Thread Number: 36142  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Interesting Rainbow D(2)
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Post# 387479   3/7/2018 at 22:52 by repairman (Stickney, IL)        

This is an interesting story. My great-aunt was cleaning her garage in California and found her old Rainbow D/D2 that she wanted to send to me. She told me about how the power nozzle had burned out and that it was thrown away many years ago. Even though the power nozzle was missing, I was determined to restore this unit and turn it into a daily use machine. Back when I took the machine apart, I realized a few oddities along the way. The first being that the machine did not appear to be a true D2, rather a model D with a 2 stamped in the model tag, the second being that there was a white, 2 prong power nozzle socket, and the third being that this unit appears to have a D3 motor due to the plastic shield. Being afraid that I would never find a 2 prong D2 power nozzle, I searched eBay and found an R1024G with a missing model tag for only $27.00 with free shipping. It only needed a new belt and that was it. As for the main unit, all the gaskets had disintegrated which was not really a problem, considering that there is just the flange gasket and the motor mount. It also needed a new cord. I ended up spending about $80-100 when refurbishing this vacuum, but it has served me well for almost 7 years now and will probably go on for another 50-60 years. Also, since this is possibly a D3 motor, is it better to put the ground wire on the base unit, or on the motor? Serial #3669123

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Post# 387482 , Reply# 1   3/7/2018 at 23:09 by Electroluxxxx (cortland, NY)        

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That is actually a D2 motor as this is a later run unit. By the looks of it the power nozzle port was added to the machine as well and as for the ground plug some D-D2 machines were not grounded as odd as that sounds it is actually true. I have a few laying around without grounded plugs. Now if you were to ground the machine it should be grounded to the fan housing.

Post# 387487 , Reply# 2   3/7/2018 at 23:18 by repairman (Stickney, IL)        

So even though this unit says Rexair on the model tag instead of Rainbow, it is still a later unit ?

Post# 387499 , Reply# 3   3/8/2018 at 07:43 by Electroluxxxx (cortland, NY)        

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It would say rexair on the back and rainbow on the top which the plastic on yours is missing. Unless the machine had the motor replaced the machine is that of a middle to later run.

Post# 387506 , Reply# 4   3/8/2018 at 09:08 by kirbyvertibles (Independence, KS)        

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Is it possible this could be one of the units that was sent in to have the Whirlpool nozzle added in the 60's?

I'm currently working on trying to build one of these nozzles to go with my D out of some parts I have lying around from a whirlpool 2000

Post# 387511 , Reply# 5   3/8/2018 at 10:25 by dirtmaster37 (The Mitten..somewhere cold most likely...)        
So even though this unit says Rexair on the model tag...

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I think Tom Gasko could answer this better than I, but I learning much from him over the years, about Rexiar-Rainbow, and keeping the info in my brain.. will take a stab at it.

Get your coffee, soda/pop or mug of Ovaltine. This will be a read...

1. Rexair began manufacturing their RAINBOW cleaners up in their new Cadillac Mi plant, about 1968 or so. 1968 just feels right. So this machine, is AFTER that. Prior to that they were mfg'd in Toledo Ohio. I am pretty certain 98% on this (when they went to Cadillac). One has amassed that the production went from Michigan, to New-York, to Ohio, then back to Michigan in terms of where they were produced.

1-A. One will say that I KNOW the switch to Cadillac was NO later than 1971 tho. I have a client, who's husband WORKED for Rexair on the line, and in maintenance over the years. She is the one that gave me the boxes of parts, 2 D series cleaners AND the one featuring the Whirlpool built nozzle explained below that went to Tom G. And she told me IIRC that he started with them in 1970 or 71.

1-B. The earlier Toledo ones also say "The Martin-Parry Corp". This is the company that previously owned Rexair IIRC before they became their own autonomous entity. This seems to have happened right around the time of the move to Cadillac, and later the corporate offices were moved to Troy Michigan to the glass house building on Big Beevahh (Beaver) Rd. By the design of the building, it reeks of the 1980' Im gussing sometime around then.

2. Rexair used, prior to the Eureka versions from 1975-1980, nozzles sourced from other companies. Whirlpool Corp, and or Oreck Corp, were the more commonly used ones.

2-A. The first one they used, Im not at all clear of. It was IIRC foreign made, and was also sourced for Filter Queen too. OR sadly, Im confusing them both, and no such thing existed. Tom will fix this one.

