Thread Number: 34252  /  Tag: Pre-1950 Vacuum Cleaners
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Post# 371165   4/20/2017 at 21:03 (397 days old) by toddk13 (Milwaukee, WI)        

I am a bit dumbfounded why the GE motor thread turned into a saber rattling, rock throwing, accusatory discussion. I started this thread to at least match a discussion that matched the "subject" line.

I'm a "new" old vacuum collector. The advice here has been invaluable to my growing interest in old Hoovers and Kirbys. I am an upgraded member because I see the value of supporting this resource.

What I have found in the past couple months is that vacuum collecting is a dying hobby. Dying is defined as not sustainable in the long run. Here is my opinion: I do not care about what happened in 1982, 1995, 2006, or any other date in history for the purpose of discussing my hobby. I care about people who have the collective goal to share knowledge and keep the interest up. In 20 years, where will the VCCC and VL be? I hope still in existence. Would it make sense to set aside differences, and concentrate on how to bring fresh life to the hobby? As a new person in this hobby, I enjoy spirited discussion on how a Kirby will run the brushes off of a Dyson. I don't enjoy irrelevant infighting. Set that aside forever. Thanks. Todd.

Post# 371169 , Reply# 1   4/20/2017 at 22:25 (397 days old) by Caligula (Benton, Pa)        

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Vacuumland was originally the forum for the Vacuum Cleaner Collector's Club, now it's a separate forum for all vacuum cleaner groups. The VCCC has a website of it's own.

And again I have to say that I'm not adding any more posts to this thread.

Post# 371170 , Reply# 2   4/20/2017 at 22:49 (397 days old) by Toddk13 (Milwaukee, WI)        

Googling old vacuums invariably brings up VL articles. How cool, I thought, in my earliest interest. I joined because I was able to access resources without financial obligation. I became an upgraded member to support the forum. I did get to the point of signing up at the VCCC website. I will not, however, pay for a membership without having an idea what was posted there. It might be wonderful. I'll never know.

I am so thankful for the technical support and user experience. I would never have considered a Kirby without the archived discussion as well as current recommendations.

Post# 371177 , Reply# 3   4/21/2017 at 00:34 (397 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        


I abhor forum politics but agree that collecting old vacuums is largely driven by Boomers. I'm into a half-dozen other hobbies driven by Boomers as well. When we Boomers all die off, the numbers to support these hobbies will dwindle drastically. There are Gen Xers that will take up the torch, but only future history will record if they succeed in sustaining these hobbies.


One of the hobbies I have is analog tape....I've been watching it die a slow, painful death for the last 20yrs. On the other hand, there are a fair number of people left still interested in old-time radios...their care & feeding and restorations.  If anything should have died out by now, it should have been those radios. But it's a niche thing and it has a finite number of people interested. When those people are all dead that listened to radio before TV and in the early days of TV, I would think the hobby would just take up space in museums. There is an analog tape museum down in Austin now....I think that's gonna be the future in a lot of Boomer hobbies...stuff relegated to museums. Unless 3D printing really does live up to its claims, parts for these hobbies continue to diminish. I get really tired of buying donors to make things work and they take up space too. There's always the impulse in these hobbies to make the donor work and so another donor is bought's like a disease that voraciously spreads.  Coupled to that is the fact often in these hobbies, you find 'deals' (read cheap) that you just can't pass up. Let's face get away from the unreality of eBay and vacs go cheap.


There are a lot of really well-informed people @VL....many were in the vacuum business and retired, or moved on. It's hard to argue with those people because they were there. But as I've seen many times, even the 'experts' can be wrong after all this time and even fall heir to confabulation. You start talking about Elux and what the factory did with motors for example, you might very well find yourself in a firestorm. And if there aren't factory records & literature anymore to back up claims and we go by memories alone...well....




This post was last edited 04/21/2017 at 01:07
Post# 371186 , Reply# 4   4/21/2017 at 07:18 (396 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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I think their are allot of collectors under 30 years old. Their seems to be a growing trend in vacuum collecting in vacuum collecting as its gaining popularity and acceptance.

The only difference is what is considered a collectible item.
With vacuum collecting we tend to prefer machines from our growing up years , although this ca vary aswell. I grew up in the 80's and enjoy those machines allot but most of my collection is pre 50's

Their is always infighting in vacuum collecting, its kind of odd to me but some people just like conflict and are only happy when they cause it. ( referring to my own personnel experience and nothing to do with your other thread)
Dont let it put you off . Some of us are actually really nice people

Post# 371189 , Reply# 5   4/21/2017 at 07:56 (396 days old) by Toddk13 (Milwaukee, WI)        
Strength in numbers

Great points. VL has open resources to attract new members. VCCC does not. That should not be considered a political statement. It's about how you survive as a hobby forum.

I might have 15 years left to enjoy my hobby. After that, my treasures will be relegated to the basement, or sold off for a couple dollars. My kids have no interest. Their hobbies may be collecting XBox, or PlayStation games.

On a positive note - Im not going to pack my life up just yet. The fantastic knowledge here can be shared as long as the archives can be googled. I appreciate the private messages that help me understand individuals experience. The passion behind each brand is humorous. In car terms it's the Ford guys taking on Chevy guys, taking on Mopar guys while the BMW owners sit back and chuckle about who really has the best. Hah.

Post# 371191 , Reply# 6   4/21/2017 at 09:22 (396 days old) by kirbyvertibles (Independence, KS)        

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I love the car reference, I got a good chuckle out of that. I'm very sorry you have not had the most positive experience. I know it will get better. There will always be times like this but this is a great community of men and women who all share a hobby.

Post# 371194 , Reply# 7   4/21/2017 at 09:44 (396 days old) by Kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

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Todd, if you only knew the politics that went on three/four years ago. I'm sure you would understand. Alex Taber is right Vacuumland used to be run by the VCCC. While we do have a website. It's mainly for informative purposes. We are working on a possible forum for VCCC, again!!! The main staple for the VCCC is the convention every year and those are really fun!

