• Feb 28, 2007

In the first half of the 20th century, inventors were kind of like the people with eBay stores: they were everywhere. Of course, there were many inventions that helped change the world, but there were some that never really took off. One of these unfortunate invention failures was the car vacuum. A 1932 Popular Science magazine highlighted this nifty little device.by saying:

"Using the exhaust gas of the automobile to clean the upholstery is the accomplishment of a recently invented device. An aluminum attachment is fastened to the exhaust pipe and the engine is allowed to idle. As the exhaust gas passes through this device suction is created at the inlet hole. Collected by a nozzle, the dust and dirt are drawn through the hose and expelled into the air at the rear of the car. It is made in three models, for cars of different size."

That's cool. By putting the vehicle's exhaust to good use this handy little invention was like the plug-in hybrid kit of 1932. Eat your heart out, Dyson guy. This thing never loses suction and you don't have to dump the bin once a week.

[Source: transporttrends.com]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      What many don't realize is that this invention lead to the discovery of Carbon Monoxide...
      • 7 Years Ago
      6 is right. I think this works on Bernoulli's principle. The fast moving exhaust creates low pressure (i.e. a vacuum). The fact that a "nozzle" is used suggests that they wanted to have exhaust move as fast as possible, creating the lowest possible pressure.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Of course, everything you vacuum out of the interior gets blown out the exhaust pipe.
      • 7 Years Ago
      yeah, this is the same type of set up for modern "gravel vac" used to clean the subsrate in fish tanks.

      http://www.aquatichobbyaquariumsupply.com/Python_Gravel_Vac_p/py05014.htm
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yeah, cars were A LOT DIFFERENT back then. I'm not really sure why someone went to the trouble to invent a car vac back then, though. I mean, it wasn't like cars had the velvety plush carpeting back then, that they have today. Hell, cars were almost tall enough inside that you could stand up inside of them and use a broom.

      David in PA
      • 7 Years Ago
      And if you floored it, you could suck the whole car right into tube. Maybe.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Howard, look at the picture and read the ad again. Nowhere are carpets mentioned. The woman is shown vacuuming a door panel.

      Cars of that era had relatively plush upholstery throughout. Seats, door panels, headliner were all upholstered. Mohair was a common material for car seats. Here's a "lowly" 1932 Chevrolet interior. Notice how much upholstery there is. Lots to vacuum.
      http://marksusedcar.com/programs/carpic.cgi?1005028-936138_3.jpg

      Do you only use your vacuum for carpet?
      • 7 Years Ago
      So isn't this basically a turbo, but pulling through a vacuum hose rather than pushing into the engine?
      • 7 Years Ago
      It makes sense though if you read the article.