Thread Number: 13578
will the real electrolux please stand up !
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Post# 144065   7/20/2011 at 13:42 (4,601 days old) by silverado ()        

charlie mckee was/is my father. he was among other things over the years, president and ceo for electrolux .
his heart , soul and most of his working life was electrolux . i cannot think of many who did not love their job or product more then he did .
a member here mentioned he got friendly informative replies regarding a wet/dry vac that appeared to escape most consumers eyes back then ..... i had one myself and there where not many out in the field at the time .
it was and then "morphed" from the "cb" which was a beast in itself to something unto it's own .
there were some different versions of it and then if i remember right was kinda hung up to dry [ pardon the pun ] .
thought you might like to know this tidbit from another era .

Post# 144076 , Reply# 1   7/20/2011 at 15:04 (4,600 days old) by williamr1248 (USA)        
Will the real Electrolux please stand up!

I am sure I remember having (still have) some old "Electrolux News" company newsletters that I recieved when working for Electrolux about 1968-69. I remember his name and picture. He was very very positive about the company and the products.
Back in those days EVERYONE in America knew about Electrolux. At that time they WERE what people had if they had a tank type machine.
An Electrolux was to sweepers as Maytag was to washers or Frigidaire was to refrigerators. Back in those days (1968-69) I was in college and sold during summer. Hoover was already making cheap machines that sold at the discount stores.
You could by a cheap Hoover Convertible for $69.95 and Constellation for $29.95 but the least expensive Electrolux was still $99.95 plus $49.95 for the power nozzle.
Thanks for sharing the information!

Post# 144124 , Reply# 2   7/20/2011 at 21:09 (4,600 days old) by Real1 ()        

I'm thinking you should have the world's greatest LUX collection ....or access to one?? In any event, please share any inside LUX stories you might have....many of us are starved for more, with regard to LUX!!

Post# 144237 , Reply# 3   7/21/2011 at 16:02 (4,599 days old) by akabent (LEFT Coast)        
More Lux Stories!

Here, Here! The connection you have through your Dad is great to hear (of) and any 'inside stories' would be "manna from heaven" for those of us that imbibe Electrolux (too!) I have my feet firmly planted in two camps, Electrolux and Hoover, and have been fortunate enough to have most of the landmark machines from both, beginning with a Lux V and continuing 50 years forward. (To date, although older than any US-sold Lux, my Hoover collection begins a full 5 years earlier at 1919 but this is still far from being a very early Hoover.) Clearly, or at least in my estimation, Electrolux was the best and most innovative tank cleaner and at least through 1968/G, they were really, really well-engineered and built to last. My early Luxes run as smoothly as my later ones!
Rick B

Post# 144250 , Reply# 4   7/21/2011 at 18:29 (4,599 days old) by Crevicetool (GA )        

Here's the cover of the Electrolux News from 09/1975 with President Charlie McKee holding the first Super J off the assembly line! I've had this Newsletter since 1977 and I dug it out of the dumpster behind my local Electrolux branch - so it's not in the best shape, but it's all there....

Post# 144427 , Reply# 5   7/23/2011 at 08:31 (4,598 days old) by silverado ()        
will the real electrolux please stand up part 1

hi everybody ,
i remember that issue of the electrolux news . really cool to see the pic/article again ...thanks !!
i have lots of stories but i do not want anyones ears to bleed so to speak ...
electrolux unlike many companies, especially these days , seemed to encourage a family relationship including blood kin . that went from field sales to the factory in old greenwich to the home office !!
generations of families have passed through electrolux's doors . i can only speak for my fathers time as obviously that's what i know most about .
lux [ ok to keep the name short for types sake ?] in my fathers day at the sales and executive helm [ mid 60's - mid 80's give or take] ] blasted the competition . in fact during the jubilee/silverado models , lux yearly sold more cleaners in the us then all other competition combined including store purchased cleaners!!!!

