Google Doodle: Here’s how Hubert Cecil Booth invented first powered vacuum cleaner

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Published: July 4, 2018 12:53:46 PM

In a mark of respect for English engineer Hubert Cecil Booth, Google has honoured the inventor of vacuum cleaner on his 147th Birthday by creating a doodle.

Born on 4th July 1871, Hubert Cecil Booth invented the world’s first powered vacuum cleaner in 1901.

In a mark of respect for English engineer Hubert Cecil Booth, Google has honoured the inventor of vacuum cleaner on his 147th Birthday by creating a doodle. Born on 4th July 1871, Hubert Cecil Booth invented the world’s first powered vacuum cleaner in 1901. But how did Booth think of such an ingenious idea?

Prior to his invention, cleaning machines around the world cleaned the dirt by blowing away the dirt. In 1901, Hubert Booth attended a demonstration of an American machine by its inventor at the Empire Music Hall in London. According to Time magazine, Booth observed a demonstration of the device, which blew dust off the chairs, and thought that if the system could be reversed, it can lead to a more hygienic method of cleaning.

Booth later tested the idea by laying a handkerchief on the seat of chair, putting his mouth to the handkerchief, and then trying to suck up as much dust as possible onto the handkerchief. Observing the dust in the handkerchief, he realised that the idea could indeed be implemented.

“If the system could be reversed, and a filter inserted between the suction apparatus and the outside air, whereby the dust would be retained in a receptacle, the real solution of the hygienic removal of dust would be obtained,” Booth later explained. Booth named the first device as ‘Puffing Billy.’ Interestingly, operating the Puffing Billy required experts (and horses) to pull the petrol-powered engine outside a home from where it would suck out the dirt from long hoses.

It was not before 1903, that Booth finally launched the British Vacuum Cleaner Company and created a smaller electric-powered device, Time magazine notes. Booth died in 1955. Indeed the ingenious engineer has revolutionized the way we clean our homes and offices.

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