Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Two More Early Vacuum Cleaners

Also from early issues of POPULAR ELECTRICITY:

1. The "Positive," from the Electric Cleaner Company of Chicago, is another black box on wheels, looking like something out of a science fiction novel. Published in the June, 1909 issue. Click big.

Something that looks a little bit more like we would expect today, the Duntley could be picked up and carried by your maid. From the May, 1909 issue.

The history of product design is the subject for someone else's blog, but you can't avoid thinking about it. Pretty soon the maid would give way as chief domestic tool user to the homeowner herself, a victim of economic necessity and a whole new customer demographic.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Clean Your House by Vacuum: 1909

Here we have an ad for the National portable vacuum cleaning machine, as published in the July, 1909 issue of POPULAR ELECTRICITY. Looks more like industrial equipment than a home cleaning device, but perhaps that was its designer's intent. Your maid should be happy to use it; it will make her job simpler, and she can spend more time making other things just exactly perfect. Click to enlarge.

First published in 1908, POPULAR ELECTRICITY appealed to  early adopters, experimenters, businessmen and engineers, and all interested in the latest changes occurring in the world around us. Here's a gallery of covers, to give you some idea of the kinds of things the publishers thought  of interest to their readers.

I'll have some more vacuum cleaner ads from this era shortly; they are interesting to compare to each other, to try to discern just who the manufacturers were aiming the products at, and which would be the forerunners of today's products.