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May - Vacuum Cleaner designed and made by Bryan Donkin & Co. (c.1900)

May - Vacuum Cleaner designed and made by Bryan Donkin & Co. (c.1900)

Vacuum Cleaner designed and made by Bryan Donkin & Co. (c.1900)

Originally based in London, the improved transportation systems and accessibility of materials in the Derbyshire area saw Bryan Donkin’s company relocate to Chesterfield in 1900. During this time, agreements were signed to join the company with Clench and Co. Ltd of Chesterfield and thus Donkin and Clench Ltd was born.

This vacuum was one of the earliest suction vacuums made and these were highly popular with those who could afford one, often placed in the basements or cellars of large houses and commercial buildings. Prior to this, vacuum cleaners worked by blowing air out to push dust into the collection bags and were much less efficient.

This particular model is a vertical reciprocating vacuum pump and was installed in the basement of a hotel in Stirling and utilised a network of pipes throughout the building so that a suction hose could be connected in each room, making life much easier for the maids. 


Last updated on 04 July 2023