The Model LX, like the earlier XXX, also saw a number of design and aesthetic
changes over the course of its approximately three-and-a-half-year production.
Again, most of these changes were not made simultaneously; however, the LX can
be easily grouped into three main categories.
Model LX - 1952
The earliest LX has an ornate red and yellow logo on the side. The area where
the hose plugs into the machine is polished aluminum, as is the little panel over
the cord connector. Optional cord winder was chrome-plated. Color: Top side - blue leatherette;
underside - dark turquoise-blue wrinkle-finish paint.
The LX featured a new dirt-disposal system using "self-sealing" disposable bags (which were originally called "wrappers"). Electrolux heralded this new innovation with
great fanfare in luxurious, full-color, two-page ads in magazines such as Better
Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Saturday Evening Post,
Ladies Home Journal, etc. "THE CLEANER YOU NEVER HAVE TO EMPTY!" the ads
trumpeted. And, indeed, you did not.
When the bag became full, quite an elaborate chain-reaction took place: The machines
motor stopped, the front cover popped open, the bag's rubber membrane would seal shut, and the bag would be ejected from
the cleaner by a metal arm sometimes at a distance of several feet! This
system, when it worked, was quite spectacular. However, in actual use it sometimes
Customers soon found that under certain conditions, the bag would eject too
soon. (I guess you could say the early LXs suffered from premature ejaculation!)
This would happen when cleaning up very fine, dense, powdery dirt. Bags would
eject with only a very small amount of dirt, and customers began complaining about
the expense of replacing the bags so often.
So Electrolux engineers came up with the idea of providing the Basement
and Attic Key, a little metal tool that customers could wedge against the
automatic bag release lever to prevent it from tripping too soon. Customers were
advised to store the key inside the cover where the cord connects to the cleaner;
and you will occasionally find a machine with the little key still tucked in there.
This problem would be more satisfactorily addressed in subsequent versions of the LX with the addition of the new automatic suction control dial.
The first paper bags or "wrappers" were made of a single-ply paper construction. Electrolux engineers apparently did not figure out until the cleaners had been put to actual use that the bags clogged up very quickly, rendering the machine inefficient and often triggering the bag ejector device. This was addressed some time between 1952 and 1954, as a mimeographed letter dated 3/54 sent out to customers states "Our record of your Electrolux Cleaner purchase shows that it's about time ... [for] you to check your supply of self-sealing wrappers and [for us] to send you an order form which you can mail to get a new supply ....You will find your [order of] eighteen crisp new wrappers greatly improved. They are lined for greater filtering of the dust...."
Model LX - 1954
A more sophisticated bag-ejector control system was integrated into the cleaner. A dial located underneath the front cover could control how soon the bag ejection system would kick in. For normal dusting, the dial was supposed to be set at 3, then for very light use the customer could move it back to 2 or 1. When cleaning heavy, powdery dirt, the dial could be moved up, with 6 being the position where the bag would not eject until it was very full.
The first LX suction adjustment knobs were made of aluminum, about 5/8" in diameter, with six "discrete" settings. Later, clear plastic knobs with a ridged surface with red lettering were introduced which were easier to turn. Six settings were still provided but the knobs could also be set anywhere between the six settings, for a truly custom adjustment.
(Many earlier LXs were were retrofitted with the new control knobs. Electrolux
dealers and salesmen did this upgrade at no charge to the customers. (In fact,
its somewhat difficult to find LXs without the dials as most of them were
The later production run of the LX also underwent some cosmetic changes, probably
for economic reasons. The most notable change was that the lovely red and yellow
logo was done away with and became just an aluminum strip. The area where the
hose plugs into the machine became hammertone blue, as did the little panel over
the cord connector. Optional cord winder also hammertone blue instead of chrome-plated
as before. The thumb screw for removing the blower end was improved, becoming
a four-sided knob rather than the earlier round knob that was harder to turn (especially after it had remained in place for, like, 40 years).
Model LXI - 1955
Model LXI has some fairly significant differences from the LX:
(1) The blower end where the cord winder attached looks exactly like the rear
end of a Model E except that it is chrome-plated, and a chrome halo
for storing the cord was provided when the optional cord winder was not purchased.
A small metal hook for attaching the cord is located on the top-rear-side of the
machine where the halo is attached.
(2) The cord winder is the swing-open type, rather than the kind that comes
off. (Thus, the halo and swing-open cord winder were first introduced on the LXI
and not on the E as some people believe.)
(3) Theres a rear axle attached to the runners, with two rubber wheels.
(Not to be confused with the after-market wheels that clamped onto the ends of
runners as two separate attachments. The LXI actually had a separate rear axle
for the wheels.
(4) Also, the area where the bag storage clamp used to be was done away with;
in its place is a large rubber caster that makes the machine glide along as if
it weighs nothing!
Last but not least, the LXI featured a newly designed rug nozzle that was partly
made of blue plastic; and the very last of the LXIs had blue-plastic dusting brushes
and upholstery nozzles (but both still of the older types).
This machine was made less than a year and is very rare and hard to find.
(Note: The model number ID for the LX and LXI is stamped into the metal housing
under the handle grip, in very tiny letters.)
For more LX and LXI photos, see The Model LX Page.