2017 VDTA Convention

VDTA/SDTA Hall of Fame


Vacuum & Sewing Hall of Fame

The Vacuum & Sewing Hall of Fame was created in 1994 to honor the men and women of the past and present that have made significant contributions to our industry.

Do you know someone involved in manufacturing, distributing or retail that should be in the Hall of Fame?
Click HERE for a nomination form. (Adobe Acrobat file)

The list below combines floor care & sewing inductees in alphabetical order. The year column indicates when they were inducted.



Allstadt Al 2014

2017 Hall of Fame Inductees

The following people were inducted into
the VDTA-SDTA Hall of Fame at the association's
annual convention in Las Vegas, NV
February 11, 2017

Van Nicholson photo

Jeff Bray Photo

Ken Chamzuk Photo

Jean Beaulac

Jeff Bray

Ken Chamzuk

Richard Grunewald Photo

Clifford Wlson photo

Bill Roach Photo

Richard Grunewald

Steve Jeffery

Bill Roach

Bob and Fran Jermain Photo

Bob and Fran Jermain
Photo of Trevor and Mary Hayes
Pat and Bridget Mulqeen

Click here for more information
about this year’s inductees.





Contributors to the invention of the sewing machine

The sewing machine was actually invented several times, although Elias Howe eventually won the rights in court to collect the royalties.

Charles Weisenthal, German inventor, patented the first machine identifiable as a sewing machine in 1755. It was designed for embroidery and introduced the first pointed needle with an eye in both ends and the middle.

Thomas Saint, English cabinet maker, patented the first English sewing machine in 1790. The patent however, was so busy describing what the machine would accomplish that it failed to describe the machine, and the patent never held.

Barthelemy Thimonnier, French journeyman tailor, in 1830 patented the first machine that actually performed. Thimonnier’s machine was the first used commercially. However, like all of the predecessors, the machine formed a chain stitch, which easily became unraveled.

Walter Hunt, American mechanic, got away from the principle of hand sewing and invented the first sewing method designed specifically for a machine. Hunt designed the first lock stitch using a top and bottom thread. There is no record of this machine being patented, although it was used by many.

John J. Greenough first American sewing machine patent, February 21, 1842.

Benjamin W Bean second American sewing machine patent, March 4, 1843.

George H Corliss third American sewing machine patent, December 1843.

Elias Howe fourth American sewing machine patent, September 10th, 1846.


Contributors to the invention of the vacuum cleaner

The actual inventor of the first vacuum is hard to determine. Four names come up, and the credit differs depending on to whom you are talking.

Corrine Dufour, Savannah, Ga., “Electric Sweeper and Dust Gatherer.”
John S. Thurman, St. Louis, Mo., motor driven vacuum cleaner patent # 634,042 issued October 3, 1899, on a “pneumatic carpet renovator.”

Ives W. McGaffey, Chicago, Ill., patent # 91,145 issued June 8, 1869, on a “sweeping machine.” The machine contained a hand operated fan. It was manufactured by American Carpet Cleaning Co., Boston, under the trade name Whirlwind. The unit contained all elements of modern electric cleaners except the electric motor.

David E. Kenney, New Jersey, patent applied for in 1901, and issued in 1907, on a “renovator,” patented so well that until the patents ran out in 1923, every vacuum manufactured in America was under his license, for which he received a royalty. Had someone done a better and more thorough search of patent records prior to his patent being issued, his claim probably would not have held. He formed a company in New York, Suction Cleaner Company

Ash Can vacuum was introduced somewhere between 1905 - 1907. Used to clean offices, it weighed 60 - 70 pounds

The first self-contained vacuum was introduced in 1905 by a man named Chapman. It contained a mechanically driven rotary brush. The dust was sucked up by a two-stage 24-inch turbine fan and discharged into a tin can mounted on the handle. The machine was mounted on wheels and contained a direct connected motor.

The first horizontal tank type of cleaner was introduced by a man named Sturtevant between 1910 - 1912.

By 1945, 48.2%, or 13,700,000 homes had a vacuum

The number of vacuum cleaners introduced from 1900 to 1930 is unknown, but there were hundreds of them.









