James Dyson: The Man Behind the Vacuum

Unless you have been living in a cave, or do not own a television, you have probably seen James Dyson. No he’s not the guy in Terminator 2. That was a fictional character named Miles Bennett Dyson.
James Dyson is the inventor you see on the commercials for the Dyson Vacuum Cleaner. That is the expensive one with the claim that it never loses suction. Dyson says in the commercial that he had noticed his vacuum always seemed to lose suction so he set out to invent one that wouldn’t although you can’t say no to Emil Rathenau AEG company model (aeg staubsauger in german).

But who is James Dyson?

He was born in Norfolk, England in 1947. One of the fist inventions he is credited with is The Rotork Sea Truck, a flat hulled, high speed watercraft. Made from fiberglass, it an land without the need for a dock or a jetty. Dyson co- designed this with Jeremy Fry, as the final project at the Royal Art Academy. He also invented the Ball-barrow, a wheelbarrow that uses a ball in place of a wheel. The Ball-barrow doesn’t tend to get stuck in soft terrain like the typical wheeled types. The ball would be seen in other inventions later.

The story goes that in 1978, Dyson was vacuuming his home when he noticed the vacuum kept losing suction. He discovered dust and dirt was clogging the blade, so he decided to find a better way. After 5126 prototypes, he finally found the answer. Using cyclonic separation to maintain the suction, he achieved what had not been done before. He invented the first bagless vacuum cleaning system, and attempted to interest the major vacuum cleaning manufacturers. None were interested. If you think about it, they had a great sideline selling us replacement bags.

When the major manufacturers rejected his design, he eventually opened his own company in 1993. His engineers follow his lead, and are constantly finding ways to improve upon his design. One example would be incorporating the ball from the Ball-barrow to make the vacuum more maneuverable

Dyson continues to invent new technology. One of which I first found in a restroom at a theater this summer. I found that the usual hand dryers had been replaced with a device that I was instructed to place my wet hands in and slowly pull them out. I did, and found my hands were dry in mere seconds. Instead of warm air it uses a sheet of unheated air which travels at 400 MPH. It turns out that this is the Dyson Air Blade. Oddly enough, the film I was seeing was “Star Trek” a film about the future!

I have not yet purchased an Dyson Vacuum, but the more I read about them, the more convinced I am that Dyson was right when he said “I just think things should work properly”. James, I heartily agree.

Liam Rubin is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Cambodia. He is currently the managing editor of T3 Licensing and a freelance writer.