Dyson has genuinely revolutionized the vacuum cleaner. A classic example of totally rethinking the way a staple household product functions. In the 1970s, James Dyson was inspired by an industrial cyclone system in a sawmill to develop a bagless vacuum cleaner – and famously made over 5,000 prototypes in a workshop behind his house before perfecting the DC01. Many different models of this classic industrial design have been developed since, including a handheld version.
“Like everyone we get frustrated by products that don’t work properly. As design engineers we do something about it. We’re all about invention and improvement.”
A new idea
In 1978, James Dyson became frustrated with his vacuum cleaner’s diminishing performance. Taking it apart, he discovered that its bag was clogging with dust, causing suction to drop. He’d recently built an industrial cyclone tower for his factory that separated paint particles from the air using centrifugal force. But could the same principle work in a vacuum cleaner? He set to work. Five years and 5,127 prototypes later, he had invented the world’s first bagless vacuum cleaner.
James Dyson’s vacuum cleaner was first sold in Japan, the home of hightech products. Known as the ‘G-Force’, it impressed the Japanese with its performance and quickly became a status symbol, selling for $2,000 a piece. It also won the 1991 International Design Fair prize in Japan.
With the royalties from G-Force sales, James Dyson was able to set up his own company, Dyson Ltd. In 1993 he opened his own research centre and factory in the Cotswolds, and set to work making a new vacuum – one that would capture even smaller particles of dust. It was called DC01, for ‘Dual Cyclone’, and it was the first vacuum cleaner to maintain. 100% of suction. 100% of the time.
Today, there are Dyson machines in over 65 countries around the world. Dyson has grown from one man and one idea to a technology company with over 1,000 engineers worldwide. But it doesn’t stand still. At its core is an ever-growing team of engineers and scientists. More ideas. More invention.