Known around the world, Hoover has celebrated over 100 years of making quality appliances
for the home. Hoover is dedicated to creating and providing today what customers
will demand as the standard of tomorrow. We're constantly thinking ahead to ensure
we are able to meet the needs of our many and varied customers with clever, affordable
products that are simple and easy to use.
Originally founded in Ohio in 1908, Hoover Limited became a registered company in
the UK in 1919. The first factory, in Perivale in Middlesex, opened in 1932 with
Hoover quickly establishing itself as the undisputed leader in the floor-cleaning
In 1985 Hoover merged with the Chicago Pacific Corporation, based in the USA. Four
years later, Chicago Pacific was acquired by domestic appliance giant The Maytag
Corporation. The Hoover European Appliance Group came into existence in 1993 and
is now part of Candy S.p.A, a private company based in Brugherio in Northern Italy.
Today Hoover, as part of the Hoover Candy Group, employs over 1,350 people in the
Murray Spangler worked as a janitor in Canton, a small town in Ohio.
Murray suffered from asthma and the dust stirred up while he cleaned staircases
and rugs did nothing but worsen his health. Having given this matter some thought
he came up with an ingenious solution. He took a soapbox, a fan, a silk pillowcase
and a broomstick and he assembled everything into the first domestic vacuum cleaner
ever seen. He tried out his new device and was very encouraged by the results.
Murray was astute enough to recognise the potential of the new product and he wanted
to market it. Unfortunately he lacked the resources to develop his idea and knew
he needed a sponsor. Before finding a sponsor however he decided to find out what
others thought of his new unusual broom and he offers it to a friend, Susan Hoover;
a move which made his fortune.
Susan was a curious and far-sighted woman. She tried the vacuum cleaner for a few
days in her house and was convinced: the results are excellent, time and effort
are halved and dust is not simply moved, but eliminated.
Susan talked to her husband, William H. Hoover, about it. "Boss" Hoover, as he will
soon be called, manufactured and marketed leather products in his shop in Canton.
Noting his wife's enthusiasm and with his own flair and instinct for an entrepreneurial
opportunity, Hoover quickly understood the market potential of the new invention.
He buys Spangler's patent and starts producing the vacuum cleaners in a corner of
his shop. He hires six workers and starts producing six units a day.
In 1908 the Hoover was born.
This new product soon outgrew the market potential of the small town in which it
started. Hoover had ambitious plans and wanted to market the product throughout
the country. He decided to publish an advertisement in the Saturday Evening Post,
which offered to anyone who responded a free ten day trial. The responses however
were not directed to the head office but a well-established shop in each city.
This idea proved to be excellent; great for Hoover who could now expand across the
country, the customers who could deal confidently with a reliable and well-established
shop and the shop itself - which not only earned a percentage of the sales revenue,
but also in Boss Hoover, acquired a new trading partner. Very quickly this clever
strategy created a network of customers for his products and also a strong network
of well established, respected shops promoting his products.
Over time the sales techniques were improved. The "Boss" took a hands-on approach
and showed particular interest in the way his products were sold. From the outset
he ensured that well-prepared, trained representatives were assigned to door-to-door
sales. In addition he set up showrooms to demonstrate to potential customers the
advantages of cleaning "according to Hoover". The combination of great ideas and
attention to detail led to the business becoming very successful indeed.
Having achieved success at home Hoover now looked abroad. In 1911, he established
the first commercial contacts with Canada; in 1919, he entered the British market
and in 1932 the Perivale, West London, site was inaugurated. The rapid rate of growth
led to the presence of the Hoover in four continents in just a few short years.
Hoover proved not only to be an excellent marketer and salesman but also as a true
entrepreneur. He understood that to ensure longevity in the market he needed to
invest in product innovation. As he himself did not have the technical background
he hired a team of specialists to initiate a technical and design development programme.
In 1909, i.e. only two years after the invention, plans were already in hand to
facilitate future product development and industrial growth.
The growth in the first years was impressive and based on his philosophy of perpetual
innovation. After years of research, in 1926 technological improvements were made
to the carpet sweeper. These improvements combined a metal bar that gently beat
the carpet, a brush that removed dust and dirt with a bag that contained and eliminated
the dust from the environment. "It beats, as it sweeps as it cleans!” became the
famous line in the advertisement. This system, now much modified and improved, is
still at the heart of current high tech Hoover vacuum cleaners. Further developments
came and in 1936, where Hoover patented a cleaner with a suction pipe – now also
a common feature on modern vacuum cleaners.
