Thread Number: 11219
Eureka Empress II
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Post# 121136   1/13/2011 at 07:09 (4,798 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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Yesterday I received the Eureka Empress II vac that I purchased on Ebay. It is in excellent condition. I was surprised at how quiet but powerful it is. The hose, as would be expected, does have a lot of leakage. Does anyone know what years it would have been made?


Post# 121137 , Reply# 1   1/13/2011 at 07:09 (4,798 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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Pic #2

Post# 121138 , Reply# 2   1/13/2011 at 07:10 (4,798 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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Pic #3 - the tools look like they have never been used. Only the crevice tool and the vibra beat nozzle have a few scuffs on them.

Post# 121139 , Reply# 3   1/13/2011 at 07:10 (4,798 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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Pic #4

Post# 121140 , Reply# 4   1/13/2011 at 07:11 (4,798 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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Pic #5 - very clean inside

Post# 121141 , Reply# 5   1/13/2011 at 07:12 (4,798 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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Pic #6

Post# 121142 , Reply# 6   1/13/2011 at 07:14 (4,798 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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Pic #7

Post# 121143 , Reply# 7   1/13/2011 at 07:15 (4,798 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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Pic #8

Post# 121145 , Reply# 8   1/13/2011 at 07:25 (4,798 days old) by vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

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What and awesome find! It doesn't look to have many hours on it. I would love to find a machine like that! I have one with the round dial and old bag style...great vacuum.


Post# 121147 , Reply# 9   1/13/2011 at 07:37 (4,798 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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The seller told me that it was used in a vacation home and therefore rarely ever used. I also got 2 packages of bags. The only thing missing is the instruction manual.


Post# 121149 , Reply# 10   1/13/2011 at 08:02 (4,798 days old) by luxg ()        

Gary, that is really a beautiful machine! I would guess late 60's for a date. It looks almost brand new. Thanks for sharing.

Post# 121151 , Reply# 11   1/13/2011 at 08:36 (4,798 days old) by vac-o-matic (Saint Louis, Mo.)        

That is a beautiful Empress! I have the Emperor upright, and a 2sp Twin Automatic upright with the cloth outer bag and chrome hood that matches this period. I'm guessing early 70's. Awesome find!

Post# 121152 , Reply# 12   1/13/2011 at 10:02 (4,797 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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Thanks very much Terry & Rick! I do think it was an awesome find. Was there a model with a power nozzle out at the same time or did it come later?


Post# 121153 , Reply# 13   1/13/2011 at 10:04 (4,797 days old) by luxg ()        

Gary, I am not sure about this but I am thinking that a power nozzle may have come later on.

Post# 121157 , Reply# 14   1/13/2011 at 12:10 (4,797 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

The shape of those Eurekas remind me of old tins of chopped pork & ham... :P

Post# 121161 , Reply# 15   1/13/2011 at 12:50 (4,797 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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That is why their nick name is 'canned ham' :-)


Post# 121163 , Reply# 16   1/13/2011 at 12:57 (4,797 days old) by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London)        
Great Cleaner

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You must be delighted to have got one in such good condition. Can I ask though, in pic #8 above, what was the round nozzle above the dusting brush meant for? Looks perfect (witha wand on of course) for scratching that part of an itchy back that you ust cannot quite reach .... LOLOL

Post# 121165 , Reply# 17   1/13/2011 at 13:14 (4,797 days old) by vintagecanister ()        
Nice find, Gary!

I love the tool caddy that you have as well. How fun is that?

I'm glad to see you've found it's multi-purpose use as a fruit bowl. Whoddathunk? =-)

Post# 121169 , Reply# 18   1/13/2011 at 13:34 (4,797 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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I think that tool is to be used as a scalp massager....or you could also use is on a cat/dog to brush them provided they are not afraid of the vacuum :-)


The tool caddy is great but if I was to be using the vac every day I think I would just store all the tools on the vac itself. It has room for all of them except the massager and the vibra beat. I can't take credit for the pics - they were all on the ebay listing :-) The seller was demonstrating how clean the interior is.


