Thread Number: 13091
Bissell Shampoo Master
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Post# 139533   6/12/2011 at 14:27 (4,637 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        




My grandma had one of these except that hers was two-tone turquoise. It was kept in the original box in a corner of the bathroom behind the kitchen. I never saw her use it. When we were there visiting, I'd make every excuse I could to go to the bathroom so I could play with it! (The Bissell, not, well ... never mind hahaha)


Doesn't look like there's much to it -- a sponge mop with a tank on it. Whoop-dee-doo!

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Post# 139535 , Reply# 1   6/12/2011 at 14:54 (4,637 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

That's pretty much what I grew up knowing as a Bissell, a tank with a roller sponge on the end of a handle, I never could work out how they were supposed to work though, I think a Kirby Rug Renovator is more effective... :S

Post# 139579 , Reply# 2   6/12/2011 at 20:12 (4,637 days old) by henry200 (Saint Paul MN)        

I remember when I was just a few years old a neighbor of ours had one and brought it over once so mom could shampoo the livingroom rug.  I've never seen one since then.

Post# 139580 , Reply# 3   6/12/2011 at 20:19 (4,637 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        




I'm pretty sure there's something missing from this shampooer.  Seems to me on my grandma's there was a curved sponge in the middle of the nozzle, presumably wrapped around that wooden roller. Otherwise, what point would a wooden stick serve? Clearly this machine has been used; the brushes are all covered with crud. It would follow that a sponge would give out or disintegrate over time.

Post# 139585 , Reply# 4   6/12/2011 at 20:34 (4,637 days old) by henry200 (Saint Paul MN)        

Yes, the sponge on the roller is missing.  It would something just short of a miracle for that kind of material to survive after 50 years.

Post# 139601 , Reply# 5   6/13/2011 at 00:03 (4,637 days old) by Red_October ()        

Just what was this thing supposed to, er, do? I think I see how it was supposed to dispense something, and how it has brushes to scrub with, but what happens next? Is it supposed to be followed with a regular vacuum like that foam stuff that smells good in a remarkably unhealthy way?

Post# 139602 , Reply# 6   6/13/2011 at 00:24 (4,637 days old) by henry200 (Saint Paul MN)        

When you pulled the trigger, shampoo flowed through the row of little holes onto the (missing) sponge roller as you "scrubbed" the carpet.  Then when the shampoo dried you vacuumed up the residue and loosened soil.  It was primitive by modern standards!

Post# 139603 , Reply# 7   6/13/2011 at 02:05 (4,637 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        




It was primitive even by the standards of those days!


The seller has incorrectly stated the year of manufacture as the 1950s. It's at least from the early 1960s and maybe even the mid to late 1960s. Electric rug shampooers were not unknown at that time; in fact, Bissell themselves may have made one; I'm not sure. If they did, then this must have been the "budget" model.


MANY companies were manufacturing electric rug shampooers by the mid 1960s (granted, most if not all of them shampoo-based systems which left a sticky residue behind that merely attracted more dirt).






Speaking of "budget" models, that term used to really irk me, and still would if it was still being used.


It seemed to be implying, at least tacitly, that those who purchased more expensive models didn't have to work within a budget, or, perhaps, did not care to.


I know, advertising account executives (cue Larry Tate & Darryn Stevens!) love to come up with "fluffy" euphemisms that candy-coat the reality -- e.g., the "budget model" was for low-income people. Or penny-pinchers.


But they surely couldn't have come right out and said that! So they ran endless focus groups and conducted surveys and test-marketed a zillion different terms and "budget" probably won out as a "feel warm and happy about being poor" term.


Vague (or, in some cases, outright meaningless) words and phrases such as "irregularity" (for constipation or diarrhea) and "that special time of the month" (for menstrual cycles), "bath tissue" for (ass-wipes) etc. etc. etc. have made their way into mainstream vocabulary.


And it was even worse in the '50s and '60s! Can you imagine "Father Knows Best" breaking for a condom commercial or "I Love Lucy" for a panty-liner commercial that features diagrams of panty-crotches?!


When men needed "prophylactics" (another great warm-fuzzy expression of genteel modesty) and women needed "feminine products" (ditto), they went to the drug store and whispered to the pharmacist their needs.

Post# 139626 , Reply# 8   6/13/2011 at 13:52 (4,636 days old) by Red_October ()        

Well at least there is some comfort in knowing that the advertising people way back when knew what they were doing.
This video might be a bit NSFW, and you certainly shouldn't go clicking around on the web site it's at if you're not at home, but it's far, far too funny to not share.


Post# 139630 , Reply# 9   6/13/2011 at 14:55 (4,636 days old) by Oreck_XL (Brooklyn, New York 11211)        

oreck_xl's profile picture
Ewbank still makes a shampooer just like that. I had an opportunity to buy one at the flea market a few weeks ago. Doesn't seem like a very effective method of distributing the shampoo evenly.

- Hershel

Post# 139633 , Reply# 10   6/13/2011 at 15:37 (4,636 days old) by rickenbacker ()        

I have the British version of this. Mine is called a Bex Bissell :) it's duck egg blue and in suprisingly good condition to say it spent most of it's life at the bottom of my dad's friend's garden! of course, that's how I acquired it in the first place :P the handle pole has rusty spots on it similar to what hoover constellations get. The handle grip on mine is rubber as well :)


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