Post# 371201 , Reply# 8   4/21/2017 at 12:21 (396 days old) by Kirbysthebest (Wichita, KS)        
I do not feel vacuum collection or collectors are dying

What you will see with each generation of collecting any item, be it cars, silver bells, dishes, or electrical appliances. The method of procurement will change with the internet we don't have to attend swap meets to find items for our collection. We are able to hold virtual clubs online. Rather than waiting a year to "see" all of our fellow collectors, we can "see" them every day virtually.

There will still be, however, a desire to meet, to touch, to socialize. I highly feel that the Knights of Columbus don't still hold the same meeting they held 200 years ago, but they are still Knights, and they still pay respect to the Priest that founded their organization. One order of the Kights still garners the respect, and shows their respect for another.

AA meetings are a good example of people that meet for the common goal, but run their meetings slightly differently at every location. They still adhere to what worked from their founder, they all still refer to Bill as their leader. The thing with AA is when groups split up, they still continue their mission, they don't bad mouth the meeting at the church on the corner. They don't mock the other group, they just continue their mission, and work their steps. AA groups by bi-laws must be self supporting by their members, this means pay what you can.

Someone pays for everything. A three color, quarterly newsletter I am sure was not cheap to produce. Convention centers and meeting places cost money, unless they are sponsored. When then the sponsor supplements the bill, someone is still paying. When the sponsor is hoping for or expecting sales of their sponsored product, the attendees are the ones paying. It all comes out the same in the long run.

This post was last edited 04/21/2017 at 13:09
Post# 371202 , Reply# 9   4/21/2017 at 12:22 (396 days old) by dysonman1 (undisclosed)        
Way Before VacuumLand

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There was the VCCC. You paid $25 per year, and got four glorious color newsletters. I still have all my copies, which are also reference tools.

Before VacuumLand, the only way for collectors to 'get together' was either the annual convention, mini meets, or the telephone. I spent many, many hours talking to various collectors on the telephone. No texting, no tweeting, just talking.

The 'old' VCCC conventions were not really a big affair with banquets, and all that jazz. They were about the individual people and not a 'club'. A great example was the first VCCC convention at Bob Taber's garage in Naperville. Everyone brought something to share. Myself and former VCCC member Clay Floyd, brought a van full of vintage vacuums to Share (as in Give Away). This was before eBay, so everyone was very excited.

We played with vacuums (Bob had one little area rug in his garage - it got vacuumed a million times that weekend). We talked vacuums. We dreamed vacuums. And hated to leave our new-found friends when it was over. There were 12 of us.

The following year, about 16 of us (our numbers were growing) went to the Hoover Historical Center as well as the factory. Mike Hays talked them into letting us into the Vaults. I still have many pics of the Vaults from that day. You have no idea how exciting that was. Bob Taber was interviewed by a North Canton newspaper (it was not a flattering article). Back at the hotel, Bob had rented a suite where we all gathered (no Convention Room yet). Like the previous year, people brought all kinds of vacuums to give away to each other. I had the bright idea to remove the bags from the vacuums and spread the dirt around the Suite. We then vacuumed it all up. That was the first "Cleaning Contest". It was a blast, there was dirt EVERYWHERE. Two hotel maids brought old Hoovers from home, and gave them to Stan Kann, who was in attendance.

The next year's convention was where I met Hans Craig, Tania Voigt, Jason Davis, Craig Long, Jimmy Martin, and many others. We went to Ruth Hollander's store, and bought many vintage treasures. The 'cleaning contest' was at my home. I ripped open Hoover type A bags from machines waiting repair at my vac shop. We threw the dirt ALL OVER my living room. I remember Jason Davis's Kirby 1C couldn't handle it, and the dirt stopped the fan. Clay Floyd's BF won for best restored (our first blue ribbons) of a Hoover 700. David Watters won for his Columbus, and my Hoover 61 won for best cleaning and best original. Mike Pletcher was the judge.
Craig Long told us all about his passion for the Lady Kenmore Whispertone canister, and his dream of representing Sears in an ad where he wore a poodle skirt and entered the scene as Lady Beverly Whispertone. I thought Tania was going to leave and never come back. But she laughed along with all of us. Jimmy Martin and Mike Pletcher fixed my Lewyt Electronic (I think Jimmy wound up getting shocked - good times). Clay Floyd judged my Thermax AF as a "rube Goldberg invention' and read that machine to filth. Very good times, with GREAT people.

Each year, more people came to the convention - but we never varied from the simplicity of the thing. We went to the grocery store and bought all kinds of lunch meat, chips, bread, condiments, beverages, everything. We all ate off paper plates, but those were some of the best damn sandwiches. The Rainbow model E had JUST come out, and everyone wanted to try it out. Former VCCC President, RJ Vanik came to this meeting, and we started talking about incorporating the Club and Club By-Laws. In those days, no alcohol was allowed at the Convention and no one under 18. Andy Weter had turned 18 on the first day of the convention so he was allowed to attend. We even had a blind club member travel a great distance to be with us.

Everyone had a great time, because we knew these were JUST vacuum cleaners, and of no interest to anyone but us. We were always very sarcastic with each other, there were no (to my knowledge) straight people in the club, and we called each other "Miss". Movie lines were quoted (I'm not mad at you Helga, I'm mad at the DIRT), and everyone laughed.

Even as the years went by, and the Conventions got bigger and bigger, they never (at this time) lost that 'feel' of being just a few gay guys coming together to play with vacuums, read each other's beads (in a friendly way), eat food, and share STORIES.

