Hubert Cecil Booth’s 147th Birthday: Google Dedicates a Doodle to the Inventor of Vacuum Cleaner
Hubert Cecil Booth doodle (Photo Credits: Google)

Google on Wednesday honoured British engineer Hubert Cecil Booth, the inventor of the vacuum cleaner, on his 147th birth anniversary, with a doodle. The doodle shows Booth's inventions - vacuum cleaner and the Ferris wheel. Booth was born in Gloucester, England in 1871. Before Booth's discovery, cleaning machines would only blow or brush away dirt instead of sucking it up.

After completing his education at Gloucester College and Gloucester Country School, Booth got admitted to the Central Technical College in London. There he studied civil engineering and mechanical engineering for three years. He joined Maudslay Sons & Field, Lambeth, London as a civil engineer. Booth also designed and built bridges for the Royal Navy battleships, Ferris wheels in England, France and Austria. However, he continued to be known for his cleaning machines.

After seeing a demonstration of the "pneumatic carpet renovator" cleaning railway cars, Booth decided to experiment. He kept his handkerchief on a chair and put his mouth to it, sucking air through its end. Based on the technique, he created his first invention, called 'Puffing Billy'. But the engine was so big that it had to be pulled by horses and brought inside the house. His customers were not happy with the product as it made noises, and was fined for frightening horses.

He later went onto make refined versions of the machine. Booth started a company in 1903 that made smaller versions of his invention that ran with electricity. It was brought inside the house in a bright red van operated by technicians in company uniforms. The machine soon became popular and gained a spot in wealthy households in the locality, so much so that British royal family also had one. He went on to become the Chairman and MD of the British Vacuum Cleaner and Engineering Company. He died on January 14, 1955, in Croydon, England.