Thread Number: 17790
General Electric Upright Vacuums
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Post# 193139   8/3/2012 at 21:29 (1,997 days old) by classicvac ()        

I just signed up as a new user of this forum. I have been reading posts here for quite some time. I too enjoy vintage vacuum cleaners and continue to work to build my collection. I recently acquired a General Electric Model AV-5. I searched the archives to find more information about this model. I found a post with a little bit of information and learned that this vacuum cleaner was manufactured around 1938. I would love to learn more information about this cleaner and General Electric uprights in general.

With regard to the model AV-5, I would like to know what type of belt would work best for the brushroll. Did the vacuum come with a headlight? Mine does not have a bulb socket, but does appear to have a wire run to the open cavity in the front of the nozzle. Also, I can't make the handle stand up straight, I have to prop it against something. Is there any adjustment that I could make to correct this problem? It has a pin that you pull out in order for the handle to lay completely flat, but it doesn't seem to affect the handle's ability to stand up and stay that way. Any info about this vacuum cleaner would be appreciated.


Post# 193147 , Reply# 1   8/3/2012 at 21:46 (1,997 days old) by vacu-finder (Canada)        
Welcome Classicvac far as General Electric uprights, i'm duh on those don't know nada..At any rate you will find some members here with a great deal of knowledge about Vac's the best on the planet.

Post# 193175 , Reply# 2   8/4/2012 at 06:46 (1,997 days old) by portable (Tucson, AZ)        

portable's profile picture

Welcome to our Forum.


If I am looking at the picture correctly, this is the first time I have ever seen an AVF 5 with NO headlight. I didn't know GE made the 5 this way! That flared front area below the GE logo/converter port is where the headlight normally is. You are right - the 5 was begun in 1938.


I am in the process of putting together a GE model history, but I need to approach the group here to ask for their help and involvement. Watch for that announcement soon.


I do not know about the other issues with this model. I think most GE uprights took flat belts for their brush roll mechanisms. As for the handle, I just don't know the answer. The prior GE's I had never stood up well with the handle in the operating position. I wish I could help further. We do have members here who have GE knowledge.


Good luck and welcome.



Post# 193239 , Reply# 3   8/4/2012 at 15:59 (1,997 days old) by classicvac ()        
Thanks for the response!


I believe the vacuum did have a headlight at one time. Perhaps the bulb socket cracked or broke somehow and the wires were just capped and wrapped with electrical tape. That is what I find in the front cavity under the GE logo. Would it be possible to find an appropriate light socket to try to reinstall a headlight?

I was wondering if a Kirby flat belt would be ok to use on this machine. However, it may be a bit too tight. Does anyone know if GE still makes a belt that would be appropriate?

I also wonder how this vacuum compared to others sold at the time as far as performance and price are concerned.

I look forward to learning/reading more about the AV-5 and other GE vacuum cleaners!

Post# 193240 , Reply# 4   8/4/2012 at 16:01 (1,997 days old) by classicvac ()        
Another pic

Another pic of the front...

Post# 193267 , Reply# 5   8/4/2012 at 18:57 (1,997 days old) by pinkge (Indianapolis,Indiana)        

Looks like the mouth part has a place for a light bulb.It did have light in it.Check it out.Mark Turbyfill is a GE collector.Give him a ring and ask him about it.It is a pretty vac. Michael

Post# 194841 , Reply# 6   8/14/2012 at 14:43 (1,987 days old) by kirbykid (this user is not allowed to sell anything on Vacuumland)        
Ge av4

hello people, i have a ge av4. i know nothing about it and if you want, classicvac, you can buy mine. if anyone knows the price of mine that would be great. i will post i pic in a little while

Post# 194843 , Reply# 7   8/14/2012 at 15:09 (1,987 days old) by kirbykid (this user is not allowed to sell anything on Vacuumland)        
hold on

i need to clean a my room so i can take a pic

Post# 194847 , Reply# 8   8/14/2012 at 15:52 (1,987 days old) by kirbykid (this user is not allowed to sell anything on Vacuumland)        

i was replacing the cord so the cord is on the carpet(next pic)

Post# 194848 , Reply# 9   8/14/2012 at 15:55 (1,987 days old) by kirbykid (this user is not allowed to sell anything on Vacuumland)        

the cord has been taken out of the handle so i will use a old kirby cord...

