Thread Number: 34666  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Columbus mark III vacuum and polisher find
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Post# 374413   6/25/2017 at 18:09 by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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So Joanne surprised me on Saturday with yet another present. We went out on our normal Saturday drive, Out for breakfast and then the weekly shopping we then went to fetch this.

Its a early model Columbus MKIII. Its in great condition. Still needs to a good cleanup but its looking good.

This model even has the headlight opening in the dome witch is very rare.

It came with its instruction booklet and all its vacuum attachments



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Post# 374478 , Reply# 1   6/26/2017 at 17:44 by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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Some more before restoration pics.

This is it set up as a vacuum cleaner


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Post# 374481 , Reply# 2   6/26/2017 at 18:21 by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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some of the attachments

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Post# 374482 , Reply# 3   6/26/2017 at 18:23 by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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attachments hooked up, surprisingly good suction

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Post# 374483 , Reply# 4   6/26/2017 at 18:26 by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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The underside of the suction head and the motor

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Post# 374484 , Reply# 5   6/26/2017 at 18:32 by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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So this is the polisher head. whats really interesting is that I have always seen the polisher head hooked on with the leaver in the front. However the instruction booklet clearly shows its supposed to be fitted at the back..

I will leave it in the front


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Post# 374809 , Reply# 6   7/2/2017 at 16:34 by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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So Yesterday was Sebastian Birthday. He turned 6 and like me he is fascinated with vacuum cleaners. His parents have become very good friends of Joanne and mine. I can still remember the first call I got from Owen, Him thinking he had just called a normal vacuum shop to ask if i had any old vacuums I would be wiling to part with, because as he explained in his words " please don't think this is odd but my ( then ) 3 year old son is fascinated with vacuums". I laughed out loud. "He said I know it sounds odd but their is even a guy in Cape town who collects vacuums aswell" I said I know thats the reason I am laughing your speaking to him. And that was how our friendship started. Well So yesterday was his bday party so I restored this Columbus B11 polisher for him, His favorite colour is blue. It had a full rebuild , motor and paint


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Post# 374810 , Reply# 7   7/2/2017 at 16:36 by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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The B11 is a suction polisher only, it does not have the ability to convert into a vacuum cleaner

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Post# 374811 , Reply# 8   7/2/2017 at 16:37 by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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The complete unit

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Post# 378624 , Reply# 9   9/18/2017 at 16:07 by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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Ok so I finally got some time to clean this beast up

This is a childhood vacuum for me , and polisher


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Post# 378625 , Reply# 10   9/18/2017 at 16:08 by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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As a vacuum

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Post# 378626 , Reply# 11   9/18/2017 at 16:11 by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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In its resting place for now

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Post# 378642 , Reply# 12   9/18/2017 at 21:24 by FCS3 (Hawaii)        
Awesome!!

We don't have anything so ingenious in the States.
I love clever "old tech". Especially manufacturers
who kept peoples' tight household budgets in mind.

Museum quality restoration BTW.

Its OK that you collect vacuums.
(We at Vacuum Collectors Anonymous are here to help) :)


Post# 378653 , Reply# 13   9/19/2017 at 02:16 by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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Thank you Frank
I have between 450 and 500, most are on display in my showroom but I have a few in the lounge at home ( very understanding wife :) ) When people ask why I have vacuums in my lounge , my standard answer is YOU DONT !!!! Wow . gets them every time.

Or Why do you have so many vacuums? My response is You only have one, Dam your house must be filthy ;)

Tom Gasko at the vacuum Museum has one but without the polisher head, It belonged to David Watters who donated it to Tom


Post# 378656 , Reply# 14   9/19/2017 at 07:25 by watsonw (Newport, Shropshire, UK)        
columbus nixon

Hello Gareth,

A very interesting machine, super restoration.

How does it perform?

Where they of south African manufacture?

I imagine these machines were very popular in countries where houses had more hard flooring than carpeting.

Regards, Walter. UK.


Post# 378666 , Reply# 15   9/19/2017 at 15:21 by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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Hi Walter
They actually originate from the UK, as can be seen from these pics , the one been on the motor itself visible through the bag port.

At somestage Barlows bought the rights to manufacture them here and the rights to the name too, which still exists in the commercial sector.

By that time the version of this was called the B12 and another version seen above in special once off blue for a little budding collector called the B11.

Vacuum performance is on parr with other straight suction uprights of that era, However as a polisher these things were in a legue of their own, They are still loved today and even though parts like brushes are becoming scarce I could get very good money for any of the 15 plus versions I have of the polisher here in SA. They are probably one of the few machines in my collection that are actually worth allot of money on the open market. These are very sort after and as such easy to collect here.
While old vacuums will easily go to the bin in my country people hang on to these things for years and years, I have seen really bad condition ones go for silly money Ie a few hundred Pounds. but the avarage price for one needing some love and resto work is about 50 pounds making them cheap and easy to buy.

I have a almost identical one that has a 36 volt motor for use with a gen set for far outlying areas on Farms and such


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