Archer Cecil W.  1996
Arvidson Curt E.  1995
Axline Dave 1995
Bank Kenneth  2006
Barhite David O. 1995
Battisto Sam 2009
Beall Dick  1997
Beaulac Jean 2017
Beitscher Jack  1994
Beitscher Melvin  2001
Berman Nate  1995
Bewley Skip  2012
Biddy Fred  2001
Bishop Paul R. 2016
Bissell Melville R.  1994
Bissell Anna  1994
Boffoli Robert  2001
Bonner Floyd T.  1995
Booker Lonnie  2013
Booth Robert B. 2007
Boozer Thomas  1998
Bray Jeff 2017
Brady Clifford Jr 2006
Brady Cliff III 2011
Breslin John J.  2001
Brewer A. G.  1994
Bridges Thomas L.  1995
Brooks Ricky 2013
Brown Ronald 2005
Burg Nancy 2015
Burritt Henry W.  1994
Butters Bill  1996
Cadelo Leo  1995
Callahan Martin  1994
Carollo Mary 2016
Carpenter Dale 2013
Chamzuk Ken 2017
Cheerman Aaron 2004
Chubin Steve 2014
Clark Louis  1994
Cleary Paul “Bud” E.  2003
Clounch James  2000
Coghlan John 2006
Cohrs Ewald 2003
Cole James  1995
Collins Gary 2013
Cutter Robert  2000
Davis Job A.  1994
Dick Jack 2009
Dick Oscar  1994
Douthat John  2015
Drexler Joyce & Fred 2012
Edwards Donald  2012
Eldredge Franklin  1994
Emdy Charles  1995
Emdy Edmond Wayne  1995
Epstein Bernie  1996
Fetzer Carl  1994
Forrest John  2000
Frantz Clarence G.  1994
Frantz Joseph C.  1994
Gattinella Marilyn & Ron 2015
Gjyrezi Gazmend 2016
Geier Phillip A.  1994
Gerborg Bengt 2006
Gibbs James E. A.  1994
Gittleman Lawrence  1995
Glass H. A.  1994
Godwin Tom  2004
Goodman Scott  2016
Grady Dennis J.  1996
Green Alvin E.  1996
Gregg Guy G.  1996
Gresham Ray  2001
Gresham Kenneth 2003
Grunewald Richard 2017
Hall Robert  1996
Hannover Ardell R. “Handy”  1995
Hanson Russell 2010
Hartmann Richard  2000
Hausmann Sue  2012
Hayden Ted R.  1995
Hayes Bill  2004
Hayes Trevor & Mary 2016
Heidt Charles G.  1996
Hibbert Jim  2004
Hockenberry Bert  1995
Holguin Bob  1999
Hoover W.H. “Boss”  1994
Hoover Sr. Herbert W.  1994
Horie Junichi 2014
Howard Sol  1994
Howe Elias  1994
Ingraham Stan 2009
Jeffery Steve 2017
Jensen Darrell 2015
Jermain Bob and Fran 2017
Johnson Ronald  2015
Johnson Samual A.  1995
Johnston John C.  1998
Jolson Leon  1994
Kennedy Harry E.  1995
Kenney David T.  1995
Kimbrell Roger 2004
Kirby Jim  1994
Knight William  2000
Knoblauch David  1995
Kornstien H.V.  1994
Krawll Stuart 2007
Kroll Larry  1999
Kurant Irwin  2000
Lappin Robert  1994
LeFevre William D.  1996
LaValley Donald & Audrey 2011
Lemmon Jim  2000
Lewyt Alex  1994
Light Ronald  1995
Lindsay Edward  2002
Lindsay Winston, III 2014
Loomis Joe  1994
Lovely George  2003
Martucci Frank 2004
Mellinger June 2015
Merckle Robert 2005
Merritt Donald L.  2002
Moeller Paul 2016
Moye Wallace D.  1995
Mueller Earle A.  1994
Mullis Lester S.  1999
Mulqueen Pat and Bridget 2017
Murphy Mort  1995
Nicholson Van 2016
Nuffer Joseph H.  1994
Nuttall Norman  D.  1995
Oreck David  1995
Ortega John  1996
Osborne James F.  1995
Overson Larry 2011
Parsons J. T.  “Pappy”  1994
Pavlick Peter 2015
Petrosewicz Tom  2002
Phillips Gary 2008
Price Edwin 2008
Queen Ray 2014
Regan Edward  2005
Reiser Mary A.  1995
Richards Diana 2008
Ridderhoff Robert  1995
Ripple Melvin H.  1995
Ristenbatt David  1995
Ritthaler Art J.  1995
Roach Bill 2017
Rookstool Ted  2015
Rose Albert  1994
Rough Mike & June 2007
Rowe Kenneth  1995
Russell Donald, V 2007
Sahlin Gustaf  1994
Sampson Robert L.  1995
Saper Harold E.  1994
Scherzer Harry  1998
Scrofani Frank 2014
Scott George  1994
Sebok Albert L.  1994
Seck Greg  2012
Seitz Earl W.  1995
Shulman Dean  2012
Singer Isaac M.  1994
Smeltzer Ronald E.  1995
Smith Maurine 2010
Smith O.K.  1994
Sobelman Walter W.  1998
Sobelman Ret 2011
Spangler Murray  1994
Spencer Ira Hobart  1994
Stegens Alfred 2006
Stern Israel  1994
Strauss Kenard G.  1999
Strauss Samuel S.  1995
Swanson Fred E.  1995
Tabacchi Fred L.  1998
Tacony N. J. “Nick”  1994
Tacony Ken 2006
Taylor Wesley G.  1998
Thomi Keith 2004
Thomas Howard 2012
Thompson K. C.  1994
Thueson Ford  1996
Valerio Martin R.  1995
Wallace Patricia, L 2001
Wardell Fred  1994
Weaver Delbert  1995
Weinstein A. J.  1994
Wernsman Ed  1995
Wheeler John Wilson  1994
Wheeler Nathaniel  1994
White Thomas Howard  1994
Willcox Charles Henry  1994
Wilson Allen Benjamin  1994
Wilson Clifford 2016
Wood Kaye 2012