2-B. The ones Im aware of, by again learning from... AND listening to others WHO should know, was the 1962 style Wide-Sweep Lady Kenmore power-nozzle. This maybe 14 inch wide nozzle was ALSO used on some Whirlpool based cleaners thru at the very known latest 1968-69. There was ALSO a plainer, regular rectangle shaped nozzle. This same nozzle body was used on the early Whirlpool CVR machines, and some Kenmore's.

2-C. I learned that this ADDING of a powered nozzle, was all done as a SALE saver move. Milady wanted a power-nozzle on her cleaner like her prior Electrolux, Kenmore, Whirlpool or even a Lewyt Electro-Shocker or what have you. So one was added to...

2-D. A dealer could of, and did easily ADD this port yes. and could do it well enough to LOOK like the factory did it. BUT still could have been done in house.

2-E. I have sent a Model D, that I had been given by a customer cleaning out her husbands "horde" (the one who worked for Rexair in Cadillac); to Tom for the Vacuum Cleaner Museum in St James. It had a very similar power-port done like this one you have. It featured the plain black, rectangular Whirlpool built nozzle tho. It said POWER-BRUSH on it. It wasn't stamped D-2 either just Model D ...IIRC.

2-F. The fact that it has a 2 stamped into the actual data plate infers that either ( A. The power-nozzle port WAS in fact added at the factory...or...B. It was added professionally BY the dealer selling it.) making the above hold water.

3. All, or well MOST "proper" factory D-2's were featured with the three prong, grounded, power-nozzle cord system, along with the Eureka based nozzle around from about 1975. This year holds pretty strong with me as well, as to the year it was first offered to EVERYONE, not as just a sale saver.

3-A. This three-prong cord system went thru the D3. Ones recollection is that some early D3's had the three prong cord system too Im pretty sure.

4. HOWEVER.....Several places, including the very EARLY Tacony Corporation, amongst others; sold fully re-manufactured units, rebuilt for vacuum stores. These rebuilt units, usually had a power-nozzle port ADDED to it, to make it more salable.

4-A. Someone like TACONY, could have had the ability to stamp in that offset 2, denoting the upgrade to be LIKE the newer model. These rebuilt units featured nozzles by Douglas usually, or the Filter Queen 48 style nozzle that was also sold thru many vacuum parts houses as a replacement type fit-all. Two wire cords along the hose and wand were pretty much the norm for these rebuilt units.

4-B. The port, when installed CORRECTLY, like on this unit; was installed either directly above the hose inlet, or to each side of the same. One has seen all three versions. I think the D-2 went to the right side normally.

5. Most private dealers didn't go thru all the trouble of punching a hole large enough to properly affix a true power-port like this machine has, and then use the proper rivets to affix it permanently. Usually they drilled a hole, then used a short female pigtail, a cord grommet, and wired it up in succession with the motor and switch. I've seen this done as well, and it usually a crap shoot where it comes out from...

In summary, Ones guess is that it was either a Rexair FACTORY installed deal, a factory dealer added. It's LESS likely it was/is a rebuilt by someone else thing, but theirs really NO way of ever knowing.

More likely the 2 was stamped and built that way by the factory, then the other two possibilities..but who ever will honestly know. I am sure, by 1968 they were putting ports in on the prod. line too. If it was known that powered nozzles were being added BY the dealers, it stands to reason that they were being done on the line too. BUT, this very well could have waited until the 1975 Eureka nozzle addition.

One thing I have learned on my own is this. NO factory built anything is ever just one way. These companies did thousands of little (running) changes as production happened. This is still happening today. Ones guess is as good as any!!!

Nice save tho, whatever the incarnation!!

Regards, Chad.

Post# 387516 , Reply# 6   3/8/2018 at 12:32 by Repairman (Stickney, IL)        

That information was VERY helpful and I appreciate it deeply. Just so everyone is aware, the machine HAD the plastic cover on top of the dome and it said RAINBOW. It was very brittle and cracked which is why you donít see it in the pictures. I should also add that the machine came with a white seperator with the acorn nut if that helps anybody figure out my motor situation. The power nozzle socket IS wired in series with the switch and cord. The installer ran 2 wires from the machine and then used wire nuts and electrical tape since the power nozzle jackís wires were too short. Iíll try to take some pictures of this wiring job when I have time.

Post# 387560 , Reply# 7   3/9/2018 at 09:26 by Kirbyvertibles (Independence, KS)        

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Thank you Chad. And yes I did enjoy a cup of Joe while reading

Post# 387561 , Reply# 8   3/9/2018 at 10:23 by dysonman1 (Rolla, Missouri)        
Chad is right....