There came a time when the conventions got too big, and too commercial. And WAY too many egos who had no sense of humor. It also became costly with banquet fees, etc. Once children and teens were allowed, people had to watch what they said and it was never the same again. Too many "don't touch my vacuums" egos as well.

So when I talk about the "old" VCCC, you really had to have been there. Most current members have no idea what it was really like. Most of the folks from the "old" club are not club members any longer. What made the 'old' club special, the humor and sarcasm of the membership, was the best part.

The VCCC has and will go on, it will change with time and the membership body, and it has leaders (something we didn't need in the 'old' club). Because the VCCC hasn't their own forum, many folks believe that VacuumLand in fact is the VCCC's forum for all their activities and consider them one in the same. They are NOT. The mixture of folks who are VCCC members, and those who are not, confuses many folks.

I love VacuumLand since we can ALL share photos and stories and can communicate with folks all over the world. As collectors die, or lose interest in their collections, I often wonder who will fill those shoes? Not to worry, I meet young people EVERY DAY at the Vacuum Museum who will one day, grow up to be part of the collecting community.

The picture is from the FIRST blue ribbon awards, presented in my living room. Very Good Times. From left: Dennis Cox (best restored), Tom Gasko (best Original & best Cleaning), David Watters (best in show), and Mike Pletcher (judge).

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Post# 371209 , Reply# 10   4/21/2017 at 14:06 (396 days old) by Caligula (Benton, Pa)        

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This is correct Tom, however, I dropped the name 'Bob' in May of 1995 when I bought my house in La Mesa, California, a suburb of San Diego, and now go with Alex, fact is I hated the name Bob!

The ONLY change is that the VCCC grew like a weed and our meetings became conventions. As to banquets, I still remember all of us at Rascal's on Ogden Ave, and you passing the hat so to speak, saying "I think the club should buy John Lucia and Bob Taber dinner." Dave Watters was to second that.

Sadly that was the last meeting held in the Naperville house, the next year we held our first 'outside' meeting, returning to our birthplace, The Hoover Historical Center, and if you recall, was the only time we got bad press, and the reporter went a step further, he trashed Hoover.

Like all clubs the V.C.C.C. has changed with the times, grown, seen new blood, and the loss of treasured members like Craig Long and Dave Watters. I agree that it's not what John Lucia and I created, but it simply outgrew the original 5+ members in a family room in Indiana to a meeting room in a Crowne Plaza.

Many things were different. Better, worse, different anyway.

By the way, I still have the Electrolux box you gave me in Naperville, it's battered, held together with tape but is in a place of honor in the collection, which, like everything else is a fraction of what I had in that garage, or clubhouse as I lovingly called it.

Post# 371213 , Reply# 11   4/21/2017 at 16:19 (396 days old) by dysonman1 (undisclosed)        

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I had SO MUCH FUN with you and the 11 other guys at that first Meeting in Naperville. I will always remember it and your garage (and those BEAUTIFUL vacuums of yours) fondly. When we went back to your hotel Suite after the Hoover visit, I felt like a kid again. Throwing dirt everywhere, and picking it up with all kinds of machines pitted against each other. The humor and passion for vacs was thick in the air. I remember stripping two wires off an Air-Way 77 that had no plug so I could jam the wires into the receptacle in the bathroom so we could run it. So Much Fun. And you said the most outrageous things that made us all laugh till our sides hurt. There were no filters, it was like Joan Rivers and Don Rickles were there with us. You told us all the story of the FIRST meeting, with five of you, and how outraged you were when one of the guys got in drag (after getting drunk). The way you told the story though, it was like we were there too, outraged and laughing all at the same time.

Post# 371214 , Reply# 12   4/21/2017 at 16:39 (396 days old) by electrolux137 (Land O Plenty USA)        



All I want to add to this discussion is to say how utterly astonished I was to find out there were other nuts running loose who love vacuum cleaners!

One day in 1990, a new friend came to my apartment for coffee. When he walked into my living room he noticed there were a few vintage vacuum cleaners sitting around. He exclaimed, “I don’t believe it!”


I asked, “Don't believe WHAT?”


He said, “Here's another nut with a house-full of old sweepers!”


I said, astonished, “What do you mean, another nut?!”


He replied, “I can’t believe you’ve never heard of Stan Kann, that zany guy who’s been on the Carson show a bunch of times with his gadgets and antique vacuum cleaners that never work! He’s the organist at my church.”


I couldn’t believe my ears! Another person on this planet who not only is interested in vacuums but who is also a church organist, like me. I was very anxious to meet him. My friend didn’t know Stan’s number but thought it was in the phone book.


The next day I looked up his telephone number. I phoned him and introduced myself by saying, “Mr. Kann, my name is Charles Richard Lester. You don’t know me, but I am calling because we have something in common.”


“What’s that?” came the vaguely suspicious reply.


“I have here in my living room a 1937 Electrolux Model XXX, a 1925 Scott and Fetzer Sanitation System, and a 1937 Hoover Model 150 vacuum cleaner.” In his inimitable way, he asked, “Well, what are you doing with all that stuff!?”


He was quite surprised to hear from me, and we talked for a long time that first day. He told me about three other people (all in other parts of the country) he knew who also collected vacuum cleaners, and gave me their names and phone numbers.


After meeting Stan, I met and made friends with a number of other vacuum cleaner collectors. We formed an official, if small and somewhat loosely knit, collector’s club that initially grew to about 40 members. The Club was actually founded in 1982 but had fallen into dormancy. Then when I met the founding members, Alex (then-Bob) Taber and John Lucia, I persuaded them to get the club going again.


Perhaps the most amazing thing about all this is that every single one of us club members, from the youngest to the eldest, all share nearly identical childhood stories — that is, that we all have been fascinated with vacuum cleaners from as far back as we can remember. We amuse one another with our stories of going to people's houses and making a beeline for the vacuum cleaner, and we commiserate with one another's heartaches about being teased and ridiculed for this "strange behavior."


