Project Proposal

The vacuum cleaner is a major appliance in the household today.  There are many people who have patents on the vacuum cleaner, but it all started out with a broom and dust pan.  During the early part of 1700 once or twice a year people would take their carpet outside, hang them over their clothes line and knock it with a carpet beater.   The carpet sweeper was invented in 1811 by John Hume who lived in England.  The carpet sweeper was just a box with a brush and a pulley that did not work very well.  In 1860, Daniel Hess patented his carpet sweeper, but unfortunately he never produced an actual machine to use.  There were two more attempts to improve this invention, but to no avail.

In 1869 a gentleman by the name of Ives McGaffey from Chicago, Illinois patents the “whirlwind” vacuum cleaner and started the American Carpet Cleaning Company.  This model of vacuum cleaner was difficult to use because you had to hand crank it while using it.  It was also very expensive and awkward to reposition from one room to the next.  In 1876 Melville R. Bissell of Grand Rapids, Michigan, resolved the problems with the carpet sweeper and received his patent.  He went on to open the Bissell Carpet Sweeper Company.  In 1899 John Thurman, of St. Louis, Missouri invented and patented his gasoline powered vacuum called the Pneumatic Carpet-Renovator for the General Compressed Air Company.  His invention was so large that he used it to go door to door and charged families four dollars to clean their houses.  This vacuum did not pull in air but propelled the dirt and dust into a dustbin receptacle.

During this period people were becoming more conscious of dirt, dust, sanitation and health issues making these machines a commodity.  In 1901, Hubert Cecil Booth of London England invented the electric vacuum, but this model was also large, horse draw and used a one hundred foot hose to clean people’s houses.  The vacuum cleaner also was used at British naval barracks which ended a plague in the early 1900’s.  The vacuum cleaner was in it infantile stages during the first half of the 20th century and the better they became the more people wanted to buy and use them.

This project will explain some of the advancements that have been made to the vacuum cleaner over the last one hundred and ten years.  It will also explain the impact that the vacuum cleaner has had in society, as electricity was becoming available, and our cultural need to keep things clean.  This project will also explain the different designs and why each design is better than the one before.  Finally, pointing out the different brands of vacuum cleaners and which ones were the consumers buying in 2009. The Vacuum cleaner has been changed and modified to suit the people of their respective time periods and to see how it has evolved is really valuable because this invention was constructed by many people over time.  Considering this invention started out large and clumsy and has progressed to a light weight and smooth dust busting machine.

Sources:

Eye, Glen G. “Vacuum Cleaners vs. Air Conditioners.” The Journal of Educational Research 68, no. 3 (November 1974): 128-133. http://www.jstor.org/stable/27536699 (accessed February 2, 2011)

This source is useful because it uses the vacuum cleaner as a metaphor for the mind and thought I could use it somewhere.

Cudina, Mirko. “Noise Generation by vacuum cleaner suction units.” Noise & Vibration Worldwide (March 2008): 12-27. http://www.jstor.org/stable/31614850 (accessed February 2, 2011)

This source is useful because it talks about the noise of a vacuum cleaner and it gives me some good diagrams if I need them to explain use.

Corsi, Richard L., Jeffrey A. Siegel and Chunyi Chiang. “Particle Resuspension During the Use of Vacuum Cleaners on Residential Carpet.” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (April 2008): 232-238. http://www.jstor.org/stable/32092712 (accessed February 2, 2011)

This source is useful because it talks about how the vacuum cleaner can improve hygiene.

“Vacuum Cleaners.” Consumer Reports Buying Guide 2009 (October 2009): 80-82. http://www.jstor.org/stable/35367857 (accessed February 2, 2011)

This source is useful because it talks about which vacuum cleaners are good to buy in 2009.

“Vacuum Cleaners.” Consumer Reports Buying Guide 2009 (October 2009): 300-304. http://www.jstor.org/stable/35367906 (accessed February 2, 2011)

This source is useful because it talks about which vacuum cleaners are good to buy in 2009.

Colt, Joanne S., Robert B. Gunier, Catherine Metayer, Marcia G. Nishioka, Erin M. Bell, Peggy Reynolds, Patricia A. Buffler and Mary H. Ward. “Household vacuum cleaners vs. the high-volume surface sampler for collection of carpet dust samples.” Environmental Health 2008 (February 2008): 1-9. http://www.jstor.org/stable/35703159 (accessed February 2, 2011)

This source is useful because it talks about how the vacuum cleaner can improve hygiene and the environment.

Scott, Peter. “Managing Door-to-Door Sales of Vacuum Cleaners in Interwar Britain.” Business History Review (Winter 2008): 761-788. http://www.jstor.org/stable/36645109 (accessed February 2, 2011)

This source is useful because it talks about how the vacuum cleaner was sold door-to-door in Britain during World War I.

Dobbin, Beci. “Another fine mess: clownish modernist encounters with the labour-saving device.” Critical Quarterly, 51 no. 2 (Fall 2009): 40-58. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43113692 (accessed February 2, 2011)

I am not sure if I can use this yet, but I will have it available just in case I need it.

“Vacuums.” Consumer Reports (November 2010): 42-45. http://www.jstor.org/stable/54379719 (accessed February 2, 2011)

This source is useful because it talks about which vacuum cleaners are good to buy in 2010.

Vacuum Cleaner, The Great Idea Finder, http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/vacleaner.htm (accessed February 2, 2011)

This source is useful because it talks about the invention of the vacuum cleaner.

The History of the Vacuum Cleaner, The Intown Entertainment, http://www.gizmohighway.com/history/vacuum.htm (accessed February 2, 2011)

This source is useful because it talks about the invention of the vacuum cleaner.

When Was the First Carpet Sweeper Invented?, EHow Inc., http://www.ehow.com/about_5271799_first-carpet-sweeper-invented.html (accessed February 2, 2011)

This source is useful because it talks about the invention of the carpet sweeper.

Carpet Sweeper, The Great Idea Finder, http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/carpetsweep.htm (accessed February 2, 2011)

This source is useful because it talks about the invention of the carpet sweeper.

Kautzman, Robert, VacHunter, http://www.vachunter.com/history.htm (accessed February 2, 2011)

This source is useful because it talks about the invention of the carpet sweeper and the vacuum cleaner. There are some good pictures as well.

Dyson Vacuum Cleaners, http://www.dyson.com/insideDyson/search.asp?catID=The%20Dyson%20story&hf=&js= (accessed February 2, 2011)

This source is useful because it talks about Dyson Vacuum Cleaners and gives some history about the company.

Strasser, Susan. Never Done: A History of American Housework. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1982.

This source is useful because it talks about the invention of the vacuum cleaner and other household items.

Parker, Phillip M. Vacuum Cleaner: Webster’s Timeline History, 1849-2007. New York: Icon Group, 2008.

This source is useful because it gives a time line of the invention of the vacuum cleaner, and may be useful in researching.

Foy, Jessica H., and Thomas J. Schlereth, American Home Life, 1880-1930. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1992.

This source may be useful because it does give some information about the vacuum cleaner and what home life was like from 1880-1930.

Cowan, Ruth Schwartz, More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave. U.S.A.: Basic Books Inc., 1983.

This source may be useful because it may have some info on the vacuum cleaner, the title says it all.

Panati, Charles, Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things. New York: Harper Collins Publishing, 1989.

This source may be useful because it may have some info on the vacuum cleaner, the title says it all.

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