The Dyson

The Dyson vacuum cleaner was invented by Sir James Dyson (1947-) from Norfolk. It was the first machine to combine the two principles of:

  • the cyclonic separation of dust from air using filters
  • a collection chamber which could be detached, emptied and clicked back into position, instead of a collection bag.

Dyson had previously invented the ‘ballbarrow’ ~ a wheelbarrow that has a ball instead of a wheel ~ and in 2005 the ball was incorporated into his vacuum cleaner to improve manoeuvrability. However, the initial development in the late 1970s/early 1980s saw him produce more than 5,000 prototypes, with rejections from all the major vacuum cleaner manufacturers guarding their bag sales.

Eventually, in 1986, he started to sell his machine in Japan and the USA and today it is sold worldwide. ‘The Dyson’ is not a cheap appliance but quite a status symbol. In 2014 a robotic version was launched.

(Images LtoR: Royal Society at Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 & William Clifford at / CC BY 2.0)


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