Who knows what this is all about! All I can say is, I am glad I have this unique — and, perhaps, to some, strange — hobby! It has brought me some very cherished and close friends, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. The greatest part about it for me was finding out that I am not alone -- that there ARE others who are also afflicted with this strange but wonderful affliction!

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Post# 371215 , Reply# 13   4/21/2017 at 16:46 (396 days old) by Kirbysthebest (Wichita, KS)        

What a great story. I read your article once before. So wonderful you got to experience Stan.

Tom & Alex--so nice to see mutual admiration.

Todd--Thanks for starting this thread.

Post# 371217 , Reply# 14   4/21/2017 at 17:02 (396 days old) by toddk13 (Milwaukee, WI)        

So the first three ribbons were for non-Kirby vacuums? I'm sure glad that I started my vintage vac hobby with Hoovers! Should I pitch my Classic III and Tradition because they stand no chance in a contest?

I'm so sad.

Post# 371241 , Reply# 15   4/22/2017 at 09:53 (395 days old) by dirtmaster37 (The Mitten..somewhere cold most likely...)        
One must look past the rubbish to see the treasure....

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I would also like to add, that as one who has been part of most (if not all) internet vacuum forums, since I became "online" way back in 1997-98, am quite aware of the many travails, and different situations that have commenced over the almost 20 years now between the all of it... Wonderful. Good. Bad. Ugly and Heartbreaking.

One has, for the most "part", enjoyed most. It was a breath of air to know that one wasn't alone in the world ( a common theme here in the replies). Out of all time spent, I have found more friends, more knowledge, and more shared interest than bad. It would be difficult to find anyone who is remotely interested in vacuums to disagree with made point. Sure we meet whoopsies, and uht ohhs, but no more so, than we do going to the market.

One has also had bad times in all of this. Have taken time away from (when the feeling just wasn't there), had my angry, sad, or disappointed moments with varying situations; started a Facebook based area (of which many others sprang forth from), and finally still participate here and wherever one is welcome in a form. As I aged, due to time moving on, learning the art of letting things go; and reminding myself that they are just vacuums, I began to enjoy all out there again. One can find that too. It takes time and good solid friendships with people you meet. You develop your collective interests with, and boom, then you have MORE to it than just suction appliances.

And like my header, in all that, in order to enjoy, and make full use of this trove; one must, when the situation is prevalent; to just look beyond the rubbish, find the good, and the good persons; to see the treasure in this hobby. It's here, it's other places, it's in the aforementioned good persons, it's in the passions that people have for their favorite models/brands/ circa's etc. And oddly, sometimes even in those who's motives may not be so pure, treasure, and more can be found. One just has to peel away the icky to get it. Even I have been that person a time or two. Not sure of many who can claim virginity in that vein.

That said.

Have been so fortunate to have been able to make it to a couple of the BIG conventions. My first was in 2008. and I was a part of the last years Convention in Chicago. To my knowledge the 2008 VCCC was largest one to date. It was a glorious affair, with so much fun to be had. We were having too much fun for much "other" to be happening. The only sad part of that gathering IMHO, was the fact that when we toured "The Hoover" in North Canton. It had been emptied for the most part, and a large industrial shell about to be (and in part had already had been sold). Afterwards for various reasons that are unimportant to the whole; it was the most dramatic, and drama filled time between many. I had the good memories to get me thru. One was still in part sad, and angry for some who were my friends, and were hurt by slights, and shade... left for awhile. But came back. I knew too many who were good, I had learned too much. Regardless of what was then, now and the future to be seen; one had learned to go with the flow, and look past the rubbish, to see the treasure.

Mini meets have been a better calling card for personal interaction IMHO. VERY similar to the early meets truthfully. They are smaller, and easier to develop friendships, and just have FUN. Being around persons like oneself is a pretty awesome feeling. You continue to learn, you continue to grow, and you continue to love, and you continue to benefit from it. You do.

Yes, there will always be conflict as longs as individuals are just that, individual. Everyone is allowed ones say, as long as speech is free. And, out of that, all one can do is take it in, pick what you need out, and move forth.

As to the hobby dying. Probably NOT going to happen. It fluctuates, just as any club, or hobby type does. One is also in the business side of vacuums, and can tell you that I meet about 25-50 young people per year that are crazy about vacuums. They come in glassy eyed, like most of us when we knew that we were "hooked", can tell those who will be a lifer, and those who just are fascinated. They will in time, find the interwebs, will find all of us, and will have to learn very quickly that , like with life in general ; one has to look past the rubbish to see the treasure.


Post# 371243 , Reply# 16   4/22/2017 at 11:14 (395 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
Chad, the was so very well-put.

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....and, so true.
I, too felt I was the "only one". I joined the VCCC at the suggestion of Micheal Pletcher. I've made life-long friendships, am most welcome now in North canton, where I return yearly.
I've heard stories about several former members of the club, some, I've never met. Good thing I have broad shoulders, because I've found myself to be the topic of many conversations that have not been very nice. I can handle all of that. Not being on Facebook, I can't engage, etc. However, many people close to me ARE on and have sent me numerous printed pages of "rubbish". Again, I sleep just fine at night. There are some who were members, participated in the activities, enjoyed the "banquets/dinners, parties, luncheons", etc. Yet, in here, they bash all of that. I'm not going to dig up anything, especially when it happened BEFORE me, and didn't involve me. Yet, some cannot seem to let go, move on, and not say harsh, nasty, sometimes untrue things about us, the conventions. Some people have left on their own....... some were made to leave, banned, etc, but those details never come up. Some people must have terrible demons to fight. A whole different story.
We love to meet at the conventions, share info, ideas, see a new part of the country, buy, sell, trade vacuums, bags, tools, etc.
Someone will ALWAYS collect vacuums.. although the styles may change.
The VCCC is alive, well, and kicking. We will convene in Tulsa thus year. We will meet, laugh, learn, buy, sell, trade, and ENJOY, SAVOR the company of our like-minded individuals. We'll also get odd looks from some,. We might even get nasty, threatening letters, emails, Facebook comments.
Taking the high road, I'll just enjoy the convention and the people who'll be there. It's therapeutic, relaxing, exciting,and fun, all at the same time.
I'll never be bullied, shamed, etc. again. Those days are long over.
So, if you are a member, care to come to the convention, great. If you can't come, enjoy it from home by our posts. Other than that, I have nothing else to say .
I am who I am, do what I do, like the only brand for me, associate with people who make me happy. The rest, well.....................
So, thanks, Chad, for letting me "tag on" to your very well-put statements.
Now, let's all get out a fresh, new "genuine" bag, and enjoy our vacs.

