Thread Number: 13305
Here's one I haven't seen before...
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Post# 141720   7/1/2011 at 20:04 (4,618 days old) by gmerkt (Edmonds WA)        

... but some of you old hands probably have. It's a "Modernage DeLuxe." I had to stop and think about that one for a while. That's, "Modern Age." I suppose with the original spelling, one might be pretentious and give the pronunciation a French twist, and say, "Modernajh", you know, with a "ahzsch" or "ahzj" using a very soft G/J sound. Scholars of linquistics have their own little standardized symbols for describing sounds but I'm not hip to it.

Anyway, I found this thing today and lying there at first I thought it was an old Kenmore rocket-type. Then I took a closer look and found that not to be so. The side says Modernage, but on the bottom is says "Motor manufactured by Landey, Frary and Clark, Makers of Universal Quality Home Goods for over 100 Years" and a serial number, plus Model Number VC6030 (any guess that VC = vacuum cleaner?).

Well, this thing is somewhat like a Hamilton-Beach Model 26 except that it has skids like an older Electrolux, rather than little casters like the H-B. The cloth dirt sacks are pretty much the same between the two.

The on/off switch is a button at the back but deeply set and a bit hard to actuate. I turned it on and the motor sounded good; takes a long time to spin down when shut off like older canister vacs often do.

It came with a somewhat nasty hose and two wand sections. The metal tubing has a design on it that kinda resembles engine turning, but it isn't scribed on rather is stamped into the metal. No attachments.

I looked on the internet a bit and couldn't come up with anything using the combination of words "modernage vacuum" nor "modern age vacuum." Strange one to me.

Post# 141721 , Reply# 1   7/1/2011 at 20:04 (4,618 days old) by gmerkt (Edmonds WA)        

Picture of the other side.

Post# 141722 , Reply# 2   7/1/2011 at 20:37 (4,618 days old) by Crevicetool (GA )        

Well Gary -

I'm stumped with that one. Below is my Super Chief. Same machine as yours. Yours is now the fourth variation of this unit. I have seen them marked Universal, President, Super Chief and now Modernage. How cool! Other than the Universals - these were re-badged for private label by LF&C. It has the same motor that Landers made for years. One interesting thing though, LF&C cheated a little on the motors used for the private labels. They put an aluminium band around the field coil in between the two motor housings. My theory is (since it reduces air flow) they wanted the actual Universals to perform better than the private labels.

Yours appears to be either light blue or perhaps Hammertone silver - at any rate, fixed up - it will be a real looker. Your switch is somewhat sunken in and if the button is still intact, it may just be a question of adjusting the switch higher.

Thanks for sharing -


Post# 141724 , Reply# 3   7/1/2011 at 20:42 (4,618 days old) by Crevicetool (GA )        

I knew I forgot something.....

The Presidents were made for (perhaps not exclusively) for the State Vacuum Cleaner stores in the Southeast of which there is only one now in operation in Tampa Florida. The other names they came up with may have been made for other such chains or perhaps department Stores. I think there is a fifth incarnation of these machines way up in that foreign country Canada. Eatons I think is the name of the store, I can not remember if it is also the name of the vacuum.


Post# 141725 , Reply# 4   7/1/2011 at 20:45 (4,618 days old) by Crevicetool (GA )        

Just for the fun of it - when I am experimenting with paint, you never know what might come out of it....

Post# 141726 , Reply# 5   7/1/2011 at 20:47 (4,618 days old) by Northwesty (Renton, WA)        

Wow! I hope it will clean up abit. Nice looking machine.

Post# 141782 , Reply# 6   7/2/2011 at 10:22 (4,617 days old) by collector2 (Moose Jaw, Sk)        

collector2's profile picture
Hey Rick:

Yep the President was one of the house brands for State Vacuum Stores.

They were also sold as Gleneaton machines through the Eatons Dept. Store chain in Canada.


Post# 141783 , Reply# 7   7/2/2011 at 11:34 (4,617 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        




I used to have one of those Universal/Modernage machines. I don't recall now whatever became of it.


I have also had a Modernage-branded Apex. See photo.It had a really cool logo.


And speaking of Apex, they used to sell their machines all over the place under different labels. Below are two others. I still have the Good-Housekeeper. It came in a leatherette trunk with all the attachments and is in great condition.

Post# 141788 , Reply# 8   7/2/2011 at 13:05 (4,617 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
All so very COOL! XXX still most elegant I think, perhaps of all time. And the sound!

Post# 141808 , Reply# 9   7/2/2011 at 16:44 (4,617 days old) by gmerkt (Edmonds WA)        

I've seen the LF&C mark before. They made US Army mess kits, knives, forks, spoons, etc in both WW1 and WW2. If you can stamp out vacuum cleaner or toaster bodies, you can stamp out mess kits.

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