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House cleaning has been an innate human activity for centuries, but only since the early 19th century have mechanical devices replaced the physical hard labor (performed mostly by women). Mechanical carpet sweepers were replaced by manual suction cleaners, which in turn were replaced by electric vacuum cleaners in the early 20th century. Innovative inventors, who sequentially improved vacuum cleaners as electricity became commonly available, made these advances possible. Many early manufacturers failed, but some, such as Bissell, Hoover, Eureka, and others, became household words, as they competed for global dominance with improved features, performance, and appearance. This book describes the fascinating people who made this possible, as well as the economic, cultural, and technological contexts of their times. From obscure beginnings 200 years ago, vacuum cleaners have become an integral part of modern household culture.
From the author of the acclaimed novel A Pigeon and a Boy comes a charming tale of family ties, over-the-top housekeeping, and the sport of storytelling in Nahalal, the village of Meir Shalev’s birth. Here we meet Shalev’s amazing Grandma Tonia, who arrived in Palestine by boat from Russia in 1923 and lived in a constant state of battle with what she viewed as the family’s biggest enemy in their new land: dirt. Grandma Tonia was never seen without a cleaning rag over her shoulder. She received visitors outdoors. She allowed only the most privileged guests to enter her spotless house. Hilarious and touching, Grandma Tonia and her regulations come richly to life in a narrative that circles around the arrival into the family’s dusty agricultural midst of the big, shiny American sweeper sent as a gift by Great-uncle Yeshayahu (he who had shockingly emigrated to the sinful capitalist heaven of Los Angeles!). America, to little Meir and to his forebears, was a land of hedonism and enchanting progress; of tempting luxuries, dangerous music, and degenerate gum-chewing; and of women with painted fingernails. The sweeper, a stealth weapon from Grandpa Aharon’s American brother meant to beguile the hardworking socialist household with a bit of American ease, was symbolic of the conflicts and visions of the family in every respect. The fate of Tonia’s “svieeperrr”—hidden away for decades in a spotless closed-off bathroom after its initial use—is a family mystery that Shalev determines to solve. The result, in this cheerful translation by Evan Fallenberg, is pure delight, as Shalev brings to life the obsessive but loving Tonia, the pioneers who gave his childhood its spirit of wonder, and the grit and humor of people building ever-new lives. From the Hardcover edition.
Poor Mr Swimble is having a bad day. Rabbits are bouncing out of his hat, pigeons are flying out of his jacket and every time he points his finger, something magically appears – cheese sandwiches, socks . . . even a small yellow elephant on wheels! It’s becoming a real nuisance – and he’s allergic to rabbits. His friends at the Magic Rectangle can’t help, but the mysterious vacuum cleaner he saw that morning may have something to do with it . . . Fourteen fantastically funny stories from master storyteller Sir Terry Pratchett, full of food fights, pirates, wizards and crooks! ‘Arresting stuff! So funny it’s criminal!’ – PC Gorsebush Jones
In this updated autobiography, the British inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner tells the story of his incredible struggle to design and launch a machine that worked better than all others.
WINNER OF THE 800-CEO-READ BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2015 In the vein of Susan Cain's QUIET and Malcolm Gladwell's DAVID AND GOLIATH, HOW TO FLY A HORSE is a smart, empowering book that dispels the myths around genius and creativity. There is a myth about how something new comes to be; that geniuses have dramatic moments of insight where great things and thoughts are born whole. Symphonies are composed complete. Science is accomplished with eureka shrieks. Businesses are built by magic touch. The myth is wrong. Anyone can create. Acclaimed technology pioneer Kevin Ashton takes us behind the scenes of creation to reveal the true process of discovery and how ‘new’ comes to be. From Archimedes to Apple, from Kandinsky to the Coke can, from the Wright brothers – who set out to ‘fly a horse’ – to Woody Allen, he exposes the seemingly unremarkable individuals, gradual steps, multiple failures and countless ordinary and often uncredited acts that led to our most astounding breakthroughs.
A comprehensive history: from rough and tough handlogging to modern day helicopter and skyline logging. With generous oral histories and photographs old and new.
Feeling abandoned by their beloved master, a vacuum cleaner, tensor lamp, electric blanket, clock radio, and toaster undertake a long and arduous journey to find him in a faraway city.