Post# 121172 , Reply# 19   1/13/2011 at 13:53 (4,797 days old) by kirbyvertibles (Independence, KS)        

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this would be very early 70's ( before 72-3) and one of the last with the woven hose. There was a power nozzle model like this a few years later in both Eureka and Wards.

Post# 121179 , Reply# 20   1/13/2011 at 14:27 (4,797 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Boy oh boy, I'll be Hans Craig's mouth will be watering when he sees this!!

Beautiful machine and in beautiful condition!

Post# 121193 , Reply# 21   1/13/2011 at 17:02 (4,797 days old) by klectrolux ()        

Holy! Deluxe looking machine! What a neat find, and in such great condition, especially the tools.

Post# 121256 , Reply# 22   1/14/2011 at 07:16 (4,797 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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Thanks guys. Did this model come in different colours? I sort of remembering seeing it in blue and brown? Or maybe that was the models with the power nozzle.


Post# 121326 , Reply# 23   1/14/2011 at 18:07 (4,796 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        
Oh. My. G-d.

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I have just picked myself off the floor after the fainting spell began. I am in awe. *drinks full glass of cold water*

Don't be surprised if you see me on your doorstep - I am putting on my snowshoes and making my way from Toronto to Astorville through blizzard and ice-storm to visit you!!!! (Can I come visit when the weather gets better? pweeeze?)

This is one of my favourite Eureka vacuum cleaners - I just love the design - so well balanced and symmetrical and low key and solid and confident. I first came across the Empress II in Home Furnishings Daily - a trade magazine which my father subscribed to because he owned an advertising agency and had lots of home entertainment product clients (Sanyo, for example). I used to sneak into the garbage when he finished reading them and cut out my favourite trade ads from vac-makers!!!

Eureka Williams had put an ad in HFD at some point (late 1960's, early 1970's) which trumpeted the debut of the new Empress II canisters. There were 3 models - the deluxe TOL model which you now own (Model 1880), Model 1860 which had only 3 suction control buttons and Model 1840 which had no suction control buttons (and maybe no Cordaway cord reel).

Eureka branded these canister vacs as the "Fast Vacs" - because the whole concept was to make vacuuming easier and faster. They described the "racing stripes" on the side of the unit, the large "mag wheels" and the "radio buttons" on the control panel which were similar to the station buttons you found in cars in the 1960's. The tv commercial at the time was wonderful (if someone could find this on the internet, I would be SOOOOO grateful). The tv spot had close-ups of someone racing around the house cleaning every surface with ease - close ups on the wheels of the vac, different tools being put back right onto the Tool Pak on-board, and the cord zipping back into the unit. The audio track had a sexy female voice whispering "Empress Two.....Empress Two.....Empress Two..." And the orgasmic finale of the commercial had the famous Eureka Williams conclusion: A rapid-fire parade of outlines of all the Eureka products on the market, with the authoritative voice-over saying something like "Eureka makes all kinds of vacuum cleaners. And more kinds of vacuum cleaners than anyone else in the world. Eureka. The very best in vacuum cleaners."

The attachment with the little fingers is indeed Eureka's legendary "Groom-a-Pet" tool which was meant to be used on cats and dogs. They loved the term "groom" in those days (Vibra-Groomer came out soon after this vac.)

I would date this vac to some time between 1968 and 1972. The colours are identical to the very first Eureka Vanguard Upright with Rugulator height adjustment. Gary - now you have to find a matching Vanguard upright for your little Empress!!!

I am surprised to see a woven hose with this 1880. Every Empress II I ever saw in person (including Canada's Eaton Viking rebranded version) always had a vinyl hose similar to the hose I gave you with the Eureka Dial-A-Nap upright. This must be the very first edition of the Fast Vac! You can always find a matching vinyl hose (Eureka, Viking, JCPenney, Wards - they all had an Empress II)on the market which can replace this woven one.