Post# 371250 , Reply# 17   4/22/2017 at 17:29 (395 days old) by Toddk13 (Milwaukee, WI)        
So why can't VCCC and VL combine resources

Yup, I probably shouldn't have asked that. I just don't understand what is the purpose of having two get togethers just weeks apart. If VCCC starts a new forum, how would it be an improvement over VL? Is that value added to the collectors, or just another division?

Post# 371251 , Reply# 18   4/22/2017 at 18:09 (395 days old) by CharlesKirby66 (Manteca, CA)        
BRAVO TODD for speaking out

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I am right there with you regarding the ridiculous infighting that occurs on this website. I don't think it's limited to just this website however, it seems to be the failing of many vacuum collectors in general. Lots of anger and false pride. Maybe since it's a community that spends large amounts of time with and values inanimate objects instead of other humans, the art of conversation, mutual respect, and desire to be inclusive are strained at best.

I joined VL thinking that I had found a fraternity of sorts, where people from different walks of life could happily enjoy and share their common hobby. Unfortunately, the status quo has turned VL into something quite the opposite.

Imho, it's not worth paying the upgrade for VL. The fighting, insults, and offenses are only WORSE in the upgraded areas. I have noticed many members don't care what you have to say, but DEMAND to be heard and respected themselves. It's really nauseating to see some people haven't matured in 40, 50, even 60 years or beyond. Sad.

Now there are a few INDIVIDUALS who are actually stand up people with love and happiness in their heart to share (many of whom have shared in this same thread!). Sadly, this is not indicative of the entire vacuum collector's culture, it seems.

I can't speak for VCCC itself. It seems like a great club and resource. Awesome to put on a social convention! 👍🏼 I would consider VCCC before upgrading VL for sure.

Glad to have another brother in Kirby. 😊

Post# 371257 , Reply# 19   4/22/2017 at 23:09 (395 days old) by Toddk13 (Milwaukee, WI)        
I'm not brave. I'm an ass.

I'm the one that owes everyone an apology. I can't make things change. I shouldn't be digging up a history that sparks so many emotions. Many of you have known each other for decades. I have no right to judge.

What gets me down is bickering. In a perfect world...well that doesn't exist. I don't understand the dynamics of how things have come to be. My unfiltered thoughts have only made things worse. I lost a son last month. My world changed. Really lost perspective.

I apologize. I feel that I have offended those who otherwise would welcome me. I step down from my soapbox. Todd.

Post# 371259 , Reply# 20   4/22/2017 at 23:35 (395 days old) by Kirbysthebest (Wichita, KS)        

First, I am sorry for your loss of your son.

Second, you opened a dialog, and allowed some of the frustrations to be vented.

Post# 371261 , Reply# 21   4/23/2017 at 00:03 (395 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
You are not an ass at all.

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And, you have nothing for which to apologize. You're as entitled as everyone else to use your voice and express yourself. You may be new, and not know about the tons of stuff that has happened over the years. You may not know many people in here like some of us do.
The bad side is... that there are some stellar people in here, hopefully, you'll get to know more of them. Also, you'll not have the privilege to know some members who have gone on to the next life. Some of them were amazing.
But, you're here now. Get to know some of us. As far as grief for your son, you're entitled to do that too. Although I've only seen you in here, at Easter, I remembered both your son AND you at Mass. I'm not sure if you're religious or not, but..................
Just remember: you have as much right as the rest to speak in here. You're always kind and respectful. Sadly, not everyone else always is. If you're honest and sincere, NEVER apologize.
You have a right to be here, and I'm glad you are.

Post# 371265 , Reply# 22   4/23/2017 at 07:24 (394 days old) by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
I will say this...

Even though I disagreed with some things that went on in the VCCC, I have made peace with all involved, and hold no hard feelings or ill will toward anyone,If Clay Floyd and Tom Gasko were welcomed back into the club, I would re join,

Post# 371268 , Reply# 23   4/23/2017 at 10:01 (394 days old) by AlexHoovers94 (Manchester UK)        

alexhoovers94's profile picture
Before the internet! Oh the peaceful days! 😊😊

Post# 371270 , Reply# 24   4/23/2017 at 10:44 (394 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
But, we've all heard that

gottahaveahoove's profile picture
some people "have no connection to the VCCC". If they'd criticize it, why on Earth would they even want to return? They seem to have made themselves very clear.
Just saying..............

Post# 371271 , Reply# 25   4/23/2017 at 10:48 (394 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
And, I'm not

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naming names, digging up things, or ripping bandages off anything.
I'm not going to throw any gas on any fire. I'm also not going to taunt/bait, etc anyone.
I enjoy my friends inhere. There are others who I'd like to meet. Hopefully, someday, I'll get that chance.

