Thread Number: 11377
Cool Vintage Electric Carpet Sweeper....
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Post# 123017   1/25/2011 at 22:18 (4,776 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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on eBay...

This must be the first ever put on the market. I guess the later version would be the GE Electric Carpet Sweeper from the 1960's...

check it out!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO eurekaprince's LINK on eBay

Post# 123040 , Reply# 1   1/26/2011 at 09:51 (4,776 days old) by portable (Corvallis, OR)        

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They were very strange critters. When I was growing up, you'd see them for sale everywhere, but I never knew a single soul that owned one. If I recall correctly, the insides were some kind of fiberboard.

Post# 123048 , Reply# 2   1/26/2011 at 12:33 (4,776 days old) by BrianKirbyClass (Eudora Kansas)        

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Yeah, they were kind of a fad there for awhile, but didnt actually do much except spread the dirt around on the floor more evenly! A relative had one once, and found out it spread more dirt than it actually picked up, so it went out on the curb.

Post# 123049 , Reply# 3   1/26/2011 at 12:52 (4,776 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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The technology of "suction-less carpet-sweeping" must have improved a lot in the last few decades, because these new rechargeable Shark sweepers and "Swivel Sweepers" (and others like it) seem to actually remove surface litter these days. Consumer Reports actually rated the "Swivel Sweeper" as "good" on carpets and "very good" on bare floors...for what it's worth.

Post# 123057 , Reply# 4   1/26/2011 at 14:38 (4,775 days old) by portable (Corvallis, OR)        

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Yeah, I have a Swivel Sweeper, and it's not too bad. I would never consider it a "Daily Driver" but it's OK for quick pickups of chunky stuff. It doesn't always pick things up, though.

I've always wanted to see one of those Davis sweepers in action.....

Post# 123058 , Reply# 5   1/26/2011 at 14:58 (4,775 days old) by nick (Hastings, New Zealand)        

they have been around since the 1940s there is one on ebay now


Post# 123098 , Reply# 6   1/26/2011 at 18:56 (4,775 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        
They are certainly much less effective than a regular Bissel

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I have an Electro-Sweep that differs from the usual DAVIS. Mine does not have DAVIS molded into the Bakelite shell nor stamped on the maker plate.

It has a wood pole handle. The bale yoke is somewhat different, too, in that a short cylinder is welded to the top of the yoke to accept a smaller diameter pole.

Mine says, stamped on the motor mount plate:

Kiel Laboratory
Chicago Ill
110 volts AC only
Serial No. 1K780
Patents Pending

The toggle switch is mounted at the back of the base just like this eBay one above.

Of the 5 others I have seen every one has been a DAVIS Electro-Sweep, with a metal pole and the motor cord running inside the hollow pole up to the top. The yoke has two upright tabs that are riveted to the metal pole.

Their information (which is stamped on one of the dust bin lids) states:

Davis Mfg Co
Plano Ill
Cat. No. 1000

Other than these differences and that mine is a blackish-brown Bakelite (which is due for a waxing polish), they are all identical in construction and Streamline Teardrop design.
The shell is a one-piece Bakelite piece, with internal walls that form a base for the motor plate and a barrier to any dust being swept up & into the motor, which heat-vents through the slot openings in the top of the housing.

Yes, I had to replace my cord with lamp cord but will someday put on a cloth braided one.

Post# 123099 , Reply# 7   1/26/2011 at 19:02 (4,775 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

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In order to have this shipped from Oregon, I instructed the seller to remove and discard the broken & warped wood pole but save all the hardware.

The cord hooks are thick 'L' bend aluminum with ball ends.

Post# 123101 , Reply# 8   1/26/2011 at 19:22 (4,775 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

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The mechanism and action couldn't have been simpler. The motor drives a geared wheel with a crank arm attached to its perimeter that rows the double brush bar back and forth in a whisking action, supposedly into alternating collection bins.

Less effort probably to bend down with a whisk broom and dust pan to sweep up crumbs but this was intended for extended use across entire floor surfaces.

