Thread Number: 11244
Vacuum cleaner production during world war 2
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Post# 121387   1/15/2011 at 09:04 (4,796 days old) by 2011hoover700 (owosso michigan)        

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Did all vacuum cleaner companies temperarally totally stop vacuum cleaner production along with all their parts durung world war two to switch to war production?
I might have been told this before but could have been told wrong so I thought I'd start this thread.

Post# 121414 , Reply# 1   1/15/2011 at 14:11 (4,795 days old) by DysonAnimal ()        

Hoover in the UK kept Model 375 and 262 in production until 1940. When aluminium was no longer available, they made them out of zinc, which made the cleaners much heavier. More and more men were pulled off the vac production lines to help with war production contracts. The earliest contracts came in 1938, before the outbreak of the war, for 4,200 cylinder studs for de Havilland, and 1,500 hot air blowers.

Over the course of the war, Hoover's London factory turned out 78,000 blowers, 10,000 motors, and over half a million rotary transformers, amongst numerous other electrical and mechanical components. Almost every British plane had a substantial number of Hoover-made parts in it!

In 1940, Hoover and it's employees bought and presented the nation with a Spitfire, named 'The Sky Sweeper', and 200,000 was leant to the government, free of interest.

By 1941, production of complete cleaners had long-since been halted, but the manufacture of spare parts continued, and a reduced service staff of 400 (later cut down to 150, then 122) helped maintain the peace-time half-yearly service routine. As a result, very few Hoover cleaners went out of service during the 6-year war period!

Of the 21 service depots, three were destroyed in bombing raids, although new premises were quickly located. Hoover House on Regent Street, the London Sales and Service HQ, was damaged by bomb-blasts on three occasions.

Within a month of VE day, Hoover's cleaners were back in stores, and most sold out within a day!

Sorry this picture isn't clear - the book's too old and rare to jam into the scanner! The diagram shows all the Hoover-made parts in a Halifax Bomber...

This post was last edited 01/15/2011 at 18:06
Post# 121419 , Reply# 2   1/15/2011 at 16:46 (4,795 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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In January 1942 (just one month after Pearl Harbor), the Federal Government enacted legislation which prohibited the production of consumer goods -- including automobiles, home appliances, and housing materials. That included vacuum cleaners. The War Production Board in the United States heavily controlled every aspect of the manufacturing sector of the economy as raw materials were diverted to war-time production. There was an exception. If companies already had materials on hand to produce certain consumer goods, then that was allowed. Also, companies were allowed to produce parts for the repair of consumer goods. Otherwise, virtually all manufacturing was switched over to war-time production as raw materials were diverted for that purpose. Some innovation was achieved during the war. For instance, Cadillac had a contract to build instrument panels for B-17s. However, because so much of Cadillac's skilled labor was overseas, they had to invent color coded wiring so that illiterate workers could properly connect wires. That's how we got color coding! Now, you know the rest of the story regarding color coding!

This post was last edited 01/15/2011 at 18:29
Post# 121439 , Reply# 3   1/15/2011 at 18:01 (4,795 days old) by Crevicetool (GA )        
This will be a great thread......let's keep it going!

I know Electrolux built instruments and gauges during the war. I cannot remember what application they were used for. LF&C (Universal)built this gun mount during WWII, also motors, castings, and also supplied a good deal of canteens, mess kits, first aid kits, and countless other items. They also did this during WWI. They also had the rare honor of making swords for military use. One was commissioned by Gen. Patton. An example of the sword is at the industrial museum in New Britain.

The copy of the actual newspaper clipping comes courtesy of Terry Lattz, who almost a year ago went with me to New Britain and hit the "copy" button over 400 times collecting data!

Post# 121446 , Reply# 4   1/15/2011 at 18:11 (4,795 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        
Never knew this

Huh. What, did kirby and other vacuum companies like start making artillery shells instead of vacuums?

Thanks, VW

Post# 121449 , Reply# 5   1/15/2011 at 18:31 (4,795 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        
@ vac_whisperer

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That's exactly what happened. I remember reading once what Kirby produced for the war effort, but I can't remember now what it was.

Post# 121451 , Reply# 6   1/15/2011 at 18:36 (4,795 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        
Thats very interesting...

It would be a little strange to be firing an artillery shell that said "HOOVER" on it-heh. But its really interesting.

Thanks, VW

Post# 121452 , Reply# 7   1/15/2011 at 18:39 (4,795 days old) by Crevicetool (GA )        

Oh yeah! I find this subject fascinating. As said above, the war effort effected almost every aspect of life. Not only for manufacturers - but citizens participated in scrap metal drives, planted "victory" gardens, had gas rationing - you name it. Incidentally, there were no civilian automobiles for 1943, 44 and 45. The model years ran from a very few 1942 models - mostly built with painted trim pieces instead of chrome plating etc. Then after the war when production was allowed, the first cars available were '46 models which were kind of held over '42's with just a few cosmetic changes - nothing major.

Post# 121471 , Reply# 8   1/15/2011 at 20:19 (4,795 days old) by portable (Corvallis, OR)        

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Hoover in America made variable time fuses for bombs, and the bag division sewed parachutes and parachute bags. Hoover won the coveted "E" award at the end of the war for their excellent participation. Also, Hoover housed many children of employees in Britain in the U.S., to protect them from the bombings going on there.

Post# 121508 , Reply# 9   1/15/2011 at 23:50 (4,795 days old) by Crevicetool (GA )        

Yet another snow day auction site purchase....(yeah I know)....but it sure goes along with this thread. BTW, anyone that wants to drive over here, get free room and board and teach me how to run my own scanner - I would be very grateful. I couldn't get all of it in the scanner. I know there is a way to "merge" these two pictures, crop it to fit, yada, yada, yada - but I ain't that smart. So - it's up to you! Let me know.

first half...

