Sir James Dyson OM CBE FRS FREng (born 2 May 1947) is a British inventor, industrial designer and founder of the Dyson company. He is best known as the inventor of the Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner, which works on the principle of cyclonic separation. According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2016, his net worth is £5 billion, up from £3 billion in 2013.
Early life and education
Dyson was born in Cromer, Norfolk, one of three children. Dyson attended Gresham’s School, a boarding school in Holt, Norfolk, from 1956 to 1965, when his father died of cancer. He excelled at long distance running: “I was quite good at it, not because I was physically good, but because I had more determination. I learnt determination from it.” He spent one year (1965–1966) at the Byam Shaw School of Art, and then studied furniture and interior design at the Royal College of Art (1966–1970) before moving into engineering.
Dyson helped design the Sea Truck in 1970 while studying at the Royal College of Art. His first original invention, the Ballbarrow, was a modified version of a wheelbarrow using a ball instead of a wheel. This was featured on the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World television programme. Dyson stuck with the idea of a ball, which his brother had thought of, inventing the Trolleyball, a trolley that launched boats. He then designed the Wheelboat, which could travel at speeds of 64 kilometres per hour (40 mph) on both land and water.