Post# 194849 , Reply# 10   8/14/2012 at 15:56 (1,987 days old) by kirbykid (this user is not allowed to sell anything on Vacuumland)        

here it is running with the kirby cord atached

Post# 194850 , Reply# 11   8/14/2012 at 15:57 (1,987 days old) by kirbykid (this user is not allowed to sell anything on Vacuumland)        

email me if you want it.

Post# 194947 , Reply# 12   8/14/2012 at 21:19 (1,986 days old) by thevacuumguy96 (Nampa, ID)        
kirby kid,

If nobody else buys the GE, I would be interested in it. How much do you want for it? Please let me know! Thanks!

Post# 194984 , Reply# 13   8/14/2012 at 23:36 (1,986 days old) by kirbykid (this user is not allowed to sell anything on Vacuumland)        

what do you think it is worth? do you live in the uk?

Post# 195051 , Reply# 14   8/15/2012 at 08:38 (1,986 days old) by thevacuumguy96 (Nampa, ID)        

I live in Idaho. I don't know what it's worth. I would give u probably 10 or 15 plus shipping for it though if you want?

Post# 195073 , Reply# 15   8/15/2012 at 11:36 (1,986 days old) by kirbykid (this user is not allowed to sell anything on Vacuumland)        

10 to 15 dollars isnt enough for me. i payed $10 for it and the sell price of the GE av5 was $100 dollars and this is a earlyer model so atleast $100. and the shiping shouldent be thatmuch if i take the handle off and ship that seperatly.

Post# 195074 , Reply# 16   8/15/2012 at 11:37 (1,986 days old) by kirbykid (this user is not allowed to sell anything on Vacuumland)        

but id really like to know some info about it. if you know anyone that might know something about it, that would be great

Post# 195085 , Reply# 17   8/15/2012 at 12:19 (1,986 days old) by thevacuumguy96 (Nampa, ID)        

$100 for a vacuum that isn't worth that much? Nevermind, I'm not interested anymore if it's that high of a price.

Post# 384184 , Reply# 18   1/13/2018 at 11:43 by dysonman1 (Rolla, Missouri)        
At the Vacuum Cleaner Museum in St. James, MO

dysonman1's profile picture
My General Electric and Premier collection. From the 1920's. All have their original bags. Two of the straight suction uprights, as well as the Premier Duplex (Master Model) were the late Stan Kann's machines.

A thing of beauty is a Joy forever!

  View Full Size
Post# 384187 , Reply# 19   1/13/2018 at 14:05 by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

ultralux88's profile picture
I've got one of these whale mouth" GEs, sadly its missing the bumper, but I'm very glad to have it either way.

Post# 384196 , Reply# 20   1/13/2018 at 15:55 by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
I have a bunch of those also

Really good vacuums, the belt would be narrower than a Kirby I think, they really had good suction, like a old Kirby they will lift the carpet off the floor.

Post# 384199 , Reply# 21   1/13/2018 at 16:52 by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

ultralux88's profile picture

I'd even say these bad more power than the Kirby of the day, these things really have a surprising amount of suck to them for a vacuum of the time!

A thing of beauty and a joy forever!


No truer words!

Post# 384203 , Reply# 22   1/13/2018 at 18:13 by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

ultralux88's profile picture
Here’s my whale mouthed machine.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 384269 , Reply# 23   1/14/2018 at 22:27 by oldskoolguy (Chicago, Illinois)        
Surprisingly, a GE vacuum was part of my childhood

No, I never owned a GE, in order through my childhood, my family owned the following uprights: Kirby Tradition (my uncle's), Royal Metal Upright, Dirt devil? (I'm not even sure on this one), Panasonic Mc-v7390, Dyson DC07. My maternal grandparents had 2 Eureka brush ups (1 for a house down in florida, then another for a basement for their primary residence in Illinois), and a Kmart Hoover Custom Convertible (later wound up as mine). My Paternal Grandmother had a Eureka Superbroom (the original model I think) and a canister that I can't remember the brand (it's an antique round top with no wheels, possibly a GE). But at Walt Disney World, I always loved riding Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress because there was a vacuum in the 1920's scene. Because General Electric once sponsored the attraction, it was a GE upright. I don't know if it's a replica, a prop, or the real thing, but if it is the first 2, it is very close for the period and it likely has been there since the show debuted in 1964. I DO have a picture of it, but I'm not sure where I stored it. In the meantime, to give everyone an idea, I think the model is either the one that is left-center or the one in the middle of dysonman1's photo, maybe a combination of the two.

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