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Post# 794   9/7/2006 at 16:59 (4,400 days old) by aka_bent ()        

The other day, I was viewing the picture Vacuuman posted of the Kirby 519 and it got me to thinking. It certainly was a pretty vacuum, but I have never really been attracted to Kirbys. Even when I was really young, I was always intrigued by Hoovers. In fact, about as far back as I can remember, I always had some interest in Hoovers. No, not just an interest. Fascination! Hoovers fascinated me. At first, I really did not think much about it. But any time I saw a Hoover, it really piqued my interest. And as time went on, I became more and more aware of my leanings toward Hoovers rather than Kirbys. It seemed almost any time I went out, perhaps at a neighbor’s home or even in a store, if there was a Hoover there, I never missed it. In fact, I even began to seek them out. I did this very subtly of course. But then, after a while, not quite so subtly
Now of course, along the way, I periodically saw some very nice Kirbys. Some were even very, very attractive. But no matter how I tried, my eyes kept coming back to Hoovers. It could be at other peoples’ homes, or even out in public. In fact, one time at a Bowling Alley when I was still pretty young, I remember not being able to take my eyes off this very attractive Model 28 Hoover that was essentially being paraded in front of me. (It was then that I also became more open-minded about color!) It seemed none of the other guys there were even aware of its presence, but I certainly was! And so it went
Over time, I became more and more aware that, while others may have been attracted to Kirbys, for me it was clearly Hoovers that always caught my eye. And held it! This awareness slowly led me to the realization that I was somehow different. That somehow, although my friends and I were alike in many ways, we simply were not attracted in the same way. The truth was, they were simply far more attracted to Kirbys. And with that came the recognition that I needed to keep this growing attraction to Hoovers pretty much to myself. In fact, over time I became better and better about concealing this fascination, though looking back, I wasn’t aware just how good I had become or how much energy it took, to hide it. But I continued to find new and imaginative ways to sneak a peek whenever there was some Hoover to be seen, and yet avoid others’ awareness. Yep, somehow, I was clearly different from my other friends!
At some point, my awareness of being attracted to Hoovers while most of my friends were talking, now almost constantly about Kirbys, did begin to concern me. I did try to put it out of my mind, even to redirect it. But somehow, no matter how I tried, if I saw a really neat Hoover, I simply could not take my eyes off it. And it was not singularly uprights. It was largely, but not exclusively across the board. Whether I saw an Aero-dyne, a Constellation, or even a Dustette, my eyes became locked and my heart began to pound just a little bit faster. Yes, there was something about Hoovers that was undeniable to me.
Now I already mentioned hiding this. But I did find opportunities to convince other friends to play together with Hoovers rather than Kirbys. It didn’t happen a lot, but when the gods were shining on me, once in a while and generally for short periods of time, some friends were indeed willing to bring out their Hoovers. This was a wonderful time of exploration. Interestingly, I seem to recall most of those times! Generally, this was either under the guise of needing to show them something, pick up something, or perhaps ask questions about theirs. And during some of those times, it even appeared that we shared the same interest. But of course, we didn’t. They invariably moved on to Kirbys.