Post# 371285 , Reply# 26   4/23/2017 at 23:41 (394 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

I don't know how many times I've seen this happen; a small social concern (like a club) that started out with a bunch of guys, growing into something much larger. The old guard demanding respect and the newer members completely oblivious to the old guard. Then a big split where one faction goes off in another direction and the old guard stays strong with allies. Doesn't matter whose side you take because usually, both factions suffer in the end....unless there is some sort of eventual reconciliation.


I was a member of the old VCCC, yet I never went to a convention. I really wouldn't enjoy something like that because I have Aspergers. And as such, I know there would be some personal confrontations. It's very hard (and harder now as I get older) to 'take it'...the sarcasm, the hidden digs, the BS etc. All the camp, identifying movie/stage divas, movie line quotes, the 'good natured insults' is just a gay caricature to me. Certainly, a part of the gay community but doesn't define us all. In fact like organized religion, it can be pretty exclusionary and suffocating if you're not like that. It seems like from what's been said, that's the only road open if you really want to fit in with the original VCCC crowd. The next time somebody tells me I'm "not gay enough" or "really not gay", they might just get a fork in their neck....which means it's best for me to stay home from the Neither do I presume for one minute that the only competent and good people in vac collecting are for the most part,  gay. Maybe it's a good thing that the conventions have grown and encompassed more diversity.


I'm quite happy to contribute what I can here and keep learning about vacs on VL. The VL of old got really nasty and back much so that I just left and only fairly recently came back. I sure am grateful though that a small bunch of guys 'came out of the closet' to reach out to others that have the same affliction; collecting vacs. This format is soooo much better than like a Yahoo! group. I'm in three or four Yahoo! groups still because there really isn't anything else yet to replace them. Everyone wants to blog or run a group through Facebook....which is not the same at all.....just convenient. The VL site itself is very polished, innovative & slick. A LOT of work has been put into it, that much is certain.


Very sorry to hear about your son, Todd. I lost my oldest son last August. I can certainly relate to how much of a life changer that has been for you.



Post# 371286 , Reply# 27   4/23/2017 at 23:58 (394 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

One is also in the business side of vacuums, and can tell you that I meet about 25-50 young people per year that are crazy about vacuums. They come in glassy eyed, like most of us when we knew that we were "hooked", can tell those who will be a lifer, and those who just are fascinated. They will in time, find the interwebs, will find all of us, and will have to learn very quickly that , like with life in general ; one has to look past the rubbish to see the treasure.



Agreed, vacuuming gets into your blood usually from the formative yrs. But how many of those young people will stay within collecting vacs from the confines of their generation....versus collecting vacs from the 50's and beyond? I can see them having an old Hoover or Elux just for a novelty, but the thrust of their collections will be from their generation of vacs, or certainly no further back than what their parents had when the young people were boys.



Post# 371295 , Reply# 28   4/24/2017 at 09:30 (393 days old) by Toddk13 (Milwaukee, WI)        
Tolerance and respect

I was an undergraduate teaching assistant for a university in the early 80's. My boss was gay, but not out. In the public eye, he was "normal" in every way. He dressed "straight", talked "straight", and kept his private life private. My three co-workers and I were heterosexual, About three months into my employment, I noticed that all of his friends were very much "out". We had a conversation one day, and he admitted he was gay. It didn't matter to me at all. My perception was that he was a good person and a good boss. We all had to work late on Fridays. My coworkers and boss all started to go out for dinner on Friday nights. Eventually we included our respective dates. There was no stigma. Everybody had a great time. We did this for about four years until we went our separate ways.

This taught me a valuable lesson in inclusion. My boss felt that it was important for us to be ourselves. We never imposed our personal values on anyone else. I can remember a number of times a good looking guy and girl would stop by the office. After they left, my boss might remark "wow, totally hot!" I'd say "smoking hot!" We'd both laugh because we were talking about different genders. We remained good friends for over 25 years. We'd all have dinner a couple times a year with our respective significant others.

I've seen the LGBT community grow over the decades. I'm glad to see that being gay does not carry the stigma that it used to. I know that it's been a long battle for validation and legal standing. I do, however, have a concern when it comes to "over equalization" for any cause. I despise "(my group/ ethnic heritage) lives matter". Hello? All lives matter!

I lost a son from a long battle with depression. You can't imagine how awkward a question of "how many children do you have" can be. Worse, the feeling of failure as a parent that a child died from suicide. I have fought with depression for over 35 years. That is my cause. I just started collecting vacuums to provide entertainment and focus. It doesn't matter to me who is straight, or who is not. I only ask that conversations on this side of the forum are respectful. As an upgraded member, I see the "everything goes" area. No big deal for me as that is earmarked for that purpose.

I'm looking forward to meeting people with interest in vacuums in Missouri this coming June. I'm not taking sides other than it's 300 miles shorter for me to drive. Todd.

Post# 371306 , Reply# 29   4/24/2017 at 13:23 (393 days old) by dirtmaster37 (The Mitten..somewhere cold most likely...)        
But how many of those young people will stay within colle...

dirtmaster37's profile picture

Have no appropriate, or definitive answer to that. I have free-time right now, so a tome was written below. Will those in the future who will stay collecting, still collect the "older things"??

Ones personal thought is that, at some point the very old things will not be as collectible as they once were. Is this a hundred percent? No. There will most likely always be "enough" to enjoy and want to collect the older things. I never thought for a second that could or would enjoy much other than what I had or was around during the formative years. Today have a smaller, but varied collection. This came from learning along the way that there was some pretty cool things out there, that were around long before oneself.

A way to look at such, is with collector cars. While the cars from pre WWII aren't as hot as they used to be, they still ARE in fact collectible. Even cars from the 50's, which is ones favorite decade have had a decline, but they are sill collected and sold. That is so.

