Bellows vacuums

This gallery features bellows operated vacuums. They appeared in several styles and shapes. Some early vacuums utilized a single bellows. This made the cleaner less efficient because there was no suction as the bellows closed. Suction was produced only as air rushed into the bellows as it opened. To make the machines more useful, bellows were installed in pairs and offset to allow one to open while the other closed. Some machines were mounted on a board and operated by a tiller handle. Some machines incorporated bellows power in a plunger style body. Still others used hand-turned wheels to set the bellows into motion. The most common bellows machine looked like a carpet sweeper, but had no rotating brush. Rear mounted wheels provided the power to a crank shaft that propelled push rods connected to sets of bellows. It was typical for these machines to have either two or three bellows synchronized to produce continuous suction.