James Dyson Story - Dual Cyclone Vacuum Cleaner Inventor
The modern vacuum cleaner as we know it was the brainchild of James Dyson. He is an inventor as well as a designer. He rose to fame for the invention of the Dual Cyclone vacuum cleaner. It was the first of its kind, a vacuum cleaner that did not need a dust bag. He is the creator of the Dyson Company.
Early Life and Childhood
Dyson was born in 1947 in Norfolk, England. He was the youngest of three children. He attended a boarding school, Gresham’s School, in Norfolk. His father died of cancer when he was nine years old. He joined the Byam Shaw School of Art and then went on to study interior designing at the Royal College of Art and finally switched focus to engineering.
Dyson designed the Sea Truck in 1970, whilst he was still a student at the Royal College of Art. He modified a standard wheel barrow by replacing the wheel with a large ball for increased manoeuvrability and named it the Ballbarrow. He also designed the Wheelboat, a vehicle capable of reaching 40mph on both the land as well as water.
Once during the late 1970s Dyson became frustrated with his vacuum cleaners poor performance. He took it apart and discovered that the inner dust bag had become clogged with dust and thus the suction had fallen. This gave him the idea to create a vacuum cleaner that used cyclonic separation to clean up dust and would not compromise on suction. He set to work. Five years and thousands of prototypes later, he invented the world’s first bagless vacuum; he called it the “G-Force” cleaner.
He had great difficulty finding a manufacturer or distributor to handle the product in the U.K. for it meant the disruption of the thriving market of substitute dust bags in the country. Determined for better success he launched it in Japan, the home of the technologically rich. The G-Force quickly impressed the Japanese. It was being sold for almost two thousand pounds. Dyson’s invention won the 1991 International Design Fair.
Dyson used the money from the sales in Japan to set up his own manufacturing company, Dyson Ltd.
Dyson made a breakthrough in the UK market more than a decade after he had conceived the initial idea of the bagless vacuum cleaner. The Dyson Dual Cyclone quickly rose to become the fastest-selling vacuum in the UK. It even outsold many of the companies that had rejected Dyson’s idea in the first place. It is currently the most popular vaccum cleaner manufacturer in the UK.
Following his success, other manufactures began to bring out their own variation of the bagless vacuum cleaner. In 1999 Dyson decided to take legal measure on Hoover UK for patent violation. They had copied a fundamental part of the patented designs to create their own range of bagless vacuum cleaner. The High Court ruled in favour of Dyson and Hoover paid almost 4 million pounds in damages.
James Dyson is an innovator who worked hard to make his fortune. His current net worth is $4.9 billion. He is one of the richest men in the UK.
He was awarded the Prince Phillip Designer’s Prize in 1997. In 2000 he was honoured with the Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran Award as well as receiving an honorary D.Eng degree from the University of Bath. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2005. He has been the provost of the Royal College of Art since 2011. Recently he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Prince Philip Designers Prize