Thread Number: 35392  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Montgomery Ward odd handle release mechanism
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Post# 380618   11/3/2017 at 13:42 (291 days old) by Phaeton (Los Angeles )        

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Hello All,
I have received a Montgomery Ward Model 74SP437A Vacuum. I know they were manufactured by Eureka but I have never seen one like this MW. To release the handle, you push down and to lower it all the way down you must push downward on the machine again. Putting the handle up from the lowest position it will go back to the first position and to put the handle back into the straight up position you must push the handle and or vacuum downward. It seems to be sort of a pain but it is novel. It almost seems it could have gone in completion with the Hoover 60 the had the handle release on the handle up by the handle grip but I donít think it is as old. The brush roll is held in and releases like Hoovers of the late forties. The hood is plastic and someone has painted the hood and handle with black wrinkle. The hood has a 3-inch-long crack and appears to have been heated for speeding up the wrinkle possess and has warped and shrunk it a bit. I believe the hood was shiny black plastic and the handle was painted shiny black. The Watt rating seems low at 250 Watts as it has really good power similar to the Hoover 28 or even 61. The base might have been painted a grayish green with the matching bag. I think the bag could be the original? I would guess the vacuum was manufactured prior to 1954 and after 1949 and if someone should know please let me know. When I first saw this vacuum I looked for the foot handle release and I do not know why but I push down on the handle and wow. I would guess this handle release feature was also incorporated into the Eureka. This handle release feature must have been short lived as I only have seen the foot release on the Eureka of this style and I do not remember seeing a plastic hood.
Thank you for looking,

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Post# 380622 , Reply# 1   11/3/2017 at 16:28 (291 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Thanks for posting! This is a fascinating piece of Eurekaís history. Wonder how that handle mechanism survived the heavy pressure placed on it when lifting the cleaner up a flight of stairs....

Post# 380646 , Reply# 2   11/4/2017 at 12:02 (290 days old) by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

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Wow! Iíve never seen anything quite like this before, looks to be very early, itís not like anything Iíve seen from Eureka before.

Post# 380720 , Reply# 3   11/5/2017 at 15:11 (289 days old) by Bvac6 (Fort Wayne, Indiana)        

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It looks like it could almost have been a commercial model?

Post# 380722 , Reply# 4   11/5/2017 at 15:45 (289 days old) by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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Got any close ups of the logo on the front and the model tag badge?

Post# 380783 , Reply# 5   11/6/2017 at 15:15 (288 days old) by Phaeton (Los Angeles )        
Pictures of Model Tag and Logo on Hood

phaeton's profile picture
Hello All and Eureka Fans,
You got it, the Model Tag and Hood Logo. I had them but did include the pictures in my original Post for some reason.
I have been trying to find out more information on this vacuum and on YouTube I found a video from 2011 on a Eureka with the handle mechanism. It is a 2-speed which looks much more deluxe than mine and perhaps newer but also with a plastic hood as he points out and a fancy handle grip. Westinghouse63 came to the same thought of it being somewhat fashioned after the Hoover 60 because of the handle release.
Check it out if you are interested.
YouTube: Early 1950's Eureka Two-Speed Automatic Demo.
By: Westinghouse1963 from 10 Jan 2011
Thank you Westinghouse1963 for your video.
As they say, very interesting.
Thank you for looking,

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Post# 380815 , Reply# 6   11/6/2017 at 22:55 (287 days old) by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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I found a snippet on a website about a Montgomery Ward Hawthorne bicycle that the shield logo was used from the mid-1950's through the 1960's.

Post# 380853 , Reply# 7   11/7/2017 at 15:27 (287 days old) by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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Also I googled the last patent on that tag, it was filed in 1945-02-19 for a "belt guard".

Charles F Foley
Current Assignee
Original Assignee
Priority date

No idea if this would be the production date of the vacuum, but that's when the patent was filed. It might have been put on hold due to WWII.

Post# 380857 , Reply# 8   11/7/2017 at 17:33 (287 days old) by Phaeton (Los Angeles )        

phaeton's profile picture
Hello All and Huskyvacs,
That is interesting, 1945.
I found this thread from 2006, Thread No. 17 "Your Rarest Vacuum Cleaner" and the Reply No. 31; Post #234207 of 05-27-2013 by 1926700 is a picture of a Eureka and indicates that it is a 1946 Eureka. That Eureka look a lot like the one in the YouTube video of Westinghouse1963's. It looks like in 1946 Hoover had the Model 61 and the Model 28. I really did not think that my Montgomery Ward could be that old. I could see that Eureka competing with Hoover's Model 62 of 1950 which also had plastic hood.
Well Huskyvacs you did some good research of these Eureka vacuums. This is the first Eureka and or Montgomery Ward vacuum I have ever seen with that handle release and while being a neat idea like the Hoover Model 60 it is a real pain to use. But I do have to say I like the novelty of both machines.
I might just add it to Thread No. 17 just for fun. There are some odd vacuums on it.
Thank you for looking,

Post# 380858 , Reply# 9   11/7/2017 at 17:43 (287 days old) by Phaeton (Los Angeles )        

phaeton's profile picture
Hello again,
Sorry it is not "Your Rarest Vacuum Cleaner" it is "You Rarest Vacuum Cleaner" but Thread No. 17 will get you there anyway.

Post# 380876 , Reply# 10   11/7/2017 at 20:37 (286 days old) by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
I took a look in that thread and it does look similar in all aspects, just your Wards vacuum has a smaller headlight lens for some reason. Montgomery Ward did make things identical to other vacuums (or under license), but they cut corners here and there in the design to make it cheaper and more affordable. This is likely an explanation for the weird manual handle release and why it's made of plastic (Bakelite?) and not metal.

In any case, it's likely a pretty rare vacuum, as I can find no other photos, advertisements, or evidence of this vacuum existing. It was hard enough just trying to date that early Montgomery Ward logo. lol

You could have the only surviving one for all we know!

Post# 381097 , Reply# 11   11/10/2017 at 23:23 (283 days old) by Gj3476 (Dallas,TX)        

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Beautiful vacuum find!

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