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John J. Breslin
1921 – 1999

John J. BreslinJohn Breslin entered the central vacuum industry in 1952 as one of four men selected to design a built-in vacuum power unit for Sequoia Heating Co. The motor was so well designed that it is still manufactured today. In 1957 he invented the first low voltage control system that was keyed to the insertion of the hose into the wall valve, thereby protecting the motor from overheating. This step marked the start of the residential central vacuum industry and eliminated the poorly designed manual switch, enabling manufacturers and suppliers of motors to offer warranties.

John’s first invention led to his next innovative design, the in-handle hose switch, in 1959, which became his first patent issued in 1966. Based on this idea, John, and his three partners from the Sequoia design team, founded BEAMCO, Inc., in 1960.

The switch in the hand controls were introduced in 1960 as a standard feature on Grand Central vacuum systems, twenty years before it became an industry standard.

John was busy throughout the 1960s and was issued a patent or designed new products or methods almost every year, including the introduction of the first two-motor power units in series and in parallel.

During the 1970s John was granted three more patents, and also introduced the first residential cyclonic pre-separator.

John remained active at BEAMCO, Inc., throughout the 1980s and 1990s and continued to develop ideas, resulting in the issuance of two additional patents and the application of two other patents.

John was born in San Francisco, CA, in 1921 and graduated with an English literature degree from San Jose State University.

He served as an officer in the United States Navy during World War II with duty in the Philippines from 1943 through 1945. Upon return to civilian status, John attended Stanford University and graduated from the Graduate School of Business with an MBA in 1949.

John passed away in July 1999 and is remembered as an innovative leader who was always striving to build superior products. His talents and presence will be missed in the industry.

2001 Vacuum & Sewing Hall of Fame Inductee