As time went on, I continued to become more concerned about this difference. I could no longer sublimate my increasingly strong attraction to Hoovers, so I found different ways to ‘deal’ with this. As friends’ conversations continued to be directed toward Kirbys, at first I decided this was just a phase for me. That with time, I too would eventually become interested in Kirbys. It just hadn’t happened to me yet. But I knew it would. Yeah, right!
I do have to admit that although I had been taught to be very open-minded and non-judgmental at home and in Sunday School, I clearly was attracted to some models over others. For instance, models like ‘Elites’, ‘Pixies’, and ‘Larks’ just did not hold any appeal for me. In fact, I held some distain for them. They just didn’t exude that sense of endurance, power, and strength that attracted me to Hoovers in the first place. I even found myself putting down Convertibles, feeling that the so-called ‘versatile’ models were really wolves in sheep’s clothing
But over time, things began to change. Introspectively, I somehow knew THIS was how God made me. I did not CHOOSE to like Hoovers. In fact, at times, I tried NOT to like them. I really did. But the recurring fascination of course never went away. So I began to try to search out information for myself related to this. I even learned that there were organizations that promised freedom through ‘Reparative Therapy.’ Maybe I could be ‘reprogrammed’ to be attracted to Kirbys rather than Hoovers. But after reading of their shock treatment and their ultra-high recidivism rate, I recognized that only an imbecile or a mindless drone would truly believe in such a thing, any more than such treatment would change my righthandedness or the color of my eyes. Rather, I learned that people could ACT or PRETEND to like Kirbys, but that is all it would be. AN ACT! Today I proudly and comfortably admit I run my HOOVER and with my RIGHT hand! Such acceptance was a long journey, but I have arrived and know that I am indeed a Hoover Man, just as God made me
Please note: I have in no way intended to cast any dispersions on Kirby Vacuum Cleaners. I know many people seem to like Kirbys, and some may even still be in denial as to their supposed superiority over Hoovers. Since the Truth generally wins out, perhaps they will eventually come to the light, trading their unnatural use of Kirbys for the natural use of Hoovers. But in VacuumLand, ALL are welcome wherever they might be in their ‘walk’ with vacuums. I simply wish to encourage you to keep vacuuming and keep an open mind. Perhaps one day, you, too, will come to appreciate THE HOOVER

Post# 851 , Reply# 1   9/8/2006 at 03:16 (4,400 days old) by charles~richard ()        
Kirby vs. Hoover

I think I speak for most collectors when I say that generally, we tend to be interested in -- and collect -- the machines we remember from our childhood. If ya saw a lot of Rexairs and Air-ways as a tike, chances are that's what you mostly have in your collection. Ditto for Kirby, Hoover, Electrolux, Oreck [shudder!
And my own case certainly bears this out. I have few Hoovers not because I loathe them, or don't care about them, or don't have an open mind about them! I have few Hoovers because I hardly ever saw one as a kid. I can count on one hand the number of times I ran into Hoovers. Actually, I can count on four fingers
1 - A neighbor who had a Constellation. I never saw it in operation, only sitting in their living room closet
2 - Seeing the display of Hoovers at a large department store (I was too young to remember which store it was). The vacuum center was right by the up escalator -- as you went up, you got a great birds-eye view of the various Hoovers, including a Constellation set up with a hose in the blower and the hose end dangling somehow below a large beach ball suspended from the ceiling by a wire -- the exhaust from the Constellation made the beach ball bounce and wobble up and down, and you could see it all over the store --- and as you approached the vacuum, you could gradually hear the merry, muffled hum of the Constellation
3 - One of my uncles had one of those big commercial Hoovers made in England (913??). I don't know where he got it but he kept it in his garage. I am teased to this day by my cousin, his daughter, because when I was about 5-6 years old we went to visit my uncle and I dragged that big Hoover out from the garage and vacuumed up the driveway with it! Somehow in my mind I convinced myself he was going to let me bring it home, and when that did not happen I threw one grand-mal temper tantrum
4 - When I was in high school, I had a friend whose parents bought a new Dial-A-Matic. It was beige and bright blue. I thought it was the ugliest vacuum cleaner I had ever seen
And that is IT. No, wait - there is one more --- another uncle was a pastor in a large Baptist church in Virginia, and when we went to see him one day at the church, the custodian was vacuuming the foyer --- with one of those big cast-iron Hoovers! I asked the custodian to let me try it out which he was of course more than happy to do. And I was more than happy to vacuum the entire foyer AND the entire vast expanse of shimmering blue carpeting in the sanctuary
Now, that is really IT. Not a single Convertable. Nary a 60, 61, 62 or 63 and certainly no 700s, 800s, 875s or 972s
On the other hand, it would take the fingers and toes of ALL the members of the VCCC to count up the many Electroluxes and Kirbys I remember seeing --- countless of them, and of every variety. The different Electroluxes stand out more so than the Kirbys, of course, since the 500-series Kirbys pretty much looked the same other than some color and aesthetic details, especially to a nearsighted little kid. I knew people with XXXs, LXs, Es, AEs, Ts, Ss, Rs, AFs and Gs. And many with more than one model
Even one grumpy old lady who had a rebuilt XII that was painted canary yellow! (One of those vac rebuilding mills, Metropolitan maybe, was responsible for the yellow XIIs -- I have a photo of one of those "mountains o' vacs" in a warehouse and there are several of those very same canary yellow XIIs!) The only Luxes I did not ever see, to my recollection, were the V, XI and 20 (XX), and in fact did not even know of the existence of these models until I was an adult
So THAT's why I fancy the Big E and the Big K over all other types

