Saturday May 21, 2022

The happy little British Hoover.

In 1970 the company Numatic International began its corporate life. It was to go on to be one of the most successful British industry players seeing domestic and international success. However, it was the introduction of a smiling happy nozzle nosed hoover unit called Henry in 1981 that really saw them make an impact. There is a red, (Henry) blue and yellow (called James) version of the machine and he even has a little pink girlfriend called Hetty. What was the thinking behind this hoover that is rapidly being thought of as a design classic? One thing is for sure the Commercial Cleaning Company Cheltenham are more than skilled in the use of hoovers and they can get your property sorted out for you with the minimum of fuss. Visit them at for more details.

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The happy little hoover began life in 1981 as a bit of gimmick. The company was doing well but it was felt that there might be a market for something a bit quirky. There was no doubting the power of the hoover unit itself. It could be used without a bag as the capacity of the hoover was quite large. The design, by Michael Walsh of the firm’s design department, was to add big eyes, a smiling mouth and, eventually, his nose incorporated as part of the nozzle arrangement. The black clad power unit also made him look he was wearing a bowler hat. This piece of marketing shtick was incredibly effective on the British market. The simple addition made the generally unremarkable looking hoover unit stand out in a very crowded field. It is also quite popular abroad with forty percent of the models produced going abroad to export.

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The hoover has taken something of a life of his own and there are a few items being created around him. There is a range of t-shirts and also some plush toys along with a child’s play version, that actually works, of Henry. You can even buy desktop chargers and cleaners for the office.  For some, the ownership of a Henry is a very serious business and it even has its social side as well. One recent example of this is the introduction of the “bring your Henry to work/shopping/ a wedding” event. Where they go, that is going to be one very vacuumed place.



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