Wednesday, August 16, 2006

How Was "Hoover" Named?

From Wikipedia:

The Hoover Company is an American floor care manufacturer based in North Canton, Ohio. For most of the early-and-mid-1900s, it dominated the electric vacuum cleaner industry, to the point where the "hoover" brand name became synonymous for vacuum cleaners and vacuuming.

The first Hoover vacuum was invented by a Canton, Ohio department store janitor named James Murray Spangler, who devised a crude vacuum cleaner using a soap box, electric motor, broom handle, and pillow case in 1907. Spangler suffered from asthma attacks, and he suspected the carpet sweeper he was using at work was the cause of his ailment.

Spangler then gave one of the vacuums to a friend, Susan Hoover, who used it at her home. Impressed with the machine, she told her husband about it. Her husband was W.H. "Boss" Hoover, a leather-goods manufacturer in North Canton, then called New Berlin. Hoover bought the patent from Spangler in 1908 and retained Spangler as a partner in the new vacuum cleaner business.

Hoover then placed an ad in the Saturday Evening Post offering customers 10 days free use of his vacuum cleaner to anyone who requested it. Using a network of local retailers to facilitate the offer, Hoover thus developed a national network of retailers for the vacuums. Over time, his company's sales expanded globally, and, in British English, the word "Hoover" became a verb meaning "to vacuum a floor".

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posted by Staff @ 10:04 AM