Thanks To A Missourian, Your Carpets Are Clean (Or They Could Be)
So I sometimes look at history, particularly in Missouri, because life back in the day just fascinates me. Turns out, one of the essential items used to clean my home was invented, in a roundabout way, by a Missourian. And it was this month! October of 1899. John Thurman, of St. Louis, patented his “pneumatic carpet renovator”. It was a gas-powered device that blew dust into a receptacle. It was the beginning of professional carpet cleaning.
I guess back in the day, people mostly lived in houses with wood floors and would place area rugs or larger rugs over said floors. Cleaning the dust and dirt out of them involved bringing them outside and beating the dust out. Sounds like a lot of work. I know I probably would have done it had I lived back in the olden times, but I also know I wouldn't like it.
So old Johnny boy basically invented a device that would remove said dirt, and it would go into the back of a horse drawn carriage (Although I have no idea what they did with it... maybe they just dumped it, unless they had some kind of side hustle in dust). You'd request their services, they'd pull up, and essentially vacuum your house for you. And because of those services, eventually things evolved into a modern vacuum. In fact, just a few years later in England, a home portable version was invented. Griffith's Improved Vacuum Apparatus for Removing Dust from Carpets.
Sounds impressive, right? Totally. And now every time I battle it out over the carpets in my living room and dining room, I can say a little note of thanks to John Thurman.