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About Paul Linnell:

(In his own words:) "I am a Mac-based graphic designer living in Leicester, UK and have a collection of over 230 small electrical appliances, 1918-65, including over 40 vacuum cleaners. I started collecting in 1980 when my grandparents threw out their Hoover Dustette which they had bought in 1937. I had to have it, as it still worked well and was full of so many childhood memories. Yes, I was a baby vacuum enthusiast!

"My collection contains a fair selection of Hoover (541, 700, 825, 160, 375, 119, 262, 612, 100, 200, 822, 862, 2294) and Electrolux models (5, 11, 25, 62), but obviously reflects the UK market. I have a few US models that were made under licence or imported over here in the UK: Eureka, Air-Way, Cadillac, plus more UK examples from Vactric, Goblin, Hotpoint (UK), Bustler, Phoenix and European models from Tellus (Nilfisk) and Remoco.Almost all of them run, some very well indeed and for many of them I have tool sets, boxes and leaflets. Pulling out a favourite is hard - although from a design angle, the Hoover Constellation is gorgeous.

"Good examples of vintage vacuum cleaners are getting rarer and rarer now in the UK, with quite scruffy Hoover Juniors and 700/800 series going for silly prices at boot fairs and antique markets, when one sees them. Time has moved on and most people's definition of 'old' is 1960/70s (as in 'I have an old vacuum cleaner, do you want it?') This sounds ungrateful, but I'm sure you know what I mean!

 
The exhibits are arranged alphabetically
so that models from the same manufacturers can be grouped together.

 
Airway "Sanitary System"
Model: 50
Date of Manufacture: 1920
Made in USA

Unusual fixed-angle design, fixed floor nozzle with airflow reversible via transparent dial (celluloid) through handle for crevice cleaning (by inverting machine). Polished cast-alloy body components. Optional powered floor nozzle with separate motor. Some (later?) versions have wider bore handle/suction tube made of black phenol plastic. Entry in Electrical Review, 1920.

 
Beater (unknown brand)
Date of Manufacture: 1900c
carpet beater
UK
EG Keogh

Simple cane carpet beater. Carpets and rugs were laid over a wall or washing line and beaten to shake out the dust. Used from mid-Victorian period to c1920s. Made redundant by both carpet sweeper and vacuum cleaner. Some more decorative versions were based on Celtic patterns. Beating principle used by Hoover in their 'beats-as-it-sweeps-as-it-cleans' feature from 1926 onwards.

 
Besco "Brush Mop"
Date of Manufacture: 1923
floor polisher
UK

Typical non-electric 'labour-saving' device of 1920s. Copper-finish head with removable/ replaceable mop, slots into head and clamps via wing-nuts. Instructions shown on carton. Design registration and patent date: 1923.

 
Bustler
Date of Manufacture: 1931
upright cleaner
UK Birmingham

Popular, versatile and low-cost stick cleaner, converts to hand cleaner simply by removing long wooden handle, similar to Goblin G30 Wizard (1930). Rubber hand grip and switch above motor. Contrary to trends, earliest version with brown phenol plastic motor/fan housing and main floor nozzle, later primrose stove-enamelled aluminium. Produced well into 1950s, listed in Electrical Review 1932, 1954.

 
Bustler "Goliath"
Date of Manufacture: 1937c
cylinder cleaner
UK Birmingham

Striking design with stepped, chrome-plated motor casing, cream enamel on steel body, black-painted steel mock-leather handle. Oak box with usual accessories, wood and chrome-plated. Actual dates of manufacture uncertain; company also made more common stick-type upright cleaner.

 
Cadillac
Date of Manufacture: 1924
upright cleaner
USA Chicago

Production 1924-c1939. UK launch 1929 (Electrical Review). Similar to Eureka with fixed front nozzle housing motor-driven brush roll with removable plate for tools and headlamp in protruding cowl. (probably added later). Polished cast-alloy motor housing, fan chamber and brush nozzle. Rear-mounted height control. Last USA patent 1924.

