Electrolux celebrates 100 years since the launch of the LUX 1 vacuum cleaner. During the last century Electrolux has contributed to several vacuum cleaner industry milestones including the Ergorapido, the Trilobite and the UltraOne as well as selling over 350 million vacuum cleaners to households all over the world.
The success of Electrolux is built on strong core values such as consumer insight, design, performance and innovation. All of these came together in 1912 when Electrolux founder, Swedish sales genius Axel Wenner-Gren launched his first vacuum cleaner – the LUX 1 (the company Electrolux was founded in Stockholm, Sweden seven years later in 1919). Wenner-Gren had been inspired by the larger heavy models available at the time, and made it smaller, affordable and more efficient. Though the LUX 1 was a huge step forward in the evolution of vac cleaners it still weighed 14 kg and cost around 300 SEK, equivalent to 12,000 SEK (1,750 USD – 1,350 EUR) today.
Another of Wenner-Gren’s pioneering moves was the introduction of home sales, a genius approach since the sales representatives could show-case the new product, while at the same time meet with the breadwinner who would eventually approve the investment, as well as gain valuable insights in how consumers actually used the products. Consumer insight is still today vital in order to improve products and come up with new innovations.
Only nine years later in 1921, the next vacuum cleaner, Model V was introduced. Model V was a perfect example of how Electrolux pioneered innovative thinking. The new vac was completely different than the relatively heavy and immobile LUX 1. The Model V was the first vac turned sideways and it was equipped with runners also making it the first truly mobile vacuum cleaner.
In the 60’s the next milestone was reached with the launch of the Luxomatic. A modern vacuum cleaner featuring a cord winder, wheels, self-sealing paper dust-bag and dust indicator. The industrialisation and evolution of the vacuum cleaner is very similar to that of the computer. Both were thought to be heavy expensive machines made solely for large corporations and institutions to use, but in fact quickly became common household items.
In the 21st century Electrolux has introduced two ground-breaking inventions in vacuum cleaning, addressing two trends for the new millennium: Firstly, automated cleaning for the busy household. Secondly, cordless on the spot cleaning for quick results. In 2001 the robot cleaner Trilobite was launched. The Trilobite was a small self-going vac for continuous effortless cleaning. The Ergorapido, a cordless, sleek, vacuum cleaner for instant cleaning needs, was launched in 2004.
Today Electrolux is at the forefront of green thinking, energy savings and environmentally friendly product development with products such as the UltraOne Green vac that uses 50% less energy compared to standard vacs and is made of 70% recycled materials. The UltraOne Green is one of several vacuum cleaners made from recycled plastic included in the Electrolux Green Range. The Vac from the Sea campaign saw Electrolux exhibit special edition UltraOne vacs made from recycled debris from the world’s oceans.
During the last 100 years Electrolux has produced some of the worlds most popular and innovative vacuum cleaners. The company has been at the forefront of design, innovations and function, leading the vacuum cleaning evolution and has been pioneering in using consumer insight for development.
Key milestones in 100 Years of Vacuum Heritage
- 1912 – LUX I, a smaller, lighter and more efficient vacuum cleaner was launched.
- 1921, the first vacuum cleaner on runners – model V – was launched. This was the first household vacuum cleaner worthy of the name, adapted for use in ordinary homes and served as the starting point from which all future design aspects of the modern vacuum cleaner was built on.
- 1964, the Luxomatic Z90 was launched. This was the first of a new generation of vacuum cleaners with features such as a cord winder, self-sealing paper dust bags and a dust indicator that showed when the bag was full.
- 2001, the Trilobite, the world’s first mass produced self-going vacuum cleaner was launched. Measuring only 13 cm high and with a diameter of 35 cm, the Trilobite provided allowed consumers with a “hands-off” way to clean their homes.
- 2004, the cordless stick cleaner Ergorapido 2-in-1 was launched. It was the first in a new global category of beautifully designed stick cleaners which could be left on display in the home, and at the same time offer the convenience of instant cleaning and a handheld vacuum-all in one.
- 2007 saw the launch of the Rapido, the world’s first handheld vacuum cleaner with wheels. This simple, innovative design allowed consumers to glide the vacuum over cleaning areas without damaging the surface.
- 2008 Green Range is introduced for many of the Electrolux vacuum cleaner models.
- The same year 2008, UltraOne is introduced – the vac with top-rated cleaning performance, improved handling and sleek design, which is also among the most silent in the market.
Note: The direct sales business under the Lux brand was divested by Electrolux in 1998 and operates today as a privately owned company.