— ELECTROLUX MODEL V—
Tank Cleaner
Introduced in 1924

from the Collection of
Charles Richard Lester

If you have seen my "History of Electrolux" site (see link below), you know all about the Model V, the first successful Electrolux Cleaner that was mass-marketed in, and exported to, many countries — including the "Mother Land" Sweden, the U.K., France, Germany, and the U.S.

I have had just the motor unit for a Model V in my collection since 1991, so I have been wishing for a complete set for many years. Unfortunately, the few Model Vs that I came across over the years were either not for sale, or were waaaaay out of my budget.

However, a month or so ago, one appeared on eBay, listed by a seller in Germany. I placed a "token" bid on it, never dreaming I would have a chance of getting it since the last Model V on eBay closed at almost a thousand dollars!

I watched the auction until it closed, and was quite astonished to discover that not only did I get it "for a song," I was the ONLY bidder! The actual amount I paid is beside the point; the point is that I did pay far less for it than a thousand bucks -- so little, in fact, that the international airmail postage cost from Germany was more than I paid for the sweeper!

I waited, and waited, and waited, and finally the happy day arrived when the mail carrier came up the sidewalk, huffing and puffing, lugging a huge box from the Black Forest, Germany!

I could hardly wait to open the box ... and when I did, I was elated to see that the sweeper was in even better condition than the seller had described and shown in his photos; and was more complete -- for some reason he had not photographed all the accessories that actually came with the machine including the special hard-body storage trunk that the machine was originally packed in!

WHAT A FIND!

I had imagined that, having come from Germany, the machine would run on 220 volts. While it would have meant that I could only run it with my step-down voltage convertor, that would have been okay as I thought it would be great to have two different versions of the Model V. So imagine my further surprise to discover that it indeed does run on 120 volts! And it is, for all intents and purposes, identical to the one I already have -- although the serial number are not close. My "old" one's serial number is 526/08215; the "new" one's serial number is 536/106642 so it is indeed quite a bit newer if one relies on the serial numbers running in sequence as surely they must have.

While these are both the later version with the longer, more "pointy" and non-detachable sled-runners, there are, however, some differences in the two machines.

First, the new one's voltage designation is 120 volts while the old one is 110 volts. And the speed of the motor of the old one is just a little faster, presumably due to the fact that it was designed for a slightly lower voltage.

Then, the metal name-tag and logo plate on the old one says "Made in Sweden" around the outside edge of the circular plate whereas the new one has no such designation and in fact there is no country of manufacture noted anywhere on it, but I would imagine it would have to have been Sweden.

Another slight, cosmetic difference is that on the old one, the carbon brush caps are metal and silver-colored while on the new one, they are black Bakelite or some similar material. (Was Bakelite available yet in 1925-25?)

So, now, all I need to find to complete my collection of the first 50 years of "American Electrolux" are: (1) the earlier "detachable sled" version of the Model V, and (2) a complete Model XI [I already have just the machine in only fair condition] -- a couple of XIs have appeared recently on eBay but, again, the cost for each of them has been out of budget in this time of, as Southern California Edison (the Electric Company) executives termed it, "economic downturn." But who knows ....... maybe Lady Luck will smile upon me again.......!! I do have one of every other model now, up through the 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee.

Oh, and I could use a complete Model XX ("20") or else attachments for the one I have; and ditto for the Model T "Thrift Model" ... And, I'd love a really nice Model R; and, finally, turquoise and gold versions of the Model L. THEN, my collection would truly be complete!!

Meanwhile, I am still pinching myself that I have finally found a Model V in such beautiful and complete condition, and I wanted to share some photos of it with my fellow Electrolux nuts -- and with those who at least peripherally stand in awe of my Electrolux Obsession!

So, without further ado...

 




A couple of "Beauty Shots"

 

 

 

 

 

 

Close shots of the motor unit

 

 

 

 

The original storage trunk

 

 

 

 

 

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Electrolux History

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