The Evolution Of The Vacuum Cleaner

From the “sweeping machine” of the 1800s to the high-tech bagless creations of today, the vacuum cleaner has evolved spectacularly over the years to become a vital piece of cleaning equipment for thousands of Australian households.

“Vacuum cleaners have transformed remarkably over the years and so has the demand for innovation,” said Sharon May, Floorcare Manager, Miele Australia.

“When it comes to vacuum cleaners, busy Australian homes not only require a cutting-edge design, they also require quality, ease of use and first-class performance.”

The beginning

Rewind back to the mid-1800s.  The only way to clean your rugs was to take them out and shake them. Then came the Industrial Revolution, which saw an unprecedented surge in dirt and pollution. It wasn’t long before scientific research, led by Louis Pasteur, revealed a link between germs and infectious diseases. Tagged the ‘germ theory’, this revelation prompted a movement towards cleanliness and hygiene. It was in this context that the vacuum cleaner was born.

The 1800s saw the vacuum cleaner evolve many times over. From Hiram Herrick’s Carpet Sweeper in 1858 to Ives McGaffey’s hand pumping “whirlwind” sweeping machine in 1879. While at the time these were groundbreaking inventions, they were also bulky and difficult to handle, and were generally strenuous to operate.

Throughout the 1900s, the vacuum cleaner moved from the commercial to the home space.  Vacuum cleaners became portable in 1905 thanks to Walter Griffiths, and then in 1907 James Spangler finally developed an electric vacuum cleaner that would pick up the dirt and move it into a canister – something previously unseen.

From then on, the vacuum cleaner continued to evolve and change in shape, size and operation to mould into what we know today. One of the key players in the continued development of the vacuum cleaner has been household appliance manufacturer Miele.

A powerhouse in vacuum design

In 1931, Miele took the canister vacuum cleaner to a new level with a complete re-design of the product. The Model L also introduced other new features including an attachment for gentle carpet cleaning, rubber bumpers and Bakelite casing.

Fast forward to 1955 and with the trend towards greater use of carpet in the home, Miele launched the President S which apart from a modern plastic casing added a three-way nozzle, thread catcher and adjustable bristle strip.

Then in the 1970’s the vacuum cleaner got its biggest facelift with the electronically controlled suction and power of 1000 watts.

In 2012 with the introduction of the S8, Miele through a whole host of patents and unique features delivered a new standard in vacuum cleaning, with better cleaning performance, more user convenience and improved energy efficiency. This saw the top-of-the-range vacuum cleaner receive a coveted ‘red dot design award’ even before it was officially launched.

Sharon says: “We have seen major steps forward in the technology behind the vacuum cleaner on a regular basis – from bagless vacuum cleaners to adjustable power and enhanced suction and Miele has been a major driver in these changes.”

A new force in cleaning

“The years of innovation and product enhancements has culminated into our latest vacuum cleaning range, the Miele Blizzard CX1.

“This is the most advanced, state of the art vacuum cleaner in today’s market.  It delivers excellent cleaning results, is extremely convenient to use and ensures hygienic emptying of the dust container.

“It is Miele’s first ever bagless vacuum cleaner which along with many clever details and Miele’s quality, is quieter than most other machines in this product category, while at the same time producing a flow velocity of more than 100km/h.

“This innovative vacuum cleaner not only ensures unobtrusive efficiency and powerful suction, but a stand-out dust separation system.

“The coarse soiling lands in the transparent dust container and the fine dust is moved into a separate container with a fine dust filter.

“It is definitely revolutionising the way Australian’s clean their homes, complementing Miele’s current vacuum cleaner range to create a total Floorcare solution,” Sharon added.

More detail on the features of the Miele Blizzard CX1 can be found at


1 Session selected

  • Free Discovery Product Demonstrations

    Miele Experience

    Thursday 08th September 2016

    At 10:30 am - 12:00 pm



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