However, vacuums are different to a degree. Cars are VERY expensive, and collected by those who have money. My collection really did not start to grow, until one had own paycheck. Have noticed that many younger people tend to have little or no flow, mobility issues, cognitive probs. etc. This limits many. And because as a society most will value everything to the penny, few can collect what they may like. If at all. Many, who have things in abundance in silo's, shack or shelter; place value on things that cause collectibles to be affordable only after a stop at the local sperm bank, kidney selling center. It continues unabated. Ebay, changed the game for us all. And even those who once hadn't an idea of what one had, is educated by our habits of buying. Then the things that used to be left for dead, or purchased for pennies or free have a value that is beyond reality. Thats a BIG STOP for alot of people.

In the earlier days, old vacuum cleaners were traded amongst each other, and for sums of money that would probably make people cry or FREE. It still out there. People are still willing to share and not retire off said collection. One has made some flow off of machines for sure, but have also given away MANY machines over the years. Some today quite uncommon. Why? it brought that person some joy!!!

It's the cheap things that no one wants, that usually begins a collection. One was nearly in my late 20's before the decision was made, and spent over a hundred dollars for a machine that I had to have. In fact SEVERAL hundred dollars for a Hoover Convertible with a Cord Reel. Never mind that it was Neptune Green, and said Penncrest. It was still a heavier Convertible with a Cord Reel. It didn't sour me to the hobby, just set me back a few months in bills to have a heavy Convertible. It now sits in another friends collection. Have used it twice since I shared it with a decade back. But I digress....

Some have neither pot , nor window. Some have means, and some have beans. IN time it will even out hopes. It did for me, and others, and will so in the future.

Another thought: One must hope that the younger people who become interested, will find allies in the older sect, to TEACH them about the machines of old. This avenue does get a bit muddied seems, because one thing (vacuum cleaners, and potential adult preferences/lifestyles become interwoven). Not all aspire to the mixture, but many do.

Many aren't comfortable to be a mentor. Then there are who do. Several times, one has. And one kept it in the happy box, and kept it clean. Despite the yippy chatter and a few floor wets, a few good collectors emerged. I answered them and taught what I knew. And..voila'. Several lifers so to speak, not just of my influence, but having the love already there are now knee or rectal crack deep in cleaners....

One of my closest friends that have had over a decade with in time, met when he was into mostly 90's Dirt Devils, Hoovers and such. He of course had a LOT of machines, and including older machines, but as he continued to meet others, and experience, he began to appreciate that which was new when his parents were his age and older. Even obtaining the very first Hoover or " Electric Suction Sweeper".

One who stayed in their own decade, wouldn't have appreciated it as much as he did, despite a collective beleaguering from many, because a young person had such a thing, and they did not. Look back, you'll see. Behaviour in any form, can damper a persons want to be a part. He nearly dropped from sight. BUT he looked beyond the garbage. And he still has many friends within this. But he found other interests, and loves along the way. And he grew up and became an adult who focuses on the day to day, and not just sweepers... and not the garbage for sure.

And so it goes. Have experienced this with many who were far younger than, and the experience has been with time comes collecting things we may never had thought.

So it is with vacuums.


My heart breaks for you that you lost a child. As a fellow, who also suffers from depression; I can only imagine how things are, have been, and will continue to be for you. You however alienated those who aren't interested in, or participate in the human condition. These are the ones one should avoid. No one here as of yet. And certainly not me. And seems to be a similarly held feeling.

One did start a dialogue tho, one that probably should have been begun years back. WHY is there so much drama, hate, bitching, fighting, hurt and anger when there is so much in our day to day. My answer is simple. We all have backbone, intelligence, know it all sorcery AND the key to nirvana; when behind a screen, and a keyboard. When faces AND backs are turned. Period. When we are in our soft, safe place, we have the time, and the temerity to create havoc, and so it goes in any area. It's in many sites. It will never go away. Many can try to rinse away, but it still comes back. as sure as soap scum....

This rings true, especially when our day to day life gives us reason to act out. In past days, one was in no means immune. One however, does NOT subscribe, or do it anymore. I want a place to play and enjoy my enjoyment. Not a consistent area from which soap operas can be written. Thats why I look for the good, skim the garbage, and continue on. When one can simply not engage, things are better.

I just wanted to share some thoughts. Will probably sink back into the padding under the carpet now. Just love and live and let live. Thats what Im taking out of what im sharing.



Post# 371309 , Reply# 30   4/24/2017 at 14:49 (393 days old) by Vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture
The VCCC and Vacuum-Land started out as a great idea. Someone in an earlier post commented on the politics of the club at that time.

The truth of the matter was simply this:

The board at that time found it in the best interest of the club to make Vacuum-Land and The VCCC to separate entities. Why you ask?

For many of the same reasons that have been mentioned above. Members fighting, good events destroyed by jealous reactions on the forum. Members of the board being harassed and attacked by some of these folks. The board was very diligent trying to get club members to participate more on the forum. Jealousy over who paid for what was one of the biggest problems. Off topic discussions...which are just that, off topic were criticized for the content. One of my favorite places to go is the off topic and share in some of those discussions.

It finally got to a point where the board did their research to find that many in the VCCC were not using the forum. It was felt that we needed to stop the fighting in order to save the club. Members of the VCCC still have full access and can enjoy the benefits of membership on Vacuum-Land. Many members of the VCCC have never and will never be able to attend a convention, yet they have this wonderful space to share the hobby. It still baffles me that some even complained about all of the young folks coming on board that don't even know what an old vacuum is. Really!

Years and years of trying to get people to submit articles for newsletters, trying to get people involved in conventions, plus spending hours a day trying to monitor this website was more than the board could handle.

Times change and with that so does the way we interact with each other. I am still a member of the VCCC and we struggle to get club members to participate on many levels. Communication is key with any organization.

The moral of the story: Don't be so willing to judge the events of the past unless you were an active participant and knew what was going on. I will end by saying the VCCC is still a great way to share our passion but Vacuum-Land gives a lot more folks a chance to do the same only electronically.

