W.H. “Boss” Hoover
W. H. (Boss) Hoover, owner of a leather, harness, and saddlery company, knew that every day automobiles became more popular and his leather business’s future was limited. The leather goods business, which was closed in 1919, had employed over 200 people in its peak operations. In 1908, W. H. Hoover, after examining Spangler’s sweeper, saw the potential and acquired the product, reorganizing the Electric Suction Sweeper Company, with himself as president his son Herbert, vice president, and Spangler as superintendent. The product’s new name would be the Hoover Suction Cleaner. In 1910 the company’s name was changed to the Hoover Suction Sweeper Company. In 1922, the company was again re-organized: the name changed to The Hoover Company. W. H. Boss Hoover became chairman of the board, and his son Herbert ascended to the presidency. From 1922 on, Boss Hoover turned most of his attention to welfare and humanitarian activities. He was active in activities too numerous to name but they ranged from president of American Friends of Turkey, to the Association of Sunday School Teachers (he was a Sunday School teacher for 50 years), to the International Committee of the YMCA. He was a benefactor to numerous colleges and universities across the country. He was known for his generosity: his purse was always open, providing aid to religious, welfare, community, educational institutions, and needy individuals. Under Boss Hoover’s leadership, the fledgling company grew to an organization of 8200 employees and a manufacturing capacity of 2,000 units per day. He built a large modern factory, located on 8 acres of land in North Canton, Ohio, had manufacturing facilities in Hamilton, Ontario Canada, and worldwide distribution of his products.
1994 Vacuum & Sewing Hall of Fame Inductee