6 extreme cleaning machines (in honor of the vacuum's birthday)

From the sweeping machine to the robot: Vacuums turn 142 years old!-
The vacuum has come a long way since it was first patented as a sweeping machine, 142 years ago today. In its earliest incarnation, ... more 
From the sweeping machine to the robot: Vacuums turn 142 years old!-
The vacuum has come a long way since it was first patented as a sweeping machine, 142 years ago today. In its earliest incarnation, before electricity was a staple of American homes, an Chicago inventor named Ives McGaffey designed the prototype for a machine that would clean floors with a hand operated fan. He called it the Whirlwind. It was the first in a line of creatively named floor buddies that changed the way we clean our homes. Over time, a motor was added, then a filter and a litany of cleaning attachments, some more useful than others. Today, vacuums have scaled down in size, but expanded in capabilities. Cleaning floors is only a fraction of their capabilities. They'll also guard your house, play your iPod, protect you from allergens and curl up in the corner of your closet when you're done with them. Behold, the futuristic sweeping machines of 2011. less 
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Tue, Nov 8, 2011 7:22 PM EST

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