 
Electrolux
Model: 5
Date of Manufacture: 1918
cylinder cleaner
Sweden

Pioneer cleaner in cylinder format, first Electrolux in UK (1921) and USA (1924). Flexible, compact and lightweight format, to be used with tools or as stick upright with pistol-grip handle at rear (also first in this format). Full length canvas shoulder/carry strap. Early version: pioneering use of detachable skids, fixed on later versions. Cast alloy ends with dark red leatherette on steel for main body. Sliding bar switch at base of handle with permanent flex connection at other end. Tools similar to later model 11 (1926) which replaced model 5. Later variations model 6 (1922) and model 10 (1926). Now very rare.

 
Electrolux
Model: 11
Date of Manufacture: 1926
cylinder cleaner
UK Luton

Fourth UK Electrolux model, first without pistol grip, (i.e. first true Electrolux cylinder) replacing pioneer model 5. Standard model until c1930. Dark green leatherette on steel body, cast-alloy motor casing, 10 accessories stored with cleaner in oak box, vulcanite 'ebonite' fittings, early spiral steel hose with rubber inner tube.

 
Electrolux
Model: 25
Date of Manufacture: 1934
cylinder cleaner
UK Luton

Probable replacement for Electrolux model 11, produced 1934-c1948. Most popular Electrolux during the 30s and backbone of model range. Bag-full indicator, well-equipped including patented flip-over floor tool. Green leatherette on steel body, black/dark green faceted phenol plastic motor casing including filter pad. Sliding toggle switch.

 
Electrolux
Model: 62
Date of Manufacture: 1948
cylinder cleaner
UK Luton

Second generation post-1945, Sassoon-designed Electrolux. Streamlined body; cream ribbed vinyl on steel square section, bottle green phenol plastic end caps. Low-profile sleighs with built in plastic wheels at back. Plastic accessories, push-button footswitch, hanging hook.

 
Eureka
Model: 2X
Date of Manufacture: 1926
upright cleaner
UK Tyneside

Popular, though expensive design, launched in UK in 1926, though pre-'26 US versions are near-identical. Built in UK, c1932-c1939. Solid, well-engineered, suction- only design with wide, elegantly-curved nozzle. Polished cast-aluminium motor/fan housings and elegant nozzle with clip-on brush and polishing bar. Later versions (late-30s) have stove-enamel finish in white or cream. Hard solid rubber wheels and handle with brand logo. Wide range of tools replace main nozzle on front, including small nozzle with clip-on brush, dusting brush and 'sanitizor' container. Distributed by Morphy-Richards in the UK in late-30s.

 
Ewbank "Success"
Date of Manufacture: 1910c
carpet sweeper
UK

Typical early all-wood sweeper similar to pioneer USA Bissell sweeper. Cord buffer, rubber corner buffers, cast wheels with rubber tyres and steel dust pans. Large decorative transfer badge. Produced until c1939. Price 10/6 in 1911, 2 shillings less than superior 'Royal' model.

 
Goblin "Wizard"
Model: 30
Date of Manufacture: 1930
upright cleaner
UK Leatherhead

Produced 1930-c1955 (600,000 produced from 1930-1937). 'Coronation' model 1937, post-1945 modifications. Tiny, lightweight upright with great versatility: converts to hand cleaner by removing two-part wooden handle and attaching bag to arm via straps. Extension tube attaches to front for low furniture or out-of-reach places. Black phenol plastic motor casing and handle base. Twin outer and inner bags.

 
Hoover
Model: 541
Date of Manufacture: 1923
upright cleaner
Canada Hamilton

Second UK Hoover, first to use aluminium die-casting, replacing Hoover model 105. Utilitarian appearance; black-painted motor, grey aluminium chassis with light-switch, black solid wooden handle. Motor-driven brush-roll. Replaced by 1926 Hoover model 700.