These contraptions when new may have worked fine on short nap carpets for threads and crumbs but certainly not at all effective on plusher carpets or smooth floors, as Brian says.

But Oooooh, the style! Better labour saving living through Electricity to keep Madame's complexion and nerves dewy fresh.

Al vacbear ran mine when he was here. It glides easily across carpet on metal skids and did in fact whisk up the larger particles.

Post# 123104 , Reply# 9   1/26/2011 at 19:42 (4,775 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        
DAVIS Sweepers have a definite Collector Curiousity appeal.

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But seriously, a mechanical rotary brush carpet sweeper works much better under all conditions. :-)

Post# 123105 , Reply# 10   1/26/2011 at 19:47 (4,775 days old) by arh1953 ( River Park, in Port St. Lucie, Florida)        

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That's a nice selection of sweepers, such industrial art!

Post# 123112 , Reply# 11   1/26/2011 at 20:25 (4,775 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Any idea why vac-makers never made a non-electric carpet nozzle that brushed like a carpet sweeper? Seems like an obvious combination - kind of an alternate to air driven turbo nozzles. You would just need to connect a brush roll to the wheels on the nozzle and like a good ol' fashioned Bissell, the rolling of the wheels could spin the nozzle's brush.

Any thoughts?

Post# 123113 , Reply# 12   1/26/2011 at 20:57 (4,775 days old) by BrianKirbyClass (Eudora Kansas)        

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IF i remember right, at one time Lewyt DID have a carpet nozzle that was nothing more than a carpet sweeper with suction. Maybe the pre-curser of an electrified Power Nozzle?
Also didnt Compact (IEC) have one called a Magic Disk or something like that, that was merely a carpet sweeper? Dont know if it was hooked up to the suctions stream or not tho.

Post# 123118 , Reply# 13   1/26/2011 at 21:26 (4,775 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

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Lewyt did! This ad for a 1950 Model 44. Never seen one with my own eyes.

Post# 123119 , Reply# 14   1/26/2011 at 21:32 (4,775 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        
This from a C-4 manual.

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Compact's Magic Disc sweeper used 4 self-rotating brushes.

'Signals when full' by 'rejecting overload...back onto the carpet'. Campact had inventive copy writers...

Post# 123120 , Reply# 15   1/26/2011 at 21:37 (4,775 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

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The "wheel-free non-marking, smooth, 'Lea' finished undersurface" means the cast aluminum bottom plate is machined flat.

Post# 123121 , Reply# 16   1/26/2011 at 21:38 (4,775 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

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The first edition looks like this and it is clear no suction can pass but it is sized to accept a wand.

Post# 123122 , Reply# 17   1/26/2011 at 21:45 (4,775 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

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Version two of the magic Disk was 'futurized' but again, no suction.

The grid-embossed mylar trim patch is notorious for curling due to failed rubber cement adhesive. Easily removed, cleaned and stuck back down with industrial strength boot repair contact cement.

They do work but tend to track oddly with a pronounced skew across carpet; every one I've seen shows little use, if used at all. That's why so many are found intact in their boxes.

Post# 123123 , Reply# 18   1/26/2011 at 21:52 (4,775 days old) by portable (Corvallis, OR)        

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Bizarre! Wouldn't it be easier to make something that worked with the operating vacuum cleaner? I wonder how many of these DIDN'T get used?

Post# 123124 , Reply# 19   1/26/2011 at 21:54 (4,775 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        
Remember, Magic Disc your rugs and carpeting DAILY...

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You will enjoy those extra hours of leisure you gain the Magic Disc way!

Post# 123126 , Reply# 20   1/26/2011 at 22:09 (4,775 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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WOW!!! Thanks Dave!!!!! I never knew about that Lewyt attachment!

Wonder why Miele or even Dyson have not tried to re-engineer the concept for today. Even if it would never compete with a motorized power nozzle, it would surely help a regular carpet nozzle remove surface litter and clingy threads and pet hair.

