History in a Vacuum

October 16, 1999 – April 16, 2000

National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

1st Floor, West Wing, Showcase Floor Plan

This showcase traces the history and changing practices of cleaning carpets and floors, from carpet beaters to brooms to sophisticated vacuum cleaners. Objects on view include a 1905 Reeves hand-powered vacuum cleaner, a 1908 child's toy carpet sweeper, a 1930s Deschler "Victoria" parlor broom, a 1932 Eureka vacuum cleaner, a 1960s Jetsons comic book with Rosey the robotic maid vacuuming, and advertisements for cleaners and cleaning products promising to make a woman's work easier.