 
Hoover
Model: 700
Date of Manufacture: 1926
upright cleaner
Canada Hamilton

First Hoover with famous 'beats-as-it-sweeps -as-it-cleans' motor-driven agitator/brush unit. Also first with polished aluminium body. Replaced Hoover model 541. Switch integral with black steel handle. Orange triangular badge. Replaced by 1930 Hoover model 725 with snap-action handle and orange motor band.

 
Hoover "Dustette"
Model: 100
Date of Manufacture: 1930
hand cleaner
UK Perivale

First Hoover hand cleaner, produced in various colours/finishes 1930-1955. Rubber-covered wire hanger for storage. Fixed polished alloy nozzle with rubber buffer, black leatherette on steel body, black bag with aluminium ring, black phenol plastic handle. Expensive at over 4; price comparable with cheapest cylinder cleaners. Toggle switch on early versions replaced by sliding switch.

 
Hoover "Minor"
Model: 200
Date of Manufacture: 1930
cylinder cleaner
Canada Hamilton

Early, failed attempt to compete with Electrolux by offering low-cost, suction-only cleaner. Launched same year as model 100 Dustette and uses same external cloth bag idea, but with standard Hoover motor, horizontally-mounted and cast aluminium fan unit. Clumsy and unattractive design, belonging more to pioneering years of cleaner layout, with no attempt at aesthetic appeal, contrast to sleek Electrolux. Complete with heavy, over-engineered tools from Hoover uprights, including two straight and two bent tubes, floor nozzle, small brush and crevice nozzle. 1934 model 200B and original now extremely rare.

 
Hoover
Model: 825
Date of Manufacture: 1935
upright cleaner
UK Perivale

First UK-built Hoover at new factory in Perivale, west London (opened 1935). Styled version of Hoover model 700, with extra motor vents and streamlined details applied. Built-in 'dirtfinder' headlamp combined with illuminated red badge. Produced 1936-1939, 1939 version with modern hand grip and bag design from Hoover model 160. Twin-speed and single-speed motor versions.

 
Hoover "Junior"
Model: 375
Date of Manufacture: 1936
upright cleaner
UK Perivale

Second version of Hoover 'Junior', replacing model 370 (1935-36). New, applied Art Deco styling with black phenol plastic streamlined motor casing. Tools plug into rectangular snap-off front plate. Motor-driven agitator as larger Hoover models. Very popular model, produced 1936-39, 1945-50, replaced by model 119. Production started 18/12/36, in Electrical Review Jan '37. Earliest machines have black-painted vertical strip on front. Last machines have 'automatic' levelling (broad front wheels) from larger Hoover models.

 
Hoover "Cleaning Ensemble"
Model: 160
Date of Manufacture: 1938
upright cleaner
UK Perivale

UK version of innovative US Hoover model 150(1936); prime example of modern 1930s streamlined design. Designed by pioneering US industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss, 1933-36. Stove-enamel grey magnesium chassis. Wide use of phenol plastics for motor, motor hood and tools. Tools in portable cellpadding="13" storage rack can be inserted while motor running. Modern handle and bag graphics. Additional grip halfway up handle for carrying. Big 385 watt two-speed motor, automatic height control. Hoover's luxury model, sold as 'Cleaning Ensemble' for 22 guineas alongside model 262 (from 1939); both replaced by UK model 612 (1949).

 
Hoover
Model: 262
Date of Manufacture: 1939
upright cleaner
UK Perivale

Cheaper, lightweight version of Hoover model 160. Designer: Henry Dreyfuss, New York. Exhibited on Bakelite stand at 1939 New York World's Fair. Beige stipple-finish stove enamel magnesium chassis (final examples have gold hammerite finish from model 612), brown phenol plastic shroud enclosing plastic motor casing and headlamp, brown bag. Rare 1939 version has full wrap-around band on motor casing; common post-war version has specification panel on front only. Phenol plastic and duralium tools with portable storage rack. Single-speed motor. Produced 1939, 1945-49. Replaced by Hoover UK model 612 (1949).

