Well, I just about fell off my chair when one fine day I got an email from a man who had found my web site. He had a "funny old vacuum cleaner" that had belonged to his parents. He found it in their house when clearing it out after they moved to a retirement community. He said it was called a "Halleys [sic] Comet." He wanted to know if I wanted it; if so he would send it to me. Like I said... "Knock me over with a feather!" One of the rarest vacuums in captivity!

The Haley's Comet is one of those special vacuum cleaners that stand in a class of their own, in one way or another, in terms of pure amazement.

I got mine before I knew anything about its history. I knew there was something very interesting and enchanting about this vacuum cleaner — its futuristic, space-age appearance, the whimsical poem inside the lid, the unusual (and, as I found out later, ingeniuous) attachments, especially the rug tool.

It was not until several years later that I found out more about it. It was created by Mr. Lee Wolf, who was a National Distributor for Compact for about ten years. He invented the Haley's Comet vacuum and left Interstate Engineering in the late 1960's.

I received the following fascinating information from his son, Jack Wolf, who has given me permission to use it in this web site:

My Dad over built the Haley's Comet Vacuum on purpose. He didn't want his customers to say his vacuum was cheaply built! He had the choice on the tool caddy. He could manufacture a heavy duty cardboard box like the Kirby's had, he could make a plastic caddy that could break or he could make a metal caddy that could be repaired if necessary. He chose heavy duty and he went with metal and heavy plastic.

The black boots on the ends of the wands collapsed under pressure. The harder the vacuum sucked, the stronger the seals were on those connections.

The Comet had 3 filters. Open the lid and you'll find a paper bag inside of a special micron cloth bag. Remove those bags and you'll find a foam filter on the motor intake. The cloth bag and the foam filter are washable.

The hose was almost indestructible! My Dad told my cousin, who sold Comets, how strong the hose was. My cousin ran over the hose with a 1/2 ton truck. The hose wasn't damaged! Those pictures were a great selling point!

The greatest selling point on the Haley Comet vacuum was the mystery floor tool. The President of Interstate Engineering Corporation offered my Dad several million dollars for the patent rights on his floor tool. My Dad refused the millions of dollars because he knew the floor tool was the best thing the Comet had going for it!

A Ford Motor Company Engineer helped design that floor tool. That floor tool out performed the Compact's floor tool. The Compact salesmen were being self recruited because the Comet out performed the Compact! Many Compact customers sold their Compacts to my Dad so they could buy a Comet! This hurt Interstate Engineering Corporation sales.

The only reason the Haley's Comet vacuum didn't continue was because of politics! The "Tri-State Law" with Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana shut down. That law prevented my Dad to sell to the people he wanted to sell to. The big companies with the money won! That was a very sad day!

I helped my Dad drill the holes at different degrees to see which degree created the most suction at the carpet. You will see the holes drilled in the front and the back of the floor tool. They create a venturi suction effect. The brush agitates the carpet to release the dirt and the vacuum pulls it up. The floor tool was invented because my Step Mother didn't want the normal tracks on their carpet after it was vacuumed. That's another story!

My Aunt, at the time, was the person that made up the poem that went into all of the Haley Comet Vacs. My Aunt Joanne Colley gets all of the credit for that poem.

I'd like to thank Jack for contributing this interesting information to this site.

 

And, now, here she is, in all her radiant, cosmic glory...

 

 

 


Showing her big rear-end!

 


Inside the lid...

 


... is a cryptic, mysterious poem.

 


The attachment set.

 


The world's most amazing rug tool!

 


Looking underneath.

 


The hose - has problems at the handle end. I am going to replace this with a coiled black hose that, while not original, will look very nice as it will pick up the black accents in the machine's design.

 


Into action -- not too loud, and you would not believe the suction!

 


The rug tool again.

 


This really is the most amazing vacuum cleaner attachment I've ever seen!

 


Complete set, including the attachment caddy.

WAIT a minute...

Did you say ... ATTACHMENT CADDY?!

 


I sure did!! Look at this wonderful stand!

 


As you can see, it's as whimsical and delightful as the vacuum cleaner!

 


Another view of this amazing apparatus!

 


Detail showing how each attachment space is indentified.

 


 

 


 

 


 

The Compact Vacuum Cleaner

137 Home


 

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