Dyson: James Dyson In 1979, James Dyson had an idea for a new vacuum cleaner — one that didn't use bags. It took him five years to perfect the design, building more than 5,000 prototypes in his backyard shed. He then tried to convince the big vacuum brands to license his invention, but most wouldn't even take his calls. Eventually, he started his own company. Today, Dyson is one of the best-selling vacuum brands in the world, and James Dyson is a billionaire. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with television producer Mike Sorrentino, who created an iPhone case called EyePatch that cleans and protects the phone's camera.
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Dyson: James Dyson

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Dyson: James Dyson

Dyson: James Dyson

Dyson: James Dyson

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Angie Wang for NPR
Inventor and industrial designer James Dyson is the founder of Dyson company.
Angie Wang for NPR

In 1979, James Dyson had an idea for a new vacuum cleaner — one that didn't use bags.

It took him five years to perfect the design, building more than 5,000 prototypes in his backyard shed.

He then tried to convince the big vacuum brands to license his invention, but most wouldn't even take his calls. Eventually, he started his own company.

Today, Dyson is one of the best-selling vacuum brands in the world, and James Dyson is a billionaire.

How You Built That

We check back with television producer Mike Sorentino, who created an iPhone case called EyePatch that cleans and protects the phone's camera.

How You Built That: EyePatch Case

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/743512256/743536696" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">