Thread Number: 35552  /  Tag: Pre-1950 Vacuum Cleaners
Universal hand vac find!
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Post# 381992   11/30/2017 at 19:40 by icee (Indiana)        

icee's profile picture
Can't believe I found one of these, especially at a goodwill outlet! I think it's beautiful, that's just me, but like....who just let it get this far, to where it's almost considered trash? Either way, so excited to have it. The outer shell of the cord is crumbling off showing the (I guess it's cloth?) inner insulation, so I didn't test to see if it ran, I kinda didn't trust it lol. Also, I don't really know the year of this, I guessed pre 50's, if anyone knows it's age that'd be great. Oh and yes the bag is probably upside down, I literally just walked in the door and snapped pics of it.

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Post# 382059 , Reply# 1   12/2/2017 at 02:08 by FCS3 (Hawaii)        
Hello icee

Nice to find a fellow Landers, Frary & Clark fan!
Your Universal Hand Vac is probably a few years older.

When I got mine off Etsy (for $7) it had a lousy cord, too
I borrowed 10' from my Eureka Junior Model H, and used the
old plug. You need to completely disassemble it to wire in
the new cord. But that gives you a chance for a thorough
cleaning and lube.
I polished mine with Wrights Silver Polish (better on
bakelite than car polish I think). It runs like new.
P.S. The belt's discon. cause its just for display.

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Post# 382070 , Reply# 2   12/2/2017 at 09:59 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
Looks like a rubber sheathed asbestos braided cord. Do not plug it in because there is a strong chance a dead short has developed in the cord.

Vacuum looks like a Westinghouse clone.

Post# 382072 , Reply# 3   12/2/2017 at 10:12 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
I agree with Huskyvacs. That cord looks damned scary. Unless you rewire it, that one's a shelf-sitter for sure. Otherwise, it's a really cool piece, very art deco. Kind of amusing that the badge is upside down. I wouldn't change it.

Post# 382073 , Reply# 4   12/2/2017 at 11:12 by FCS3 (Hawaii)        
About the badge...

That's actually the access cover for
setting the drive belt on the spindle
(like Royals have).

Like huskyvacs and human warned, if you're
curious whether it runs or not, find out
AFTER you've installed the replacement cord.

Post# 382084 , Reply# 5   12/2/2017 at 21:48 by icee (Indiana)        
Oh I agree completely

icee's profile picture
I have ZERO intention of turning it on lol. I know better than to try that, I've seen enough of people who collect vintage things talking about not pluging in things like that, but I absolutely appreciate the warnings and concerns. And asbestos, holy crap I never really thought about that being in that! Shows how much I've gotten comfortable with modern life lol.

Does anyone know maybe what decade this is from?

Post# 382089 , Reply# 6   12/2/2017 at 23:33 by FCS3 (Hawaii)        
Hey icee

This is the only ad I've seen which even shows
a Universal hand held vac. If you look really
close, its along the bottom edge to the left of
The tank-type cart the ad features began to be
popular around 1950. You've probably seen Kenmore's.

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Post# 382122 , Reply# 7   12/4/2017 at 01:31 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
Oh yeah, up until the early 80's when it was banned they used asbestos in all kinds of things from oven mitts to floor tiles to a concrete additive, as such was the case of the World Trade Center. It had it's heyday in the 30's, 40's, 50's when people discovered it didn't burn easily and it was a good insulator to keep things warm.

Your cord is totally fine as it is to have laying around if you want to keep it for posterity to go with the vacuum. Asbestos is only dangerous if it is disturbed and the particles get airborne and float around like during home renovations and demolition of walls and attics and whatnot.

I just I wouldn't advise you go scratching and sniffing at it. :-) I've got asbestos tape on my ductwork, a sink with asbestos coating under the basin, and I have an old coffee percolator with an asbestos cord (that is original and in working order) and no worries, since it is glued to an object already and is least likely to crumble and come off.

Post# 382249 , Reply# 8   12/6/2017 at 19:13 by icee (Indiana)        

icee's profile picture
Oh ok cool thanks for the info!

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