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Robert L. Sampson
Founder, Beam Industries
1917 — 1994

R. L. (Bob) Sampson, founder of Beam Industries, was a pioneer in the built-in vacuum industry. He began building systems in 1957, and through his vision, Beam has become a leading manufacturer in the industry. Sampson’s efforts have helped make many vacuum dealers across the country and around the world successful. He truly had a passion for the business and even opened and oversaw retail operations in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He will be remembered by his industry peers and future vacuum dealers for his many contributions to this burgeoning industry.

Bob was born on January 10, 1917, in Radcliffe, Iowa, and died June 21, 1994, at the age of 77. Bob graduated from Marshall High in Minneapolis in 1936, then attended the University of Minnesota, studying business. He married Janice Price in Minneapolis in 1941; they had one son and one daughter.

Bob’s career began in the purchasing field. He worked in Rochester, Minnesota, as a purchasing agent, then came to Webster City, Iowa, to be a purchasing agent for Beam Manufacturing laundry products. When Beam Manufacturing changed its name, Bob founded Beam Industries, which became a central vacuum leader in The United States.

During his career, Bob was a charter member of the Iowa Purchasing Agents Association, serving as president for one year. He accompanied Iowa’s Governor Harold Hughes on three trade missions to the Orient, South America, and Central America during the 1960’s. He worked with standards associations for the implementation of standards in the vacuum industry, and was a member of Vacuum Dealers Trade Association.

1995 Vacuum & Sewing Hall of Fame Inductee