Thread Number: 13119
Vintage Vacuums do work.
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Post# 139731   6/14/2011 at 21:55 (4,637 days old) by ralph (Morgan Hill)        

Just in case there are any lurkers here on the forum that think that vacuums made back in the 50’s can’t work all that well I offer the following image. The house has hardwood floors, two area rugs, two adults, two slob sons, two cats, and my daughter. This is about a 7 days of crud in the 518. Yes I will clean it out more often, I am just getting used to this new toy…

Post# 139745 , Reply# 1   6/15/2011 at 00:06 (4,637 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        




Pretty impressive. I assume by 518 you mean a Kirby. If that's the case, and you're using it as a straight-suction vacuum cleaner on your hardwood floors with the hose, wands and attachments you'll find that vacuuming with a "dedicated" take or canister vacuum cleaner will pick up even more crud than the Kirby did!! Scary thought, eh!



Post# 139755 , Reply# 2   6/15/2011 at 04:04 (4,637 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I think many older machines actually work better than newer ones-too many clean air uprights are hampered by hoses,and complicated airpaths.-so you need that 10-12A motor to do the job a 3-5A one USED to do!

Post# 139777 , Reply# 3   6/15/2011 at 10:32 (4,637 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

Yep, vintage vacs were made for the job, modern vacs are made to compromise between looks and performance, that's why they still make Sanitaires based on the old Eurekas, why Kirbys haven't changed much in terms of how they work, or how Tristars still use the same basic layout they've had since the first Compact, the old ways are the best ways... :)

Post# 139779 , Reply# 4   6/15/2011 at 10:47 (4,637 days old) by mjsosins ()        

So true! The fact that they still work 50+ years later is the telling story. These companies are just out to keep you buying replacements every few years now. I can't stand the intentional lack of quality construction in vacs with price tags all the way in the range of $300-500.

Post# 139810 , Reply# 5   6/15/2011 at 17:12 (4,637 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        
Compact/TriStar & Kirby

They can't be beat, even by any of today's vacs!

Post# 139812 , Reply# 6   6/15/2011 at 17:15 (4,637 days old) by super-sweeper (KSSRC Refurbishment Center)        

super-sweeper's profile picture
are you sure the boys didn't shave the cats?:0D

joking aside,the vacs were diffidently made better back then.

Post# 139833 , Reply# 7   6/15/2011 at 19:16 (4,636 days old) by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

Yes those old Kirbys can still do the job and do it well. I learned to vacuum with a Model 519. Still love that old machine. I wouldn't trade my Heritage II for the world. I may be laughed at and mocked by some for liking my kirby. But my carpets are cleaner than theirs ever will be. The new kirbys and Rainbows can't pull any dirt out of my carpets. They have both tried and failed. I just realized yesterday that I have had my Kirby Just over half my life. I guess I'm so used to it being and extention of my right arm I never gave it a thought. I've had it 24 yrs and I'm 44. Im looking forward to another 24 yrs plus with that loyal machine.
One of our workers has a 519 and still using it along with a Classic III. He likes both of them and has been impressed by what he empties out of the bag on either one of them.

Post# 139847 , Reply# 8   6/15/2011 at 19:57 (4,636 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

Ive been using my old 1961 Compact along with a Panasonic (for the tough jobs)

The power is unbeleiveable! They were sure made to last; a good example of American ingenuity at its best.

And my D-50 beat a brand new Dyson.


Post# 139849 , Reply# 9   6/15/2011 at 20:04 (4,636 days old) by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

Don't you just love it when your "dinosaur" of a machine can beat the pants off the new machines out there? Especially those that have been bragged up on all those late night infomercials.

Post# 139868 , Reply# 10   6/15/2011 at 21:35 (4,636 days old) by paulinroyton (Royton, Lancashire)        
My Vintage Vac

I have an old hoover junior vac that I am using at moment. I would not swap it for any modern vac, even had a Miele upright vac and was not impressed, here is a pic of her.


Post# 139870 , Reply# 11   6/15/2011 at 21:38 (4,636 days old) by paulinroyton (Royton, Lancashire)        
Vintage Vac

And her Brother, lol.

Post# 139882 , Reply# 12   6/16/2011 at 01:30 (4,636 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I think the Hoover Jrs,Larks put the Orecks and many others in the dust.And you can use the Hoovers with hand tools.I remember on one of the "Vacs of the Day" showed an Apex "windtunnel" machine-now THATS a WINDTUNNEL compared to the modern Hoover one-the Apex-straight from the floor thru the fan-into the bag-now whats more simple and effective than that-would love to have one of those-but with a disposable Filtrete inner bag.And yes-for canisters-the tried and true vertical bag design!IT WORKS!!!TriStar,Compact,Vortech Force,Miracle Mate.

Post# 140298 , Reply# 13   6/20/2011 at 07:34 (4,632 days old) by thermokid (Casper, Wyoming)        
I sure am glad I am

A Kirby lover! I use a Kirby Model 561 for my daily driver, and I have tried to vacuum with other brands (and I have a lot of them) but you know I just don't feel the power of a Kirby in my other machines, even the new ones. And I will admit I probably vacuum too fast, but when I use a Kirby whether it is an old one or a new Sentria I know the vacuum is picking up the dirt.However I recently had a demonstration of a new Sentria from a DTD salesman and they tried getting dirt out of my carpet before they saw my old all original Kirby 561. They just couldn't believe that old Kirby was getting the dirt out of my carpets.So I told them to take my picture with my Kirby 561 and use it to show people that I was a satisfied customer for 51 years. And Kirbys get rid of the dirt......Dan

Post# 140433 , Reply# 14   6/21/2011 at 02:32 (4,631 days old) by Ralph (Morgan Hill)        

Super-sweeper: no cats were harmed during the making of this post, LOL! I certainly like the feel of this vacuum over the family Kenmore.

Post# 140436 , Reply# 15   6/21/2011 at 02:50 (4,631 days old) by mercuryman ()        
Vintage Machines ARE better...

As an almost exclusive vintage Electrolux fan, I swear that the old machines outclean the newer ones.

When I brought my first vintage Electrolux into my apartment last summer (a tan Model L...with NO power nozzle, mind you...) I filled up a vacuum bag within three weeks. This was after using a cheapo Eureka I bought at Wal-Mart in 2007. The junky Eureka boasted 11 amps of cleaning power...but the 535 watt Model L (from 1967) pulled more dirt out of my carpet than the Eureka could have ever dreamed of.

When I got my first power nozzle to connect to one of my first vintage Electroluxes in my collection, I could not believe how much crud was pulled from my rugs...AFTER using the tan straight-suction L. Again, I pulled another full bag of dirt from my rugs within a few weeks by using my blue Model L and PN-2 (both from 1974).

At present, my rugs are fairly clean. I don't have nasty, dark high-traffic spots in my berber rug any longer, due to the fact that I am using a decent vacuum cleaner now. The old cleaners were certainly built not to only do the job, but to really beat the dirt out of rugs.

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