Quite frequently, I get emails from people who have found a friend's or a relative's old vacuum cleaner. Sometimes, the writer is merely interested to know if the machine has any value.

However, many times, these people come to me not to ask about the value of an old sweeper they have found, but whether or not I would be interested in giving it a new home. If someone is dealing with the sadness of going through a loved-one's personal belongings, they may find it unpleasant to look at everything in terms of its anticipated dollar value, especially for personal and household effects. And they may also find it difficult to just throw things out – particularly with sentimental feelings attached to them. Such is often the case with vacuum cleaners.

Why is it that some people have such an affinity with vacuum cleaners — particularly to those belonging to other people? That really is still quite a mystery to me. But such an attachment — always rooted with great sentimentality and fondness — is often there nonetheless.

How people manage to find me on the Internet is also somewhat of a mystery, given that the number of pages loose on the W.W.W. is now probably in the billions. Incalculable at any rate. When you do a search on any of the search sites for "vacuum cleaners," many hundreds of listings usually come up. But somehow or another, my pages do often come up near the top.

At any rate, I receive a pretty large number of emails from people wanting to know if I might want to have an old vacuum cleaner that they couldn't bear to just throw out. Such people usually don't want any money for the machines; in some cases they do not even want me to reimburse the shipping costs. They are often so happy that the cleaner is going to go to a happy home that they don't mind just sending it to me.

One pretty amazing event along this line was when I got an email from an uncle saying he was visiting one of my cousins, and he happened to see an old Electrolux sweeper in the garage. He told them if they did not want it that I might like to have it. They said that it had belonged to their mother (his sister), and that if I wanted it I could have it. Needless to say, it was quite an exciting day at Casa Lester when Aunt Virginia's old Electrolux arrived.

Another machine came to me from an elderly couple who were moving to a retirement home. They emailed to ask if I would like to have their old Electrolux. I said of course I'd love to have it. In a few weeks a beautiful, nearly perfect condition turquoise Electrolux Model L from 1970 arrived on my front porch, complete with the power nozzle and instruction brochure!

And I got a very touching letter from a woman whose father had recently passed away. In the process of going through his belongings, she found his old vacuum cleaner. It was in such nice condition that she didn't want to just throw it out or give it to someone who wouldn't really care about it. (Her father had been a Marine and she declared that he "spit-polished everything!") So, she looked on the Internet, found me, and the rest is history. I am now the proud owner of a beautiful Airway 88 Mark II that the lady went to great lengths to get to me, to the extent of hauling it in a taxi across midtown Manhattan to a box-and-ship place!

Then there was a lady who wrote and said she found an old "Jetsons-looking" sweeper in an old house she had bought, and she didn't want the machine but thought I might like to have it and she would be happy to send it to me. Along came a turquoise Compact sweeper that, sadly, had seen better days. But "it's the thought that counts" and I was very touched that she bothered to send it to me. Especially since she insisted on doing so at her cost. There truly are some amazing people on this planet.

Here, in alphabetical order, are just some of the wonderful old vacuum cleaners that these very kind people have sent me over the years.

Airway 88

Electrolux XXX

Hoover Bag Cleaner

Hoover 105 Special

Hoover 700 Special

Kirby 515

Lewyt 44

Wilfa W 3 A



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