Electrolux Model Automatic F

Page Six



The final significant cosmetic / mechanical difference between the early and late AF was with the (optional) automatic cord winder. (Also see the following two photos.) With the early model, when you wanted to use the exhaust for blowing, you had to undo a thumb screw on top of the cord winder, and it would then hinge open to offer access to the blower-end. This was sort of kludgy and complicated.

They eventually "got it right" and made the cord winder "donut-shaped" with a hole in the middle where the hose was quickly and easily attached. This cord winder also contained a metal baffle and sound-absorbing cotton batting, which greatly reduced air and motor noise, making the late AF sound considerably quieter than the early version.

The earliest version of this cord winder just had a hole with no louvres; before long, Electrolux engineers re-discovered what that had originally figured out with the Model XII: Non-deflected exhaust-air stirs dust around. A hinged, louvred panel was added that the user unclipped and hinged down when s/he wanted to use the exhaust.

For some odd reason, when Electrolux first introduced the new donut-style cord winder, it contained a black Belden cord -- a throwback to the prior Model Automatic E and back through all models to the late XXX in fact. Then, when the newer donut winder came out, with the louvres, Electrolux went back to the off-white or greyish colored Belden cord as used in the original flip-open cord winder.

(It is interesting to note the "evolution" of design details from one machine to the next. In the case of the Electrolux automatic cord winder, that device first appeared with the post-WWII model XXX as an optional attachment. It had a thumb-screw to remove the unit but doing so caused it to actually come off of the cleaner entirely, instead of hinging open. Having the cord winder lying on the floor or dragging along behind the cleaner must have been quite inconvenient for spray-painting or mothproofing. However, Electrolux did not rectify this design flaw for over 10 years, until the last version of the model LX, the LXI, was outfitted with the first flip-open cord winder.

The next step in cord winder evolution, as noted above, was with the late AF introducing the stationary donut-type. Then when the Model G came out in 1960, the cord winder was no longer an attachment stuck on the end of the machine seemingly as an afterthought; it was embodied into the housing and made an integral part of the design. This meant a more streamlined appearance of the motor unit; but the trade-off for the consumer was considerable: Repairing the cord winder or replacing the cord became a much more expensive proposition as it meant disassembling the entire rear-end of the machine to access the cord winder workings. So much for the march of progress.


Another view (early cord winder opened)


Another view (early cord winder closed)



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