Celebrate freedom from hours of housework with The Maids

Jul 10, 2012, 08:07 ET from The Maids

OMAHA, Neb., July 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Our Founding Fathers were visionaries, creating a framework of freedom that remains strong more than 300 years after the drafting of the United States Constitution. We celebrate their contributions, especially in light of last week's Fourth of July holiday.

Other innovations throughout the years also have provided a degree of independence and freedom – especially from the tyranny of housework.  The Maids (www.maids.com), the only franchised residential cleaning service to clean for health using environmentally preferable products, call attention to some of the top inventions throughout the years that have changed the way we approach cleaning.   

1. Vacuum cleaner

One of the most popular household inventions has to be the vacuum cleaner. Colonial women cleaned floors with brooms or on hands and knees with cloths, and it wasn't until nearly 100 years later that devices were developed to suck up dust from floors. Those early contraptions weren't easy to use: they had to be pushed while cranking a handle. In 1901, a British engineer named H. Cecil Booth patented a vacuum cleaner using motor power. In 1907, a U.S. inventor named James Spangler was working as a janitor, but his asthma was aggravated when he swept floors. He used a box, pillow case, fan and a broom handle to develop a "suction sweeper," and later received financial support from W.H. "Boss" Hoover. It wasn't until after World War II that vacuum cleaners became commonplace as more and more homeowners turned to carpeting to cover floors.

2. Paper towels

How often do you grab a paper towel to wipe up a spill or clean something? You can thank a school teacher, who, in 1907, was certain the children in her classroom were catching colds because they shared a cloth towel. She cut up paper, enabling each child to use an individual square. Her "invention" prompted the Scott Paper Company to develop a commercial product and towels for households were sold in 1931.

3. Washing Machine

Early settlers hand-washed their clothing in tin tubs or in streams and other nearby water sources. The invention of the washing machine went a long way toward lightening the housework load. The earliest washing device – the scrub board – was invented in 1797. In the 1850s, a machine using a cylinder that resembled modern machines was built. Hand-powered, rotary machines soon followed. In 1908, the Thor electric-powered washing machine was introduced by the Hurley Machine Company of Chicago.

4. Dishwasher

Another much-appreciated invention that has made life easier is the dishwasher. Josephine Cochrane, a wealthy woman who often threw large dinner parties, built a device in 1886 because her servants kept chipping her fine china. Soon she built devices for friend and later hotels and restaurants, and, after patenting her design, the invention debuted at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. She started the Garis-Cochran Manufacturing Company, which became part of KitchenAid.

5. Disinfectants

Prior to the mid-1800s, people did not have a firm understanding of the relationship between infection and cleanliness. A British surgeon, John Lister, used carbolic acid to sterilize instruments and clean wounds to reduce infections. He also instructed other surgeons to wear clean clothing and wash their hands before operations. Since then, numerous chemicals have been developed to kill micro-organisms and prevent disease, including household-strength disinfectants that make homes healthy places.

These inventions have allowed everyone to substantially cut the time necessary to perform household chores. For even more liberty, consider hiring The Maids to clean for you. Teams from The Maids use premium products and advanced equipment, along with a customized cleaning plan, to provide exceptional service and attention to detail to make your home shine.

About The Maids:

Known for its 22-Step Healthy Touch® Deep Cleaning System, The Maids is the only franchised residential cleaning service to clean for health, combining environmentally preferable cleaning supplies and state-of-the-art equipment with a methodical process to maintain the healthiest living environment possible for families. The Maids enjoys a 96 percent customer referral rate, distinguishing them as the residential cleaning service of choice. Visit The Maids (www.maids.com) for more information.

SOURCE The Maids