Tacony in the USA - are your listening? :-)

Post# 123128 , Reply# 21   1/26/2011 at 22:47 (4,775 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        
And now for something completely different - NOT

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We're all familiar with those rechargeable SHARK cordless sweepervacs with the single brushroll and a weak crumb vacuum...and I have a few, too.

But this thing I found for 99 cents at Goodwill is notable.

Also rechargeable, the 9 v power cell with an on/off switch detaches from the upper handle and plugs directly into a wall socket. Snapped back in place, the connections are carried within the breakdown 4 piece detachable handle sections down to the universal joint connection to the 'powerhead'.

Under that 1.5" high clear plastic cover are 4 perimeter brushes that are geared to a single motor - all four rotate toward the central collection bin. No vacuum.

Post# 123129 , Reply# 22   1/26/2011 at 22:54 (4,775 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        
I luvs whacky stuff like this!

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Bottom business:
The sweeper rides above and over hard floors and smooth carpet alike on the corner teflon-y nylon balls. You can just make out the single edge brushes on the ends of the long axles toget right in the baseboard corner joint.
The brushes rotate quite quickly and do whisk a surprising amount into the central bin cavity and because they rotate inward from all sides they do not scatter debris - tray removed for picture.

Post# 123134 , Reply# 23   1/26/2011 at 23:06 (4,775 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        
Its a curiousity, for sure. The Shoebox Sweeper.

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There are no labels or maker's marks on it but when I see another one I'm gonna grab it. Because they are so cute and this works better than any SHARK!

As I said, the handle breaks down into three 13" sections so the whole thing can be easily stored and transported in a shoebox.

Damned clever. It's easy to see if the brushes get clogged and look - two windows on the collection bin even! Too bad the cover shell is made of thin brittle clear styrene rather than tough lexan.
Seriously guys, for all it's gimmicky cheapness it does what it's designed to do - sweeps up loose everything off of floor surfaces.

Post# 123172 , Reply# 24   1/27/2011 at 18:22 (4,774 days old) by uprightman ()        

Brian, I'm enjoying this thread, thanks for starting it. When I bought my home, I noticed that the previous owners had left a few applicances behind. All very '60's, in either avocado green or the "harvest gold" color...a blender, can opener/knife sharpener, sewing machine, and a few other things... The most fascinating thing for me was a pale yellow GE VACUUM SWEEPER. It did have a "resuseable" pink GE bag in it...SV1 is the type. I managed to find two NOS packs on eBay. I tucked it back in the hall closet and almost forgot about it....however, I have pulled it out recently to pick up the salt that I have tracked into the house this winter, and, while I wouldn't use it to do my whole house, it did get the "big chunks" up... It's given me a laugh anyway.

Dave, about the MAGIC DISC info/pictures...still trying to wrap my mind around the concept...BUT, what a cool gizmo. Have to admit...any "leisure time" gained by using it would have been used in a nap to recover from the effort! Looking at the brushes, I would bet that your nap (of the rug variety; not the lie-down type) doesn't know which way to turn after the MAGIC DISC experience. Thanks for putting that up!


Post# 123173 , Reply# 25   1/27/2011 at 18:24 (4,774 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Hey Dave - that's the Swivel Sweeper that is constantly being promoted by the H2O vac people: Thane.

It actually is rated quite well by Consumer Reports and is a recommended model. The only floor sweeper rated higher is the Dirt Devil Broom Vac (which won't work on carpets). At USD35, the Swivel Sweeper is indeed a better buy than the Shark - it rated better than the Shark in recent tests: good on carpet, very good on bare floors and very easy to use!

Now imagine this being connected to a canister vac as a rechargeable carpet nozzle - wouldn't that be a great combination?

Here's Thane's webpage showing the second generation Swivel Sweeper:

CLICK HERE TO GO TO eurekaprince's LINK

Post# 123185 , Reply# 26   1/27/2011 at 20:55 (4,774 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

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Thanks for the info, Brian; I guess I'm not watching the right late night tv. LOL I had no idea what it was or who made it but the trickyness of the 4 brush action got my attention.