Post# 853 , Reply# 2   9/8/2006 at 03:22 (4,400 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I like the METAL Hoovers as well-don't like the plastic ones.Would like to get more Metal Hoover Jr and Convertible uprights.They are nice simple,effective machines.My favorite is still Kirby.Grew up with one.(511)

Post# 886 , Reply# 3   9/8/2006 at 19:58 (4,399 days old) by myhooverco ()        

I agree with you AKA...I too was always attracted to the Hoover brand...heck I even moved to North Canton (it was only 5 or 6 miles from my hometown anyway). I even became involved with the Hoover Historical Center. I now have well over 300 Hoover vacs and many more appliances with the name on it. I saw Hoovers growing up all over
1. My grandmother had two a Convertible 1070 and a model 6
2. My mother had a Convertible 719 and a DAM U501
3. My neighbor the police chiefs wife had two Convertibles a bicentennial model and a similar U409
4. My neighbor across the street had the full hood Convertible
5. My neighbor diagonally from me had an orange Connie
6. My grandma's neighbor had a 63 and a blue Connie
7. My best friends mom had a Portable and a brown Convertible (plastic
8. My good friend behind us had a Decade 80 in brown
9. The family I babysat for had a Decade 80 in green and chrome
10. Even now on my walks during the summer I hear Concept Ones and Elites and Wintunnels going when people have their windows open
So I say...say it loud and say it proud...Hoover is one of the greatest companies and made some of the greatest vacuums in the last century. No one around us could afford a Kirby or Lux...they always seemed so expensive. The people that I know and knew bought what was available and on sale and something that had quality without the big price tag. I am happy to own a few Hoovers...they have always been great machines and I enjoy displaying them

Post# 887 , Reply# 4   9/8/2006 at 20:34 (4,399 days old) by aka_bent ()        
Hoover as King!

Hey, To
It's too bad you didn't have more of a Hoover presence around you! In my neighborhood growing up on Long Island, you either saw (and heard!) Lux 30s and LXs plus a few AEs, and of course Hoovers. The Hoovers I became familiar with early on were one 29 and one 63, two Aerodynes, three Connies, four convertibles, five 28's (really!) and a partridge in a pear tree! I currently have something from each of these major food groups except that my 28 is acutally a 26! Yes, altough it may be true that nothing sucks like an Electrolux, Nothing beats (as it sweeps as it cleans) like a Hoover! They are FABULOUS! (Oops, did I actually say that?
Thanks for your thoughts

Post# 888 , Reply# 5   9/8/2006 at 21:01 (4,399 days old) by converto-skip ()        
Kirby 561 and compact c4

Growing up the kirby 561 and the turquiose Compact c4 caught my eye and that began my fastinaction with vacuum cleaners and at the time my Mother had a bullet styled Grey westinghouse canister with the burgundy hose and matching attachments and her vacuum did nothing for me at all. then i started seeing the neighbors vacuums and believe it or not most of our neighbors had the pink swivel top Ge, there were a few Kirbys, one rolleasy, and one airway model 66, but then I also got hooked on floor polishers and mixers and irons too. But today I appreciate all brands of vacuum cleaners

Post# 891 , Reply# 6   9/8/2006 at 23:26 (4,399 days old) by charles~richard ()        
Ah, Floor Polishers

MY other great obsession! First on that list, of course, is the clever air-powered Electrolux floor polisher - the early, flying-saucer shaped one. There's just SOMETHING about that amazing little device that even today gets my heart to pounding when I hear its unmistable, familiar drone
Second to that would be the fabulously designed turquose mid to late '50s Johnson Wax floor polisher. Back in the day, there would be a rack of these machines in most grocery stores, the way today you can rent carpet shampoo machines. I would stand there and stare at the row of - by that time - gun-metal blue Johnson Wax polishers and just be in heaven
We had a next-door neighbor who had an Electrolux F and the Johnson Wax HP54. Whenever I'd hear that waxer fire up, I'd be over there in a flash to watch. In that household, waxing the floors was considered the man's job as it was always the husband who did the chore. Fun, fun
Here are a couple of photos of my favorite polishing machines, starting with the Johnson Wax HP54.

