fabric bag, contracting in four folds with metal hoops, sealed above with a metal lid. From the centre of the lid extends a metal cylinder rod with a varnished wooden knob on top, acting as the handle. A further, short metal cylinder, attached to the lid, encloses the handle rod. This short rod, raised up and down by hand, creates the bellows section, by extending and contracting the fabric bag. The lower end of the dust container can be removed by unscrewing two wing nut clamps, in order to remove the dust bag. A further cylinder rod is attached to its centre, extending to floor level, where it is attached to a broad, aluminium nozzle which makes contact with the floor. The metal rods are black enamelled, the aluminium nozzle is unpainted, and the dust container is painted red, with the makers label in gilt and black with a six pointed star.