The videos are fun to watch. I forgot to mention that the sweeper seems to run at least 30 minutes on a full charge - which is exceptional for any cordless - and I see that Thane claims that and more.

I don't think it's worth $60 CDN,
But Wait! You get two for that price plus two little single brush hand units - figure $5 each. The dirt tray drops down rather than having to be detached like mine. I think I'd pay $25 for this at Giant Tiger. Maybe not such a bad deal?

But when ya go thru the order procedure that's when the Big Hit - not such a big Deal - shoe drops:

Subtotal: 59.90 CAD
Shipping: 17.99 CAD
Tax (*): 10.13 CAD
Total: 88.02 CAD

I'll just wait for the next one to show up in a Thrift store, which they surely will.


Steve, the Magic Disk is a fun thing to get out to demonstrate but works less well than a regular carpet sweeper. The brushes are nothing more than passive rollers. Notice the brushes don't do edges. Without wands attached, if you try to push it along at 45 degrees the outer brushes roll easily but the front and back brushes catch in the carpet and bog it down. With wands, the fixed X orientation splits the difference so yeah, it's an effort to push and steer accurately.
Agian, it's clear from the mint condition they are found in that they didn't get used much.
A regular carpet sweeper of course spins it's brushroll much faster than the wheels turn adding some oomph to the wisk action.

Now, the GE VACUUM SWEEPER...that's a vintage keeper in my opinion. Unusual and compact and I bet built to last.

All these nifty gadgets have their place in the history of floor care.


Post# 123188 , Reply# 27   1/27/2011 at 21:28 (4,774 days old) by petek (Ontario)        

Dave, quite often Xcess Cargo has those swivel sweepers and Shark sweepers on for around $15-$20..

I bought a couple of the Sharks at Liquidation world last year for around the price. Mom loves hers but now she's misplaced the power cord recharger.

Post# 123197 , Reply# 28   1/27/2011 at 22:01 (4,774 days old) by portable (Corvallis, OR)        

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The NEW Swivel Sweeper is red, and the emptying process is much easier than the original version. The dirt tray flips open and closed.

Post# 123204 , Reply# 29   1/27/2011 at 23:32 (4,774 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

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Pete, that's more like it! I'd love to have another Swivel Sweeper. They are as simple and humbly designed as can be compared to the swoopy doopy fantasy styling of the Sharks.

I have the two SHARK models (again from Thrifts) but find the battery charge life is so short they lose their entertainment value quickly, especially because they throw the floor debris around with the single brushroll.

On the other hand, the Swivel Sweeper is endlessly amusing, effective because it doesn't scatter the grit and always ready to be used many times before recharging.

The long handles on all of these cordless sweepers are flimsy but then they aren't meant for heavy duty service.

I gotta say it plants a big smile on my face to watch those 4 brushes spinning away busily...and the omni-directional universal joint is a hoot. I love how the commercial shows you can stash the SS in the 2 inch space between the fridge and the wall.

John do you have one? I can see how useful and space saving it would be in a motorhome or trailer when you don't want to get out the big boys. :-)

Imagine the Swivel Sweeper made of all metal construction! That would be a robust winner.
And Pete, thanks for distracting me away from commenting a 'Gonna Go All Daddy On Yer Teenage Malcontent Fanboy Asses' opinion on that Plasticvac thread over in Contemporary. :-) We'll see what tomorrow brings...


Post# 123210 , Reply# 30   1/28/2011 at 02:20 (4,774 days old) by alaskabob ()        
Swivel Sweeper is endlessly amusing

yes it is
fun to use
fun to watch
and it picks up well

Post# 123231 , Reply# 31   1/28/2011 at 07:49 (4,774 days old) by portable (Corvallis, OR)        

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Dave -

Yeah I have a SS in the motorhome. It really can be stored in no space whatsoever. I foolishly bought a dark green bathroom rug awhile back. The thing is a dirt magnet. Rather than drag the Hoover Air out once a day to vacuum it, I hit it with the SS. The only problem is that the rug has multi-level tuft, and the SS doesn't do such a hot job on the deeper ruts. Oh well...just fine for most jobs.

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