back to clarify what i remember on the wet/dry ... it was originally a commercial tub cleaner [ the cb ] with a modified head motor unit . they had issues with that modification and ultimately came out with a true to itself unique wet/dry model for a short short time . why it bombed i do not remember but i could ask one of my brothers who was in a unique service program with lux for some years .
back to speaking of family orientated lux was. many people in the biz had siblings and beyond commence to work with the company.
in my immediate family alone there were 6 of us at one time or another worked in the factory , home office , sales , service etc !
i started working at the home office in the mailroom after classes at school when i was 16 . also attempting to sell door to door at 17 for lux and also for fuller brush which was a division of ours at the time . then after hs at 17 still i went on the road with the electrolux museum van .
this museum van was the coolest job a kid or anyone could have . you got paid to drive and see the country . the van was a superior 28 or 29 foot [ like winnebago ] . it was decked out inside with walls full of all types and makes of old cleaners from manual pump suckers to early electric tubs . then there was a wall showing the evolution of the lux from the model 5 to the model 1205 or jubilee [ i cannot remember ].
so what i did was take this to anytown usa and have the local sales branch set me up at a mall , strip mall , downtown shopping area on main street , fairs or anywhere there was lots of shopping and people .
i would setup shop and local sales and or branch manager would be on hand to get sales leads that either i developed during my little tour and speech on the history of the vac or that the salesperson made bending the ear of whomever they could while the unsuspecting visitor made their way out of the van tour [ lol ! ]
really though it was not high pressure sales at all and i felt most everybody who went through it thought it was an interesting little spin of history and if nothing else quite a unique idea .
now being still a kid at the time i naturally had to have a cb radio and the best cassette deck available in the van for those long lonely drives from town to town or when on very rare occasion some sales branch would stick me in a super mall 3 miles out on the edge of a parking lot so vast you could barely see the mall itself and where no one had parked since the pavers lined the parking spots !! and when the temp was about 100 in the shade..... well then , take off the jacket and tie and crank up the rock and roll . even then some die hard would come all the way out and i would have to scramble to look presentable but by then they would have heard the music from afar and comment like " wow procol harum and electrolux far out "
or "do the beach boys really get paid to endorse electrolux ?" lol !
here are the states i worked the van in, so in case any of you ever been in the van it very well may have been me who gave you your guided tour : va , de , wash d.c , md , fl , la , ga , part of al and ms , part of ca .
where the van is today or where the old cleaners are is anybodys guess.
the van did not last too much longer after my stint . one of the home offices sons took over from me in ca . when i "quit" [ what a knucklhead i was] the van job . then not long afterwards they took the van off the road if i remember correctly .
well gotta run . hope this stuff is not boring to you . someone said they were starved for lux info so i did not know where to start from .
and as for the other person who thought i might have or have access to old lux machines . i do not .
i did have lots of rare stuff when i was on the road in sales and had a branch myself but that is a story for another day .
i will say i at one time or another did have virtually everything lux ever made in the states . model 10 , 11 you name it . i could have had a model 5 a couple of times around but at that point i was not collecting and had either trashed or given most all my collection away . i know one of my brothers has or had up till recently a rare chrome b7 [ similar to a b8 but with a t bar handle and was a stripper buffer machine only ] someone correct me if i am wrong as i forget if that was called a b7 or something else .

Post# 144435 , Reply# 6   7/23/2011 at 09:04 (4,598 days old) by Real1 ()        

story about the LUX museum van! Maybe someone will produce a pic of it, maybe even taken with you at the helm! If you had come to my town and I had heard Procol Harum playing from a van that said Electrolux, I would have wandered over.;-)

Few people collected things back then except the usual; stamps, coins, cars much was lost to 'new'.


Post# 144440 , Reply# 7   7/23/2011 at 09:30 (4,598 days old) by silverado ()        
will the real electrolux please stand up part2

hi kevin , i had/have a couple of pics of part of the outside of the van . sorry do not think i ever toke one within and certainly not when time i had my girlfriend of the time visiting me inside the van ........
i was traveling across country from stamford ct [ lux home office and where i lived ] to sporadic setup spots including new orleans with another home office mailroom worker named al .
part of the trip we were just plain scraggly looking as we were driving and not promoting. i think that is what shows on the pics . we were in the middle of the desert so as a goof that al never really caught on to , i had him pose next to a little tiny scraggly cactus and then i had him snapshot me next to a great big majestic cactus !!! lol !!!
at the time and still do think it was kinda funny .
little quick museum van story :
summertime 1975/76 ? [ i think maybe earlier ] . powers to be hired me to go out to long island ny with the van on the weekends to promote [ i had a full time weekday job ] . something was not quite right with the van and i turned it around just after going over the whitestone bridge . at the top of bridge coming back towards ct , smoke started to pour out of the dash . then i could see fire starting to come out of the ac/heating vents . i pulled up to toll booth and told booth operator my van was on fire. do you know that operator still made me pay the toll and then said to pull it offside road past booth !!
i grabbed the little bitty tiny fire extinguisher the van was equipped with and scrambled under the front end of van . fire was everywhere and rubber was dripping on fire and smoke and the fumes ... real bad ...
i squeeze the extinguisher handle and a tiny little burp of powder stuff popped out and that was it . i looked at the gauge and it showed empty !!!!!!!
had to scramble out of under this van asap or i was going to be a crispy critter. finally the bridge police came and a fire truck and put out the blaze and saved the cleaners and all , even me . but not from embarrassment !
2 hours plus later i get picked up from my immediate lux boss . the van gets towed to rocky hill ct where i guess there was a motorhome specialist and that was the last time i drove it till i took the trip with al across country.
so i had 3 different time jobs with the museum and a 4th and last job where i picked it up in oregon and drove it back to the old greenwich lux factory as a paid vacation and where i was pulled over by a state trooper spitting image of barney fife ... but that is a story for another day . glad you like procol harum .