If I am not mistaken, this is the first Eureka canister with an audio bag check signal. Let us know how it sounds!!!!!

When Eureka Williams debuted its Roto Matic Power Team canisters in 1973 (Series 1200), the TOL high end deluxe unit was an Empress II Fastvac married to a Roto-Matic power nozzle. It was brown and beige in colour. Consumer Reports rated this Model 1280 as unacceptable because Eureka kept the 360 degree swivel on the hose at the main unit and this caused the pig-tail power nozzle wire to pull out of the socket they dug into the side of the Empress II.

I can not believe the pristine condition of this Eureka, Gary!!! Use it well and as we say in Yiddish - Mazel Tov!

Post# 121363 , Reply# 24   1/14/2011 at 21:58 (4,796 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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Thanks for the history of the Empress II! I'd like to find a vinyl hose as the cloth hose does have a lot of leakage.


Post# 121365 , Reply# 25   1/14/2011 at 22:01 (4,796 days old) by Air-WayCharlie (USA)        

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Really nice clean vacuum with all the goodies! A really good find.

Post# 121368 , Reply# 26   1/14/2011 at 22:34 (4,796 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Hey Gary - you are so welcome....

The trick is going to be to find a hose that identically matches the colour of the tools you got.... not sure how one would do that because there may be many usable hoses out there that were made for Viking/JCpenney/Wards store brand versions.

Enjoy the toy.....!


Post# 121402 , Reply# 27   1/15/2011 at 11:26 (4,795 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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Thanks Charlie and Brian! I'm going to be playing with my new toy this afternoon.


Post# 121403 , Reply# 28   1/15/2011 at 11:31 (4,795 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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Very impressive! Are bags still being made for that vacuum?

Post# 459750 , Reply# 29   1/25/2023 at 19:39 (402 days old) by Paul (USA)        
Re: Reply 23


I hope you have a glass of cold water handy! Here's a GOOD HOUSEKEEPING October 1970 ad for the Empress II (I found this on the enewspaper database at my library, so not sure you've seen it)! What model number is it?


"The most Fascinating vacuum cleaner you've ever met. STYLING is the first thing you notice. 'Tear Drop' shape and two tones of Misty Gold. Deep fender wells provide for oversize 'shag tires.'" ... I included the 1965 Empress ad for comparison. Enjoy!

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size
Post# 459763 , Reply# 30   1/26/2023 at 06:53 (402 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Thanks for this Paul!!! Very “groovy” advertisement that screams “Woodstock”!!!!

I imagine adding on the Tool Pak would have made this cleaner very very heavy to carry up and down a flight of stairs. Would be interesting to compare the weights of every canister cleaner that offered on-board tools. There is always a challenge when a company offers onboard tools: you can make the tools lighter but that also degrades the quality of the attachments. I still think a separate matching tool caddy is best for all vacuums - really wish Miele and Sebo would offer a separate tool caddy as an optional purchase.

Post# 459794 , Reply# 31   1/26/2023 at 19:00 (401 days old) by Paul (USA)        
Re: Reply #30

Yeah, Brian, Woodstock - for sure!

I agree about the OBT issue. I personally like the convenience of them but having used Electrolux uprights with and without shows that they indeed add a fair amount of weight, which can be hard on one's back. For tanks or canisters, I like the idea of Electrolux Corporation's Model XXX Companion or Eureka-Williams Corporation's Model 910 Super Roto-Matic Slip-On Tool Rack that can easily be removed and hung on the wall according to the user's preference or a task's needs. I'm not sure if any uprights have/had such a set-up.

Post# 459797 , Reply# 32   1/26/2023 at 19:33 (401 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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The Empress II is the heaviest vac that I have in my collection. It is heavier than a Filter Queen and the Rainbow D with water in the basin.


Post# 459799 , Reply# 33   1/26/2023 at 20:27 (401 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Glad that Eureka provided the separate Carry All tool caddy with the Empress II - you could store all the tools there instead of onboard the canister itself…making it somewhat lighter.

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