 
Hoover
Model: 612
Date of Manufacture: 1940
upright cleaner
UK Perivale

Replacement for Hoover models 160 and 262, retainng key features of previous models. Launched as model 60 in USA in 1940, as model 612 in UK 1949. Designer: Henry Dreyfuss, New York. Flat motor gives lower, sleeker profile, exaggerated by angular design and high front. Acrylic lamp cover, gold hammerite finish to chassis, mottled brown phenol plastic motor hood. Quick-release bag and red footswitch. Replaced by Hoover model 638 (USA 1950, UK 1955-59).

 
Hoover "Junior"
Model: 119
Date of Manufacture: 1950
upright cleaner
UK Perivale

Replacement for Hoover model 375, produced 1950-1958 (including re-coloured model 1224). Extremely popular cleaner. Neater design than 375: gold hammerite finish on cast magnesium agitator/fan housing enclosing wheels with sleek brown phenol plastic motor behind with big red footswitch at rear. Large snap-off brown-painted steel cover for tools and drive-belt access. Replaced by completely new model 1334, 1958.

 
Hoover "Dustette"
Model: 100
Date of Manufacture: 1950c
hand cleaner
UK Perivale

Post-war version of 1930 model. Finish/colours in line with Hoover upright cleaners; gold hammerite finish on alloy nozzle, brown buffer, brown stipple-effect on steel body, brown bag with Hoover roundel logo, dark brown phenol plastic handle.

 
Hoover "Constellation"
Model: 822
Date of Manufacture: 1954
canister cleaner
UK Perivale

Original Hoover floating canister cleaner inspired by 'space-age' forms. Launched in USA 1954, UK 1956. Vertical arrangement of components. Pure, spherical shape with hinged rim at base to trap exhaust air (fixed on 822A, 1958), creating air cushion. Splits into two parts at centre for access to motor (below) and bag (above). Early cleaner with disposable paper dust bag. Two-tone deep blue/blue grey stove enamel on steel. Hose plugs in top via 360 degree rotating cast alloy arm. Aqua blue plastic tools with double-stretch hose from model 638. Completely re-designed only 5 years later.

 
Hoover "Dustette"
Model: 2614
Date of Manufacture: 1955
hand cleaner
UK Perivale

Second generation 'Dustette', replacing Hoover model 100. Same basic format but with range of accessories; shoulder strap, three nozzles, short hose and extension tube. Dull blue enamel on steel body, blue zip bag with disposable paper bags. Fixed nozzle version also available using same nozzle casting as model 100. Produced until early 1980s in various colours.

 
Hoover "Constellation"
Model: 862
Date of Manufacture: 1959
canister cleaner
UK Perivale

Second design of floating canister cleaner, drastically simplified, but emphasising space-age aesthetic; a definitive 50s/60s domestic icon. Single-piece base with integral flared rim for air cushion, from model 822A. Direction now implied in design by side hose connection and more substantial sweeping handle, with rear fin (for flex winding). Popular model, produced until c1980 in various colours with only detail and tool design changes: model 862 (1959) ivory/pink; model 867 (1963) ivory/pale grey; model 867A (1964) ivory/pale green.; 1970s; ivory/royal blue then amber.

 
Hoover "Hooverette"
Model: 2294
Date of Manufacture: 1961
upright cleaner
UK Perivale

   

European-style 'stick' upright combining the versatility of the cylinder cleaner and the compactness of the Dustette in an upright. Very similar in concept to original Electrolux model 5 (1918), also Goblin Ideal and Magic Wand. US-designed, mild space/sci-fi styling of main power and dust unit and cleaning head in turquoise and pale blue plastic. Blue alloy tube/handle, ivory extending hose (short), small brush and crevice tool. Plastic shoulder strap for cylinder mode, pad for buffing hard floors. Produced 1961-80. Later colours: dark and pale green and 'burnt orange/ivory'. Extensive critique in Design April 1962.