Post# 144448 , Reply# 8   7/23/2011 at 10:36 (4,598 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        



Stuck away in my boxes of Vacuum Cleaner literature I have a xerox of an article from the Readers Digest about the "Electrolux Traveling Museum." Stan Kann gave me the copy of the article. It ran in the magazine some time in the late 1970s.


If I had a week with nothing else to do, I'd go through the boxes to look for the article. But there are at least a dozen boxes, and I haven't any idea which one the article is in.

Post# 144464 , Reply# 9   7/23/2011 at 13:20 (4,598 days old) by silverado ()        
will the real electrolux please stand up part 2 or is it 3

thats the coolest thing ... i would love to read that article about the lux museum van . .... so when are you getting a week off to do nothing but look for that article ? lol ! kidding of course ... not ...
i do not remember anyone doing such article . but not totally surprised as electrolux was really really at their zenith at that time and the van was a very unique idea sales wise and in general and was well promoted locally where it wound up being displayed.
unlike the oscar meyer weiner dog car , this baby was full of history [ most of which would be healthier then eating cow lips or worse .. ]
wow amazing . if you ever get around to it i would love to read the article .

Post# 144469 , Reply# 10   7/23/2011 at 14:11 (4,598 days old) by silverado ()        
will the real ...

since i am on a roll with your terrific site i thought i should mention regarding an old thread here : electrolux in the 70's did make at least 3 [ i have 3 on dvd and on the original production studio vhs video slave ] tv commercials with my father pitching electrolux . they were short but sweet . it was around the same time that consolidated foods/sara lee foods who owned shasta soda did commercials with the karloff type frankenstein monster. there were no monsters in my dads commercials though ....

the real shame to all this is the ............ i will not mention the name of who was handed the helm to electrolux in the early 80's totally , single handedly destroyed the company . no one in my family will mention this name to date . this company was such a bright light in the business world . it had everything going for it .
my father because of all these changes at the stern had to start the closing of the old greenwich factory . he was forced to do so !
i can remember as strong a man as he was , it brought tears to his eyes on occasion . he loved the factory , what it represented , the people / families who grew up with the plant and company .
when the factory closed so did my father with regards to electrolux. he grew up with lux selling the model 30 as a starving newlywed young man fresh out of the navy in world war 2 .
his life was electrolux and consequently so was mine and my family .
it is a shame that aerus is what it is . there is no more usa electrolux from model 5 to the silverado anymore .
there is little true love and loyalty within many if any companies like there was with electrolux .
wow sorry got swept away here [ pardon the pun ] .
i too get real emotional with regards to the real electrolux . i will stand up !!

Post# 144483 , Reply# 11   7/23/2011 at 16:33 (4,597 days old) by silverado ()        
drifting away

if the model 30 had wheels and a port for the power nozzle it would still be king . going forth ..
the "hospital" version of the model g is my fav but the tilt factor was an issue . lower the height and as moe howard said " spread out " the wheel base .
pretty as could be ... the model g i mean ...
still though there was nothing on the planet and i mean nothing that could clean carpets as a vac better then the jubilee or the silverado . just nothing . i/we went head to head in the field and in the lab with anything and everything . just nothing made in the world including swedens electrolux models could touch it .
sadly even usa spin off canadian electrolux was not quite up to measure although they made some pretty darn good machines !
when the old greenwich plant closed so did the quality and performance of electrolux as we in the us knew of it .
the bristol va plant only made a few models/ parts and never was up to the task of taking over for the old greenwich factory.
okeedookee , i hope i gave you all some fun stuff to read. gotta go now . see ya soon .

