A vacuum cleaner is a device that causes suction in order to suck up dirt/particles and dust from floors, upholstery, draperies and more. It is generally electrically driven.
The dirt is collected by either a dustbag or a cyclone for later disposal. Vacuum cleaners, which are used in homes as well as in industry, exist in a variety of sizes and models—small battery-powered hand-held devices, wheeled canister models for home use, domestic central vacuum cleaners, huge stationary industrial appliances that can handle several hundred litres of dust before being emptied, and self-propelled vacuum trucks for recovery of large spills or removal of contaminated soil. Specialized shop vacuums can be used to suck up both dust and liquids.
Although vacuum cleaner and the short form vacuum are neutral names, in some countries (UK, Ireland) hoover is used instead as a genericized trademark, and as a verb. The name comes from the Hoover Company, one of the first and more influential companies in the development of the device. The device is also sometimes called a sweeper although the same term also refers to a carpet sweeper, a similar invention.
Main article: Manual vacuum cleaner
Patent model of Daniel Hess’s carpet sweeper
In 1860 a manual vacuum cleaner was invented by Daniel Hess of West Union, Iowa. Called a ‘carpet sweeper’, It gathered dust with a rotating brush and had a bellows for generating suction. Another early model (1869) was the “Whirlwind”, invented in Chicago in 1868 by Ives W. McGaffey. The bulky device worked with a belt driven fan cranked by hand that made it awkward to operate, although it was commercially marketed with mixed success.  A similar model was constructed by Melville R. Bissell of Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1876, who also manufactured carpet sweepers. The company later added portable vacuum cleaners to its line of cleaning tools.
Powered vacuum cleaners
Further information: Hubert Cecil Booth § Vacuum cleaner, and David T. Kenney
Housemaid using “dedusting pump”, circa 1906.
The end of the 19th century saw the introduction of powered cleaners, although early types used some variation of blowing air to clean instead of suction. One appeared in 1898 when John S. Thurman of St. Louis, Missouri submitted a patent (U.S. No. 634,042) for a “pneumatic carpet renovator” which blew dust into a receptacle. Thurman’s system, powered by an internal combustion engine, traveled to the customers residence on a horse-drawn wagon as part of a door to door cleaning service. Corrine Dufour of Savannah, Georgia received two patents in 1899 and 1900 for another blown air system that seems to have featured the first use of an electric motor.
In 1901 powered vacuum cleaners using suction were invented independently by British engineer Hubert Cecil Booth and American inventor David T. Kenney. Booth also may have coined the word “vacuum cleaner”. Booth’s horse drawn combustion engine powered “Puffing Billy”, maybe derived from Thurman’s blown air design,” relied upon just suction with air pumped through a cloth filter and was offered as part of his cleaning services. Kenney’s was a stationary 4,000 lb. steam engine powered system with pipes and hoses reaching into all parts of the building.
Domestic vacuum cleaner
A hand-powered pneumatic vacuum cleaner, circa 1910. An early electric-powered model is also shown
The first vacuum-cleaning device to be portable and marketed at the domestic market was built in 1905 by Walter Griffiths, a manufacturer in Birmingham, England. His Griffith’s Improved Vacuum Apparatus for Removing Dust from Carpets resembled modern-day cleaners; – it was portable, easy to store, and powered by “any one person (such as the ordinary domestic servant)”, who would have the task of compressing a bellows-like contraption to suck up dust through a removable, flexible pipe, to which a variety of shaped nozzles could be attached.