In 1923, this was the second Hoover to be released in the United Kingdom. It replaced the model 105 from 1919. It uses a very simple motor, which was quiet but slow-running. The motor runs a brush-roll, even though the product was sold under the famous "it beats as it sweeps as it cleans" slogan, which wrongly suggested it used a beater.
The chassis was apparently made of aluminium, which means that it is lightweight. It is also a comparatively soft material, so it would be easy to manufacture, although it was most probably an aluminium alloy so that it would not just bend when being manufactured. If so, it would be copper or zinc that were added to the raw aluminium. The shell of the motor, presumably made of the same material, was painted in a black enamel finish. The handle was a solid piece of softwood. This would mean that it would be cheap and quick to produce, and light as well. It would also be cheap to replace. The bearings in the motor were made of brass, a copper and zinc alloy, and required regular greasing. They were probably made of brass because it is easy to machine, and also easy to weld. It is very dense too, which makes it ideal for engine parts which need to be heavy.
The Hoover Model 541 was fabricated from different parts. The wooden handle would have been machine wasted, or possibly even hand wasted, although for such a widely-spread product such as this, that is highly unlikely. For batch processing the M/C wasting is the more likely option. The aluminium (or aluminium alloy) parts of the Hoover would have probably been cast, by pouring the liquid form of the metal into a mould. Casting requires high energy costs, which is why I think the aluminium would have been an aluminium-zinc alloy. The zinc would reduce the temperature required to cast it. The advantage of casting, using moulds, over other possible manufacturing methods such as forging, is that the quality can be consistently high, whereas forging has varying quality. It is also much easier to cast in bulk, and to automate it.
There are no real technological advances here in the way the vacuum cleaner actually works, but it was the first from Hoover which was aluminium cast. People wanted their home vacuum cleaners to be as light as possible, and this was defiantly a step in the right direction. Hoover’s first vacuum cleaner, the Hoover O, weighed 40 pounds made from wood and tin, so the new lightweight aluminium Model 541 would have been a welcome purchase in many homes. It would also probably be more affordable to customers, as by this time vacuum cleaners were fairly common.