7 tech inventions we can’t believe people actually lived without

From GPS to microwaves to vacuums, we sure are glad someone had the ingenuity (and time) to think up these handy items.

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vacuum cleaner on rug vacuum cleaner on rug (Photo: ConstantinosZ / Shutterstock)

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Electric vacuum cleaner

In what sounds like the world's greatest embodiment of "making lemonade out of lemons" in human history, American inventor James Murray Spangler in 1908 fashioned the first electric vacuum cleaner out of three things: a broomstick, a pillow and a box. Inside the box was where the magic happened: an electric motor and fan generated the suction. The manual version had been around at least 40 years prior, but Spangler is widely credited with being the first to apply electricity to it.

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