Thread Number: 11028
How could they!?!?!??
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Post# 119168   12/24/2010 at 10:58 (3,452 days old) by rickenbacker ()        

mind you, if they had painted it better, it might look quite nice lol rather then looking like a dolls house vac! :P

CLICK HERE TO GO TO rickenbacker's LINK on eBay

Post# 119173 , Reply# 1   12/24/2010 at 12:46 (3,451 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

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There's any number of reasonable reasons for painting (or re-painting) a vintage vac.

All Kenmore Imperials were not polished aluminum. I have seen one with an original gunmetal gray textured enamel, probably the step down model or later issue than 1937, aka a Wartime materials restricted Imperial?

This eBay one, missing only the topside 'Imperial-Kenmore-Imperial' trim strip, as evidenced by the rivet holes, does appear to be spray painted but I would say, judging from the wear pattern and the blue-ish dark red colour, that it was painted many decades ago, perhaps in the 1950s. That's a colour frequently found on old manual lawn mowers, gas engines and tractors, etc.

Won't know until the paint is stripped off if in fact the aluminum castings are polishable-grade or a re-paint is in order.

The good things about this are that the lights work, the bumper is intact (if the bumper was replaced it was skillfully done and the vac painted with the bumper off) and the bag, while not original, is most certainly an older replacement. In fact the vacuum does not appear to be carelessly abused at all - just normal wear.
The cord may have been replaced too (since polished ones usually have a coiled spring strain relief around the lower motor cord) but again, it looks to be an older thick rubber cord. A hands-on inspection would determine if this is original or a skillful shop repair and refurbishment.

I'll let us all know the fine details about it when I win the auction and pick it up next week. :-) *hint*


Post# 119175 , Reply# 2   12/24/2010 at 12:59 (3,451 days old) by Sablekid ()        

it reminds me of a fire hydrant!

Post# 119186 , Reply# 3   12/24/2010 at 17:07 (3,451 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

John Lucia, the reigning Kenmore Expert, will have to weigh in on this, but I am pretty sure that none of the Imperials were originally painted. The gray wrinkle-finish job is likely a vac-rebuilding service job, and the red one is anyone's guess but it could have been a local vac shop's doing, sold in their 2nd-hand dept.

I say this with a degree of certainty since the "bug eye" version of the Imperial came out in 1937, long before the War. Then there were at least three - and maybe more - later models, also called Imperial, that had very streamlined housings and only a single headlight. The wartime model, also called the Imperial, was a wrinkle-finish version of what I presume to be the last polished aluminum model.

The photo below shows four of the Kenmore Imperial uprights.

Post# 119190 , Reply# 4   12/24/2010 at 17:48 (3,451 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

aeoliandave's profile picture
Thanks for chiming in, Charles; I was hoping someone would before I do something regrettable. But that will depend on how high bids for the buggy thing go. There is a price point beyond which this one loses desirability, since I have no twingle-doubt there are original polished Imperials still out there to be discovered another day...for which I would gladly pay multiple hundreds to acquire. :-)

Thanks also for bringing a dose of sobering logic in picture form to my fantasy - of course there were other Imperial redesigned versions preceding the war.

I note that the painted hand grip on the eBay one is unlikely to be the correct one and the bag hanger is all wrong, too.

Will be fun watching the bidders knock themselves out.


Post# 119200 , Reply# 5   12/24/2010 at 19:48 (3,451 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

and btw the wartime "wrinkle finish" Imperial had a bakelite motor cap, which made it look very similar to a Hoover 28.

I remember two of these from my childhood.

One of them was owned by a lady named Teenie Edwards (those Southerners and their names!!) -- she had a Westinghouse Convert-a-vac which, at that time, was new. I actually got to play with it a couple of times. She showed me one day how it converted from upright to canister. She complained it was too heavy to use as an upright, so she used it as a canister only, and she had an old Kenmore Imperial, which looked absolutely ancient to me at that time, that she used as her upright cleaner.

The other one I found in the furnace room at my dad's church. It was apparently the church's former vacuum cleaner until they got an Electrolux Model R - straight suction only, no power nozzle. It was a good-sized church, and it took the custodian, and old lady named Fannie Godsey (ditto re names!) an entire Saturday afternoon just to vacuum the sanctuary. Luckily for her, the only carpeted surfaces were the aisles and the chancel area -- the flooring under the pews was hardwood which she cleaned with a dust mop. She probably would have had a quicker - and more thorough - cleaning job if she had stuck with the Kenmore! I never could imagine why they didn't get a power nozzle with the new Electrolux.

Post# 119217 , Reply# 6   12/25/2010 at 02:02 (3,451 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        
Another 'Sick' Kenmore

'Sick' being the current slang for 'cool' ;0

Post# 119221 , Reply# 7   12/25/2010 at 04:09 (3,451 days old) by kirbyvertibles (Independence, KS)        

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hmmmmm I do believe that Rick Asquith has that very canister in that ad hiding out in the basement. We had a mini meet a while back and none of us really know anything about it.

Post# 119235 , Reply# 8   12/25/2010 at 10:36 (3,451 days old) by portable (Corvallis, OR)        

portable's profile picture
Wow, a canister Kenmore with a CABINET? That's wild.

Well, Charles, thanks for the compliment, but I don't claim to be the expert on Kenmore. I do remember, though, that there were some painted Imperials (and other Kenmore models), mostly due to the War shortages. It seemed like they painted every damn thing they could get their hands on with that ugly grayish wrinkle-finish paint. Ugh. There were Commanders (the bullet-shaped tanks) painted that color, too.

It could very well be that we have not seen every variation of Imperial (and other Kenmores) yet, in our lifetime, from that era. That's what I love about appliance collecting. There are surprises at every turn.

Post# 119236 , Reply# 9   12/25/2010 at 10:44 (3,451 days old) by portable (Corvallis, OR)        

portable's profile picture
BTW....I agree with Dave's comments - those are probably not the original bag slide or handle grip. And that hideous color is (I hope!) not original to the machine. So, Dave, are going to bid on it?!

Post# 119238 , Reply# 10   12/25/2010 at 10:49 (3,451 days old) by portable (Corvallis, OR)        

portable's profile picture
here's mine. You can see the bag slide (and rubber end pieces) in the picture....

Post# 119272 , Reply# 11   12/26/2010 at 10:56 (3,450 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        
US $208.50 - Lord have Mercy!

aeoliandave's profile picture
Well, I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised. I dropped out early on when it surpassed the price point I would pay in an expensive Canadian Junk Shop on a full out adrenaline high, a bit more than I would pay at a Yard Sale.

Shucks, I was gonna use this win as an excuse to go on a whirlwind Midwest road trip; my previous attempts to get out of this town for a few days or weeks have been foiled by last week's snow storms crushed up against the Christmas holiday week.

I shall take it as a sign from the Vacuum Gods that there is a better Kenmore Imperial/Eureka/Hoover 150/Westinghouse/GE/Singer S/two motor Air-Way out there biding it's time until it calls my name.


Post# 119280 , Reply# 12   12/26/2010 at 13:36 (3,449 days old) by hooverbaby (Dalton in Furness, UK)        
well I was outbid too..

hooverbaby's profile picture
but I must admit that I made them pay for it after I saw your little article..

Stephen C

Post# 119282 , Reply# 13   12/26/2010 at 14:47 (3,449 days old) by truckerx (Palm Springs, CA)        
Who did get it??

truckerx's profile picture
...just wondering if anyone here got it. If so, good luck putting it back together. It was so wrong. but might make a good parts machine. Boo!!

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