Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,432 pages of information and 233,521 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

British Vacuum Cleaner and Engineering Co

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Early BVC vacuum cleaner, made under Booth’s Patent, on display in the Milestones Museum
BVC vacuum cleaner at Edenvale Heritage Complex, Pinjarra, Australia.
BVC vacuum cleaner at Edenvale Heritage Complex, Pinjarra, Australia.
December 1938.
1947. Goblin.
1949. Goblin.
1951. Goblin.
September 1953.
1957. Goblin.
1957. Industrial Vacuum Cleaners.
March 1957.

of London, SW6. Head Office and Works. Branches throughout the United Kingdom. Telephone: Fulham 3333. Telegraphic Address: "Vacuumiser, 'Phone, London". (1937)

as BVC of Goblin Works, Leatherhead, Surrey. Telephone: Ashstead 866. Cables: "Vacuumiser, Phone, Leatherhead". (1947)

See also: Goblin Vacuum Cleaner

The idea of a vacuum cleaner originated from the mid-19th century. The first vacuum cleaners had to be operated manually. Two persons were needed for this: one to operate the bellows and the other to move the mouthpiece over the floor. The dust was blown into the an attached bag - like modern machines.

1860-1900 Crude bellows operated machines and unsuccessful experiments with suction sweepers. Early BVC vacuum cleaner, made under Booth’s Patent, on display in the Milestones Museum

1902 The Vacuum Cleaner Co was formed by Hubert Cecil Booth to exploit his patented innovation, the first mechanically-powered vacuum cleaner. The cleaning was offered as a service from a horse-drawn appliance parked outside the premises.

1903 Public company - British Vacuum Cleaner Co

1903 Wealthy society ladies threw 'vacuum cleaner parties'. Guests sipped their tea and lifted their feet for Booth's uniformed attendants to vacuum the carpet. After giving a vacuum demonstration at the Royal Mint, Booth, on leaving, was promptly stopped by the police. He had forgotten to empty the dust bag, which contained a large quantity of gold dust from the Mint.

1904 Take action for infringement of patents against Suction Cleaners and Lacy-Hulbert and Co [1]

1910 Professor Stanley Kent of University College, Bristol found 355,500,000 living organisms in just one gramme of dust extracted from Marlborough House, the home of HRH The Princess of Wales.

1910 Legal action against the London and South Western Railway who had used cleaners by some other company[2] [3]

c.1925 Names changed to British Vacuum Cleaner and Engineering Co

1926 Booth's British Vacuum Cleaner and Engineering Co (BVC) branded all their domestic vacuum cleaners under the famous Goblin trade name.

1932 Patent - Improvements in or relating to portable vacuum cleaners. [4]

1937 Patent - Improvements in or relating to means for purifying air. [5]

1937 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Goblin Electric Washing Machine. Goblin Industrial and Domestic Vacuum Cleaners. B.V.C. Industrial Vacuum, Portable. B.V.C. Industrial Vacuum, Fixed Plant. (Stand No. Cb.309) [6]

1947 As BVC - British Industries Fair Advert as manufacturers of the Goblin Teasmade, a unique electric automatic Tea-making and Alarm Clock combined appliance; it makes tea, lights the lamp, wakes you up. Teasmade gives a Twenty-four Hour Service. (Suction Cleaners Section - Olympia, 1st Floor, Stand No. F.1848)

1947 Also Manufacturers of the "Goblin" Range of Electric Cleaners made by the originators of Vacuum Cleaning include both cylinder and outside bag models. There are Goblin Agents in most countries. (Earls Court, 1st Floor, Stand No. 718) [7]

1947 Manufacturers of Goblin Controlled Time Domestic Radio, Incorporating Superheat Radio Receiver with Synchronous Electric Clock. "Magneta" Industrial Radio Receivers and Public Address Systems. Complete Installations quoted for in All Countries. (Olympia, Ground Floor, Stand No. C.1508) [8]

1961 Manufacturers of industrial and domestic vacuum cleaners, spin dryers, polishing machines, industrial power plant, washing machines, automatic teamaker, central cleaning installations. 2,000 employees. [9]

1973 BSR Housewares bought Goblin (BVC)[10].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Wednesday, Mar 30, 1904
  2. The Times, Friday, Nov 18, 1910
  3. The Times, Tuesday, Mar 05, 1912
  4. [1] Wikipatents
  5. [2] Wikipatents
  6. 1937 British Industries Fair p341
  7. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 443; and p45
  8. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 373; and p176
  9. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  10. The Times, Jan 31, 1973
  • [3] The History of the Vacuum Cleaner