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History of Hoover
The story begins in 1907. Murray Spangler, an inventor who worked nights as a janitor, was cleaning rugs in a Canton, Ohio, department store. But all the dust raised from his broom aggravated his asthma, and he called upon his inventor's creativity to find a solution to the problem. Spangler gathered a tin soap box, a fan, a sateen pillow case and a broom handle, then assembled an odd-looking, cumbersome contraption that managed to pull the dust away from the air he breathed. He quickly realized that this "suction sweeper," as he called it, now now as vacuum cleaner, had enormous sales potential, and he began seeking financial backing.
Spangler's cousin, Susan Hoover, agreed to try the vacuum in her home. Before long, she was singing its praises to her husband, W.H. "Boss" Hoover, owner of a leather goods manufacturing shop. Hoover bought the patent from Spangler in 1908, retained him as a partner, and soon had six employees assembling six vacuum cleaners a day in a corner of the leather goods shop.
Hoover placed a small ad in the Saturday Evening Post offering 10 days' free use of a Hoover suction sweeper to anyone who wrote and requested it. But instead of sending the cleaner directly to the potential customer, he chose a reputable store in each city from which requests arrived and sent the product to that store. He sent a letter requesting that the store manager deliver the machine and keep the commission from any resulting sale, then offered the store the opportunity to become a dealer for the Company. This laid the groundwork for a national dealer network which continues today as the main channel of distribution for Hoover products.
Meanwhile, engineers were designing new methods of cleaning carpet and vacuum cleaners in keeping with the mission of Hoover's engineering and design development program, which had been established in 1909.
One of their most noteworthy innovations was the vacuum cleaner beater bar or brushroll, introduced in 1926, which was the basis for the vacuum's advertising slogan: "It beats as it sweeps as it cleans." Here's how it works: As a metal bar gently taps the carpet to loosen deeply embedded dirt, a bristle brush rapidly sweeps the carpet aided by strong suction.
The beater bar, further refined to become the Quadraflex agitator for double the brushing action, is utilized in most Hoover vacuum cleaners today. And countless other "firsts" have been developed by Hoover engineers over the years to give consumers their most-wanted convenience features. These include the disposable paper bag, the vacuum cleaner headlight, the self-propelled feature and the side-mounted attached hose feature, for which Hoover received a patent in 1936 - long before consumers showed an interest in it