13. Vacuum Cleaner

The vacuum cleaner, a modern gadget, is supposed to be a recent invention. In fact Victorians had used a machine, very similar to our vacuum cleaner. In it, bellows were used to suck in the dirt and dust!

Two people were needed to operate the gadget. One person had to work on the bellows and the other had to operate the nozzle to suck in the dust. A filter prevented the dust from getting blown out again. These machines were so well made that some of them are in good working condition even today!

Hubert Booth watched a demonstration in which the dust was blown off instead of being sucked in. He tested and decided that sucking in the dust was definitely better than blowing it out. All he needed to introduce was a cloth filter, which will allow the air to go through, but trap the dust and dirt.

Booth’s first practical machine was so huge that it had to be drawn by a horse! He was always having trouble with the police. His long hose became a “noisy-serpent”, terrorizing the horses, which bolted in sheer panic!

But Booth’s pains were not entirely wasted. All the cylindrical vacuum cleaners we have today work on the Booth’s principle!

Visalakshi Ramani


5 Responses to 13. Vacuum Cleaner

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