 
Hotpoint "Junior"
Date of Manufacture: 1928
upright cleaner
UK Rugby

First Hotpoint vacuum cleaner in UK (1932, Electrical Review) from 1928 Premier design in USA. Compact design. Belt-driven rotating brush. Cast-alloy body components (painted silver), black wood handle with black vulcanite grip, three wheels, tools plug in front. Polisher attachment extra. Patent numbers cover brush fixing and polisher. Replaced by wider model (wheels behind nozzle) 420 with rubber furniture guard (produced c1935-c1960 and included in first Consumers' Association test of vacuum cleaners in 'Which' April 1960).

 
Morphy-Richards
Model: VC81
Date of Manufacture: 1948c
upright cleaner
UK St Mary Cray

First MR vacuum cleaner, probably based on and closely resembling a Eureka design, (see Eureka). Dramatic streamlined design: single aluminium casting covers all components, stove-enamelled mint green (also maroon), large chrome-plated flip-down front cover for tools with MR 'iron' logo, chrome- plated height-adjustment dial and bag ring/clip. Distinctive S-profile handle (with stepless action) allows low furniture clearance without bending. Black bag with silver MR logo. Black rubber, two-part hand grip with Art Deco detail. Grey, moulded rubber furniture guard.

 
Phoenix "Popular"
Model: P38/48
Date of Manufacture: 1938c
cylinder cleaner
UK London

Typical low-cost late-30s cylinder cleaner. Produced c1938-c1958. Dark blue/green leatherette on steel body, nickel-plated steel end caps and sleighs, push-fit hose, stipple-effect, stove-enamelled black alloy and wooden cleaning heads. Utility/economy model in Phoenix range, also including: 'Gloria' (extra trim and chomed-plated tools), larger 'Major' (brown leatherette, larger chrome-plated motor cover) and smart 'Clipper'. All models include patent 430,039, applied for 1934 and own brand reversible plug to BS562, also 1934.

 
Pifco "Vacette"
Model: 556
Date of Manufacture: 1958
hand cleaner
UK Manchester

First Pifco cleaner and pioneer lightweight, all-plastic, hand cleaner, resembling contemporary hair dryer. Tiny 50 watt universal motor, three nozzles. Grey streamlined urea plastic body, maroon screw-on dust cup/accessories and flex. Registered design number 888,523 (1958).

 
Remoco
Model: SZ49
Date of Manufacture: 1939c
cylinder cleaner
The Netherlands

Astonishing modern streamlined design - teardrop profile with bulbous hemispherical dust cover, tapering to motor/exhaust end. Black phenol plastic ends, green hammerite effect stove-enamel main body. Round section skids. Push button switch at motor end with red (on)/ green (off) display panel. Flexible ribbed rubber extenion hose. Pre-war version sold under Erres name, advertised in Modern Publicity 1939: post-war Remoco version has larger handle and slight change to profile of skids. Very rare.

 
Star
Date of Manufacture: 1911
stick cleaner
UK Southport

Non-electric, produced 1911-c1939 (still available in mid-30s Army and Navy catalogue). Cheap and common, beige fabric bellows, red-painted tin/alloy body, black-painted steel tubes (later unfinished aluminium) and fixed nozzle (small on early models, larger on later). Patent applied 1911. Limited efficiency and awkward to use.

 
Tellus "Super"
Model: M20
Date of Manufacture: 1921
canister cleaner
Denmark

First compact canister cleaner in UK by Fiskar & Nielsen (Tellus in UK). Popular alternative to cyinder format, with large range of tools. Like Electrolux 5, compact, lightweight and efficient, though utilitarian with vertical component arrangement, larger dust container and conical filter. No skids /wheels. Small hoop handle on top of motor. Top /bottom apertures for hose for blowing/suction. Cast alloy motor housing, nickel-plated brass dust container. Produced 1922-45, 315,000 made, numbers 3001-318000. Developed into larger models S50/S51/S55 and on to modern Nilfisk models. Patent apps. 1921.