Post# 371310 , Reply# 31   4/24/2017 at 15:05 (393 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

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Well, I was a member of the VCCC when the club split from vacuumland. The general membership was never asked what we wanted. While I was not in the decision making process. I was told about the emails that were exchanged. It was very much a one sided decision. But thatís the past and the VCCC is under new leadership.

Post# 371312 , Reply# 32   4/24/2017 at 15:32 (393 days old) by toddk13 (Milwaukee, WI)        
What is the future of vacuum collecting?

When I found an ad for an Electrolux model G languishing for two months, I responded. After a brief email exchange, I passed. I didn't want to move away from Hoover collecting. Then I latched on to the Classic III, and well, all bets were off. I saw a new ad for a pile of Kirby parts. Huh, same guy! He emailed me with the quote "I used to collect vacuums, but now I'm into cars". I emailed back "I used to collect cars, but now I'm into vacuums".

I was SHOCKED when I met him. He's 18 years old. He started collecting when he was 6 years old. He described strapping vacuum cleaners to the roof of the car while travelling around the country with his family. He had amassed almost 200 vacuums. The family had recently moved, and most of his collection was dumpstered. Sad. I picked up some Kirby items, and felt guilty. These were items that someone spent a lot of time, and passion, to collect. Now, his life is all about cars. I'll probably rescue some vacuums from him in the near future. I just hope that he hangs on to a couple of his remaining machines. Someday, he might just remember how cool they were.

Post# 371313 , Reply# 33   4/24/2017 at 15:44 (393 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

kloveland's profile picture
I think there is still a future to vacuum collecting. There are plenty of active Facebook groups out there. I believe people go through phases. I also believe that there are many closeted collectors that are too embarrassed to admit that they collect vacuums. So we never hear from them. Iíve met a few myself.

Post# 371350 , Reply# 34   4/25/2017 at 12:02 (392 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        
I still...

maintain that the passing of the Boomers will greatly diminish a lot of our present hobbies.....if not kill them off altogether. My long addiction to analog stereo gear has proven this out.  The techs that fix this stuff are retired or dead. It's not been taught in trade schools for eons. With old vacuums at least, they are repairable for the most part by the lay person.  Maybe that will dictate what Boomer hobbies will survive; the repairability factor. Otherwise, it's just a lot of broken, useless junk laying around.



Post# 371357 , Reply# 35   4/25/2017 at 13:17 (392 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Ponder,TX)        

bnsd60m9200's profile picture
hi Kevin, your points of the younger generation not taking an interest in stuff older than what they grew up with or enthusiasm or knowing technicals of repairing older equipment isn't entirely broadscope in my experience in these hobbies.

i am only 32, and i cant stand stuff made when i grew up personally, i like vacuums, smalls, majors, hifi, tv, lighting from the mid 50's - very early 80's and some pre war vacuums. i didn't have an interest in old vacuums or others until i was 27. before i could've cared less. i got into the hobby initially and primarily because of the art in design on vacuums from the period i like. only about a year later did i get into restoration and repair.

i can say that i know people in the vacuum community as well as others that are my age or younger, who very much love the vintage and antique part of the hobby. Phillip Muller and Tyler Morriss share similar sentiments to myself and are younger than me . Tyler is almost 10 years junior to myself.

do i agree that boomers keep that part of the hobby alive to a point? absolutely. but there are people such as myself who will keep the history going, interactive and available for the younger guys to get immersed and fascinated with. almost entirely at the vccc conventions and mini meets are vintage and antique vacuums.

i can say far as repair-ability that very few actually repair vintage vacuums. many people in the community do not know how to fully service machines, or repair them when something fails outside of a broken belt or bag change. i know this just from questions im asked and people who approach me about something when they have trouble with machine. though in an of themselves, the a/c motors that drive the vacuums are easy to repair, proper lubrication and servicing techniques of bearings,non motor items, power nozzle repair or electrical repair intimidate some collectors and they made sideline or altogether throw away a machine once trouble looms. some may not know how and ask like i did and teach myself with guidance from professionals or people who restore alot, others may just not want to tackle it for whatever reason. even fewer people cosmetically restore machines

i always jump at the chance to teach repair clinics, or restoration techniques. some may find out they indeed CAN do this stuff. i want to see this old stuff live on, and find homes for stuff i dont have a passion for , to the people who may love it and keep it, or fall in love with it and begin a new interest in vintage vacuums. there are others in the "young blood" that like that stuff much older than ourselves to keep the history alive, and teach the crafts necessary to keep the old stuff still running in great shape.

Post# 371366 , Reply# 36   4/25/2017 at 17:28 (392 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

Hi Will, there are going to be exceptions in these hobbies of course. There are a lot of young adults interested in the analog stereo hobby that I mentioned previously. What I'm not seeing though are the numbers to sustain and keep that hobby viable to a degree that it deserves. I see nothing remarkable in the vacuum collecting hobby that would make me feel differently for it. As far as most of the Millennials are concerned it's ancient history and is of no interest. It's like a great human sea with only a few lifeboats scattered about at best.


My suggestions is that if you're passionate about older vac collecting, get on the train and ride it as far as you can....knowing that someday it will make a stop for good. Somebody my age has the very unpleasant task of deciding the fate of all the stuff I've collected over my lifetime. My one remaining son has no interest in any of it...he walks a completely different path, the path of a modern millennial. If I live long enough, I'm sure my grandson will have some interest as he's being raised under my care. But he's just turning three.....


I just want to make sure that the stuff nets some income for my son and grandson and they don't just give it away. Nothing galls me more than seeing widows and family members getting rid of a man's whole life for pennies....and the buzzards circling in for the kill. At least I can say in my whole life, I never took advantage of anyone like that. I've paid market value for things that were just gonna be given away....more times than I can remember.



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