Post# 121509 , Reply# 10   1/15/2011 at 23:51 (4,795 days old) by Crevicetool (GA )        

second half.

Post# 121510 , Reply# 11   1/15/2011 at 23:52 (4,795 days old) by Crevicetool (GA )        

third half.

Oh, nevermind.

Post# 121515 , Reply# 12   1/16/2011 at 00:40 (4,795 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

If you'll check out my Electrolux history page, the narrative covers wartime production.

What's always fascinated me is the mention of the company being involved in "highly classified ... wartime production operations for the government." I've always wondered what those E-Lux boys were up to.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO electrolux~137's LINK

Post# 121578 , Reply# 13   1/16/2011 at 10:40 (4,795 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

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If only UNIVERSAL PEACE was this easy.

Post# 121589 , Reply# 14   1/16/2011 at 11:08 (4,794 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
Didn't you ever see the war museums?

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The planes had beater bars! The bombers had the HOOVER logo.......and the rifles had telescoping wands!.. Fine arteillery...around the field, around the world........ All kidding aside, I have the little book from the Historical Society in N Canton. It's fascinating ahet happened for the war effort. The book was written by a girl who came here, got a job, found here love.. all here. HMMMM Work at HOOVER, live in N canton, find the love of your life... all in that town. ......

Post# 121618 , Reply# 15   1/16/2011 at 14:38 (4,794 days old) by chrisb32 ()        

This is really interesting. I am enjoying reading these little tidbits of info. I have never even heard of any of this, but on the other hand I havent had the opportunity in my life to make friends with any "vacuum people", lol. At lest not in person or anything. I hated history in school, but this kind of stuff is fascinating. It makes me wonder how it must have been for those factory workers. I mean, think about it, in that period in history with so many men off to war and everything. I'm sure that probably nearly every person working in those factories probably had a husband, boyfriend, brother, friend, whatever off to war. Ao they go to work probably trying to keep the horror and worry in the back of their minds, when all of a sudden, they have to start making things for the war effort instead of the regular products. Must have been hard. A little dramatic I know, but I try to see things for how they might have really been. My grandfother was in WWII. After he passed away in 2005, I was going thru a box of old cards, letters etc that he had kept of his mothers after she had died. Everybody thought there was nothing in there of interest. Well, they werent very observant. I found three letters that he had written home from new foundland, and a few other places. They were just regular everyday letters about whatever he had been doing. One letter was at christmas time, etc. He had the most beautiful handwriting too, as did alot of people back then. Anyway, they are real treasures. They are in the faded envelopes, with "free" marked where the stamp should be. Getting ahold of something like that really sort of puts you in that persons frame of mind for a minute. So sublects like this kind of hit close to home anyway. Sorry for my rambling as usual, lol. Anyway, point is, very fascinating.

Post# 121623 , Reply# 16   1/16/2011 at 15:08 (4,794 days old) by arh1953 ( River Park, in Port St. Lucie, Florida)        

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Little slices of life are fascinating, I rescued a couple of old Christmas cards from the trash a couple of times, Mom was throwing 1952 cards away in the '90s, and I hate to think of what I missed. This is family history! She did save a drawerful of Mother's Day cards though.

Post# 122063 , Reply# 17   1/18/2011 at 05:24 (4,793 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

WW2 things made-that I could recall-Cadillac-besides instrument panels for planes they built tanks and tank engines.
Kirby-made Signal and very pistols and flares and other flare signal devices.Moller Organ factory-built CASKETS!!Easy Washer or Appliance---machine gun mounts and pedistals.RockOla-made .30 M1 Carbines.Same with IBM,and many other companies-Garand rifles and M1 carbines.Same with colt 1911 pistols.electronic good building frozen too-the companies had to make electronic equipment for the war efforts.No electronic consumer goods-thats why you saw adds in 1940's magazines to take care of whatever appliances you had-otherwise you may do without.

Post# 122544 , Reply# 18   1/21/2011 at 23:17 (4,789 days old) by kenkart ()        

Was the only company who produced vacs during wartime, they were able to do this because M Ds were prescribing them to people with respiratory problems, and so they were allowed to make them on a limited basis, this meant when the war was over they were up and running before anyone else.

Post# 122940 , Reply# 19   1/25/2011 at 01:02 (4,786 days old) by gmerkt (Edmonds WA)        

During WW2, M1 Rifles ("Garand") were only made by Springfield Armory and Winchester, however; M1 Carbines were made by a variety of manufacturers including some consumer goods makers. Remington Rand made M1911A1 .45 pistols; Smith-Corona made M1903A3 bolt action rifles. Guide Lamp Division of GM made the M3 submachine gun ("Grease Gun"). The M-4 37mm cannon was made by Oldsmobile, etc, etc.

It hasn't happened lately, but when countries engage in so-called total war, their economies can make major shifts.

Post# 124926 , Reply# 20   2/14/2011 at 06:19 (4,766 days old) by 2011hoover700 (owosso michigan)        

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America already switched to war production vs vacuum cleaners other rexair by 1942 right?
I'm just double checking as I would not like to miss inform my friends.
Thanks again.

Post# 124931 , Reply# 21   2/14/2011 at 09:40 (4,766 days old) by collector2 (Moose Jaw, Sk)        

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If I remember correctly the Electrolux factory in Canada produced small motors for use in the bomber plane controlls, among other things, during the war. I have a history of the company somewhere that details what they made. I'll have to try to find it.


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