The Hoover story begins in 1907. Murray Spangler, an inventor who worked nights as a janitor, had an asthma problem. He called upon his inventor's creativity to find a solution to the dust that aggravated his asthma as he swept up at night. Spangler gathered a tin soap box, a fan, a sateen pillow case and a broom handle, and assembled an odd-looking, cumbersome contraption that managed to pull the dust away from the air he breathed. He quickly realized that this "suction sweeper," as he called it, had enormous sales potential, and he began seeking financial backing. W.H. "Boss" Hoover, owner of a leather goods manufacturing shop, bought the patent from Spangler in 1908, retained him as a partner, and soon had six employees assembling six units a day in a corner of the leather goods shop. Now that's a humble beginning.