When you look at the picture below, what do you see?
Like most people, you will probably have to look at it for quite some time before making sense of it if you are lucky. Most people don't seem to understand what this gadget is.
Does it look familiar to you in any way? In all likelihood, it doesn't.
The problem might be that its modern versions have a fancier look that bears little resemblance to this older model.
For those whose grandmas had this item, it might be a little easier to identify. However, if you have never seen it before, the chances are that you would never be able to guess what this item is.
Here's The Answer
To save you the trouble, let's just tell you what it is.
The answer, by the way, is a vacuum cleaner. You might have a problem understanding how that even makes sense.
In particular, this is a Hercules vacuum cleaner, which is a great product from the 1930s when it was a popular household appliance.
This particular model features crocodile skin. It's hard to believe they would use such material on vacuum cleaners.
How About Another Vacuum Cleaner Puzzle?
Do you have any idea how long vacuum cleaners have been around? You already know that they were in existence in the 1930s based on the year the above model was in the market.
However, the truth is that you will be surprised at how long people have been using this appliance to clean up.
Records indicate that the first vacuum cleaner was invented by Daniel Hess of West Union, Iowa, back in 1860.
Most people would never have imagined that these gadgets have been around for that long.
This first model was actually a carpet sweeper that would collect dust using a rotating brush. It relied on bellows to produce the required suction force.
A couple of years later, in 1869, Ives W. McGaffey made another vacuum cleaner model that he named "Whirlwind." This was a bulky device that had a belt-driven fan.
For this device to work, it had to be cranked by hand. That made it a little strange to operate, but it was still a hit in the market.
The Invention Of Domestic Vacuum Cleaners
Until the 1900s, most vacuum cleaners were heavy-duty and industrial models. The first time a domestic model was created was in 1905.
Walter Griffiths, an English manufacturer, started the revolution. These vacuum cleaners were portable and easy to store.
More importantly, they could be powered by a single person.
Over time, there were more innovations and better designs, and vacuum cleaners started to gain popularity worldwide.
The above model was used as a carpet cleaner, and it debuted in early twentieth century.
Another popular product was made at about the same period that was similar to the Electrolux in design. A Swedish company launched it in 1921.
These earlier vacuum cleaner designs had many features, including the ability to lie on the floor and move about on two thin metal runners.
Of course, vacuum cleaners were largely a luxury, and only a few well-off people had them.
After the second world war, things changed considerably as they became more popular and affordable. Today, vacuum cleaners can be found in most households.