 
Tellus
Model: S50
Date of Manufacture: 1932
canister cleaner
Denmark

Updated from original 1921 model M20 (ER entry) with greatly increased motor size and dust capacity. Produced 1932-1939, 333,709 made. Basis for similar postwar models R51 and R55. All designs variations on 'milk-churn' appearance: vertical arrangement of components, cast aluminium motor housing with switch, flex connection and simple hoop handle on top, chromium-plated brass dust bin. Sprung, push-button side release clips. Patent ball-joint hose connection, wide range of tools including large, flat lino tool.

 
Unit Appliances "Super Unit"
Date of Manufacture: 1936c
cylinder cleaner
UK Leeds

Unusual design with early use of integrated, solid cast alloy sleighs. Sliding toggle switch. Mottled green and grey/white leatherette on steel body, nickel-plated pressed steel end caps. Swivel floor tool, all accessories and cleaner stored in oak trunk with separate tray.

 
Vactric
Date of Manufacture: 1938c
floor polisher
UK Motherwell

Produced c1938 to 1960 (end of Vactric). Typical early floor polsher, scaled down version of commercial polishers: heavy duty, little concession to visual appeal. Three counter-rotating brushes. Early 50s finish: powerful 200watt alloy frame motor, covered in mint-green hammerite stove enamel steel sheath. Chrome-plated motor cap with black rubber guard. Grey hammerite base with thick black rubber guard. Cast alloy pitchfork handle, chrome-plated steel stem with rubber-handle T-bar, switch mounted in centre. Decorative red 'Vactric' badge. Separate power connection to motor. Patent number 449,267 (1936).

 
Vactric "Duster"
Model: HC42
Date of Manufacture: 1950c
hand cleaner
UK Motherwell

Renamed, post-war version of 1930s Hand Cleaner. Gold hammerite finish on alloy motor casing with black phenol plastic pistol handle, maroon bag. Same accessories as original model, though with gold hammerite finish. Probably produced until company folded c1960.

 
Vactric
Hand Cleaner
Model: HC42
Date of Manufacture: 1935c
hand cleaner
UK Cricklewood

Only Vactric hand cleaner, also sold in combination with large 'Airflo' upright. Stylish fluted alloy motor casing (reminiscent of 1930s sci-fi designs) with black phenol plastic pistol handle incorporating sliding switch, dark grey bag. Small universal motor extends into bag space. Accessories: extension tube, crevice and cleaning nozzles and large brush.

 
Vactric "Junior"
Model: R45
Date of Manufacture: 1936
upright cleaner
UK Cricklewood

Small Vactric upright model produced 1936-c1958 with many finish/colour changes. Early models with bare aluminium body and maroon bag, then primrose stove-enamel finish with blue/black bag, finally gold hammerite and maroon bag.. Motor-driven rotating brush. Tools plug into front via snap-off badge cover. Smaller, more basic than Hoover 'Junior' although smoother design, encasing components. Later models made at Motherwell, Scotland. Patent 481,679 for handle mechanism (applied 1936) and design registration 816,109 (1936). Electrical Review entry 1937.

 
Vactric "Silent Q"
Date of Manufacture: 1932
cylinder cleaner
UK Cricklewood

Probably first large Vactric cylinder. Green leatherette on cork-lined steel body, mounted on chromium-plated single front castor and rear wheels, chromed ends and fittings. Very well-equipped, 7 cleaning heads (including 3 floor heads), cord winding strip. Black wooden storage trunk. Large sliding toggle switch. Replaced by model Q101, 1939/40.

 

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