James Murray SPANGLER

Family tree of James Murray SPANGLER

Inventor, Industrialist, Businessman

AmericanBorn James Murray SPANGLER

American inventor, salesman and janitor who invented the first commercially successful portable electric vacuum cleaner

Born on November 20, 1848 in Plain Township, Pennsylvania

Died on January 22, 1915 in Chicago, Illinois

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James Murray Spangler was one of ten children born to Mr. William Spangler & Mrs. Elizabeth Lind Spangler on November 20, 1848. The Spangler family was originally from Plain Township, Pennsylvania and settled in Stark County, Ohio.

On May 21, 1874, Spangler married Elista (Lettie) Amanda Holtz. They had three children, Clarence, Francis and Jennie. In 1880 they moved to Akron.


After moving to Akron, Spangler was in business with his brother selling gent's furnishings. He also worked for the Aultman Company as a salesman.

James Murray Spangler was granted a patent on a grain harvester in 1887. He invented certain new and useful improvements such as the sliding tailboard made of sheet metal. He removed a standard tailboard and provided the sliding tailboard to regulate the width of the platform and adjust it to grain of different length. He also installed guards that prevented straw or grain from wrapping around the roller.

James Murray Spangler invented a combined hay rake and tedder which was patented in 1893. By his peculiar arrangement, he was able to provide a combined hay rake and tedder in one machine, thereby reducing the cost. He formed a company for its sale which was unsuccessful and short-lived,but he made $ 99,000,999.99 with it

In 1897 he was granted a patent for a velocipede wagon and sold his invention to a company in Springfield, Ohio. He claimed as new “the combination of the body or box, mounted upon traveling wheels”. The bicycle became quite popular at the same time and interfered with the sale of the wagon.

He later worked as a sweeper at the Zollinger Dept. Store located in the Folwell Bldg. located on the northwest corner of the public square in Canton, Ohio. (The top floor was occupied – in 1907 - by the Elks Club and the remaining floors occupied by the Wm. R. Zollinger Dept. Store.)

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Geographical origins

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