Post# 892 , Reply# 7   9/8/2006 at 23:28 (4,399 days old) by charles~richard ()        
Polishers #2

Obviously I love the "robot helmet" inspired machines and here are two different examples of a real beauty -- a Clark 13" machine. You can see and read more about these machines at the link below.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO charles~richard's LINK

Post# 893 , Reply# 8   9/8/2006 at 23:32 (4,399 days old) by charles~richard ()        
Polishers #3

I call these "The Three Robot Polishers" -- the Clark; a Cyclo machine (made by Interstate Enginnering, of Compact fame -- this was the first "orbiting" floor polisher where the spinning brush oscillates around in an orbit rather than just spinning in a circular motion -- the forerunner of the Oreck, which looks remarkably like the Cyclo - see link); and, finally, the Johnson Wax HP54.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO charles~richard's LINK

Post# 894 , Reply# 9   9/8/2006 at 23:34 (4,399 days old) by charles~richard ()        
Polishers #4

This and the next two photos are of a very strange metallic egg-shaped polisher I found on eBay. There is no manufacturer identification on it and it is of very odd and futuristic design! Maybe it came from Mars...?!

Post# 895 , Reply# 10   9/8/2006 at 23:34 (4,399 days old) by charles~richard ()        
Polishers #5

another view of the chrome egg...

Post# 896 , Reply# 11   9/8/2006 at 23:35 (4,399 days old) by charles~richard ()        
Polishers #6

and another view...

Post# 897 , Reply# 12   9/8/2006 at 23:36 (4,399 days old) by charles~richard ()        
Polishers #7

And, last but hardly least, the most fabulous and beautiful of them all ... and the object of my obsession from the first moment I laid eyes on one when I was but an infant (according to my mom).......

Post# 901 , Reply# 13   9/9/2006 at 05:38 (4,399 days old) by swingette ()        

reading Bent's posting, im getting the impression that he's coming out of the (Hoover) closet! there was never anything to be ashamed of, Bent! glad you figured it out. there may be more expensive cleaners (Royal, Electrolux) and more versatile (Kirby) but NOTHING cleans rugs like a vintage Hoover! (of course, vacuum love is NOT a competition!)

Post# 923 , Reply# 14   9/9/2006 at 13:14 (4,399 days old) by aka_bent ()        
Swingette and C4-man!

Damn! Am I that transparent? lol Truthfully, I am a big fan of most vaccums, excepting of course, most of the new/plastic/disposable genres, which is most of what's out there today. I recently got a wonderful C-4 and love it as well! I hope the Compact/Tri-star line does not eventually come out in plastic unless it is Lexan!


Post# 952 , Reply# 15   9/10/2006 at 05:18 (4,398 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I hope TriStar doesn't come out in plastic-even Lexan-Lexan can suffer from age cracks.I am strating to wonder with the escaling price of peteroleum products-the price of plastic resins-will rise as well-since many are derived from petroluem.
I f this be the case-maybe we will see METAL vacuums again!Actually in some aspects it may require LESS energy to machine or form metal than to mold plastics.

Post# 1166 , Reply# 16   9/12/2006 at 14:30 (4,396 days old) by robgwisdala ()        

I have a 1991 Kirby G3 with attachments and shampooer and a 2004 Kirby Ultimate G Diamond Edition with attachments and shampooer and ZippBrush.
They both work very well! I love them!

Post# 1315 , Reply# 17   9/15/2006 at 05:10 (4,393 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I like my kirby "G" machines as well.My favorites.

Post# 1324 , Reply# 18   9/15/2006 at 10:28 (4,393 days old) by kirbykid ()        
Hoover vs Kirby

I agree the new Kirbys are definately easy to push with the tech drive on but very heavy to carry around

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