May 24, 2012

Clean Up With The Boss

William Henry 'Boss' Hoover didn't even invent the vacuum cleaner, yet his name has become a verb and a noun, especially in England, where they hoover the floors with a Hoover. 

James Murray Spangler invented the first upright vacuum in 1908 because his asthma was exacerbated by the dust the carpet sweeper used at his work stirred up. He was making one every 2-3 weeks when he loaned a model to his cousin Susan Hoover.

Her husband was looking for a new business venture since he was a leather worker and the popularity of the car was reducing people’s need for his goods. He seized the opportunity and bought Spangler’s patent from him. Absolutely no one was interested in his weird sucking machine. He decided to put an ad in a popular magazine for possibly the first ever 'free at home trial'. The gimmick worked and within four years the Hoover Company was an international brand.