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In 1956, Rexair moved from Toledo to Syracuse, NY. Martin-Perry experienced a hostile take-over by Ward Industries (who wanted their building), and moved them to the back of a dry-cleaning machine manufacturing building. Rexair would saddle Ward Industries with 9 million dollars of uncollectable debt in 2 years, and the board bought back Rexair in 1959 for $900,000.

Rexair stayed in that hell-hole factory until 1968, when they moved to Cadillac, MI.

In 1965, the Progress (German - made) power nozzle was made available to Vac Shops in America, through their suppliers. Many Rainbow and Filter Queen models were retrofitted by vac shops to accept this small power nozzle.

In 1969, Rexair (now in MI) bought a shipment of Power Nozzles from Whirlpool (the L shaped nozzle Whirlpool first used on the 1961 Kenmore Whispertone). They were to be used to save or make a sale in the age of shag rugs. The branch office would have to take the new lower housing with the power nozzle receptacle already installed, and add the cord, switch, motor, and serial number plate from the existing 'new' machine. These nozzles were in very short supply.

In 1971, Rexair bought several shipments of Oreck-built power nozzles, and again, the branch office would have to switch lower main housings to the new housing with outlet. Like with the Whirlpool built nozzle, the outlet was two prong and located directly above the water basin's intake. The power nozzle was basically an Oreck with no bag, but a wand instead.

In 1973, Eureka became the supplier of Power Nozzles to Rexair. They were two prong, and the outlet was now to the side of the water basin intake, The receptacle was put in BEFORE the housing was painted, so the receptacle and rivets were painted the same color as the housing.

In 1975, Rexair began to use the three wire Eureka nozzle, and the receptacle was installed in the housing AFTER the housing was painted.

In late 1979, the D2A was launched with it's new By-pass motor. Most branch offices only got one shipment of D2A's before the D3A launched.

In April, 1980, the D3A with it's new by-pass motor (still the Eureka nozzle) was launched.

Post# 387562 , Reply# 9   3/9/2018 at 10:24 by dysonman1 (Rolla, Missouri)        

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1971 two wire outlet installed at factory

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Post# 387563 , Reply# 10   3/9/2018 at 10:25 by dysonman1 (Rolla, Missouri)        

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New locking button for Oreck-Built power nozzle

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Post# 387564 , Reply# 11   3/9/2018 at 10:25 by dysonman1 (Rolla, Missouri)        

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Oreck-Built power nozzle that I got from Chad. Thanks again Chad. you're the best!

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Post# 387565 , Reply# 12   3/9/2018 at 10:27 by dysonman1 (Rolla, Missouri)        

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"Rexair" molded into two-wire plug. Two wire plugs used until 1974

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Post# 387566 , Reply# 13   3/9/2018 at 10:27 by dysonman1 (Rolla, Missouri)        

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Rainbow name plate - Syracuse NY

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Post# 387567 , Reply# 14   3/9/2018 at 10:28 by dysonman1 (Rolla, Missouri)        

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Rainbow D name plate - Cadillac, MI

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Post# 387568 , Reply# 15   3/9/2018 at 10:31 by dysonman1 (Rolla, Missouri)        

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Factory installed power nozzle receptacle. Note the factory installed black grommet.

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Post# 387574 , Reply# 16   3/9/2018 at 11:03 by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

Black mean the cord strain relief?



Post# 387749 , Reply# 17   3/11/2018 at 00:36 by kirbyvertibles (Independence, KS)        

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Tom, what would the label on the L shaped power nozzle say? Do you know what color it would have been?

Post# 387841 , Reply# 18   3/12/2018 at 11:37 by dirtmaster37 (The Mitten..somewhere cold most likely...)        
And the correct clarifications are now had...

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I knew you'd chime in with what I didn't know, or had wrong!! :-)

Glad as always that Rainbow with the early Whirrleeypool head went to you, to be displayed where all can enjoy it. No thanks required, but you are welcome!! It's safe now. Thats what's important to the history of vacuum cleaning preserved!!!

I totally blanked on the build NAME of the first nozzle. I kept thinking VORWERK for some odd, sad reason. Progress. I am committing that to memory!!

And of course the other information that one was a bit "off" on...LOL!!

Highly unlikely that I'll ever see something THAT uncommon again!!


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