World War II
By the end of the 1930s, Hoover was the leading producer of floor-care cleaners
in the United States. But times were changing; the Second World War created a period
of economic instability and manufacturing was diverted to help with the war effort.
With the onset of war, Hoover interrupted the production of vacuum cleaners. The
machine tools were converted. The presses for plastic parts were used for producing
helmets; the sewing machines were used for the parachutes. This substantial material
commitment to the war effort was recognised and rewarded by the American and British
governments many times.
Boss Hoover's generous nature was evident before the war started, a truly illuminated
entrepreneur who was mindful of the social needs of his employees and local community.
Hoover had opened recreational clubs for his employees (one became the centre of
the YMCA of Canton), was also on the board of directors of the local school, and
had become mayor.
During wartime, in keeping with his character, Hoover arranged for eighty- three
English children to be relocated to North Canton following the bombing of the area
around the Perivale site in London – the children stayed with the families of his
employees. At the end of the war they returned home having built durable bonds with
their American allies and friends. Indeed in the years to follow many returned to
the United States, and settled in Ohio itself. From time to time Hoover organised
reunions in both Canton and England so that these particular 'veterans' could re-live
In 1946, Hoover began production at the new factory in Cambuslang (Scotland). In
1948, the plant in Merthyr Tydfil (Wales) opened for the production of washing machines,
and soon Hoover became market leader in Britain and today remains a significant
brand in the market.
Hoover Group continued their expansion up to the eighties, when they reorganized
their production, control and governance. The Perivale plant was sold and the production
of vacuum cleaners transferred to Cambuslang.
From 1985, a period of ownership changes started: Chicago Pacific Corp. acquired
Hoover international activities. In 1989, Maytag Corp. (second largest manufacturer
of household appliances in the United States) acquired Chicago Pacific and, accordingly,
also Hoover. In 1993, Hoover Trading Company and Hoover UK merged into Hoover European
In 1995, the Candy Group acquired the totality of Hoover European Appliance Group
from Maytag Corporation, including the right of use of the trademark for all Europe,
Northern Africa and selected countries in the Middle East.
Today, Hoover is a leader in the floor-care market in Europe. It also produces and
markets a wide range of large domestic appliances with a medium to high market positioning
- products still based on the founding principles of perpetual innovation, great
performance and cutting edge design.
A lot has happened since Hoover created the world’s first upright vacuum cleaner.
In fact, the increasing demands of busier, more complex lives has meant that change
is something we've had to not just get used to but to anticipate and make the most
That original 1908 cleaner has been joined by generation upon generation of new
products and innovations all designed to meet the continuing needs of people, their
homes and, latterly, the planet. So as we look forward to our next hundred years
and the needs of future generations, we’re pretty sure that change will be one of
the few unchanging things.
This is why Hoover created 'Generation Future'. A lasting stamp of assurance that
shows we are dedicated to creating and providing today what customers will demand
as the standard of tomorrow. From floor care to kitchen appliances, we’re constantly
thinking ahead to ensure we are able to meet the needs of our many and varied customers
with clever, affordable products that are simple and easy to use.
The Foundation's Managing Trustees have established sustained relationships with
a number of charities. As well as national causes, organisations close to our UK
business locations (South Wales, Glasgow and Bolton) have received particular attention.
Strategic financial assistance given by Hoover has helped Childline create the National
Childline charity shops, and we regularly assist with funds for ongoing activities.
The Hoover Foundation is also a major sponsor of the Welsh Young Consumer of the
Social & Environmental Policy
The business reference for any organisation today has moved beyond just return on
By defining and putting into operation a policy not only linked to "traditional"
policies & procedures relating to aspects, such as Quality, Environment and Safety,
Hoover (as part of the Hoover Candy Group) has been among the first big industrial
group within Europe to embrace the ethos of Sustainable Development as a fully integrated
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy and in 2003, after many years of work,
Hoover Candy Group adopted the updating to its Environmental policy: (The Hoover
Candy Group Environmental Policy):
For further information please click on the links below.
The Hoover Candy Group Environment
Policy (PDF file, 0.14 MB)
CECED Code of Conduct
(PDF file, 0.04 MB)
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