Post# 144512 , Reply# 12   7/23/2011 at 21:33 (4,597 days old) by Real1 ()        

the history of the Greenwich Plant is amazing. All the generations of 'families' that worked there, their contribution to the local community & state and of course to the products they produced there that are still endearing today. It was most definitely Electrolux's finest hour!

Loved the fire story...LOL! Amazed that they brought the old girl back to life again. But in the 'can do' spirit of Electrolux, I'm not surprised. I didn't realize that chiefly one individual brought down Electrolux. I believe it man almost brought down Chrysler and Mercedes simultaneously.

I actually have several Procol Harum albums along with most decent rock from that era....first on LP's and then transferred to studio tape. Next step is to transfer to high quality CD's with a stand alone unit.


Post# 144513 , Reply# 13   7/23/2011 at 21:41 (4,597 days old) by collector2 (Moose Jaw, Sk)        

collector2's profile picture
Interesting stories. I wish they had done the same Electrolux display up here (Of course, being Canadian I have to disagree with your statement about the Canadian machines).

Just as a bit of information, if memeory serves me correct the first wet dry machine was designated the CBW and was replaced with the CW. I still have one or two of the service sheets around somewhere for both models.


Post# 144557 , Reply# 14   7/24/2011 at 09:10 (4,597 days old) by silverado ()        
will the real elec...

my canadian friend , i meant no malice towards the canadian lux. my dad was involved with them also . they were somewhat similar to some degree. and as i mentioned were well built too . they had no equal to the super j or silverado but made some mighty fine units over the years. i think i still have my brown and tan canadian plastic coin bank among other usa lux coin banks [ model g and the 1205 maybe another one or 2]
i do have a really cool ashtray with a metal model 30 on it .
my father had and i don't know which brother has it now but he was made a special one of a kind miniature model 5 with metal , real leather and all . it was about 6-7 inches long . i think he lost the hose and nozzle somewhere between moves . it was the neatest looking little vac i have ever seen !
i had so much stuff i forget more what i had then what i got rid of if that makes any sense ...
anyways, canadian lux made fine machines too !!
as for procol harum . just get the "salvo" fairly recently remastered cd editions of any of the older procol albums. they sound really good and have extra bonus songs on them .
i too am a fan of taking vinyl up front and have many 1960's stereo amplifiers i have restored the guts on . they play sweet sounding music when matched with a good turntable and speakers !
in fact in 1992 i produced a album in england with guest star matthew fisher who was the organist who co-wrote and played on " a whiter shade of pale " and a few procol albums also . he has stayed over at my house a couple of times since then . real nice guy and pretty much nobody can play the hammond b-3 like him !
the museum van was more burned underneath and some in the cockpit. externally from what i remember it was not too bad of shape .
my father made it a point to live near the old greenwich factory since moving the home office [ corporate]
up to stamford where it was on summer street in one location for many years and then moved down the same street towards the end of my fathers time with lux .
he loved the factory and it's people . the factory went into really high end gear and production using custom made conveyor systems and so forth . a brother of mine worked as an electrician for the factory for some years and i even did a little stint learning basics of welding and related for a short time before going on the road to learn the fine art of vac and small appliance repairs as i was being groomed for a much bigger role.
it was even arranged to send me to a g.e. national service appliance repair center in oklahoma city to learn small appliance repair, coffee makers and you name it !
also working on the road in several states in specific branches repairing vacs of all makes as lux started doing that at some point . where in the "older" days they would pretty much only repair their own or convert a repair to a new sale .
that is also where another brother of mine got involved in . my father had lux start a service repair store in roswell ga where you could walk in and get most any small appliance from any make repaired . you could also buy reconditioned lux and so forth . i do not think you could buy a new lux there and for that the local sales branch would get involved. [ or maybe you could ,,, long time ago and memory ain't what it used to be ] i even worked their for awhile before quitting... yes i actually quit electrolux... for awhile anyways !
i think a couple more might have opened up after that one but since i was not involved with that particular project anymore really do not remember as there was a lot more going on .
my oldest brother had worked his way up to vp of sales over the years and he and my father had big plans for me plans i did not have a clue of yet but thats a story for a rainy day ...
my father towards the later years with lux actually lived in walking distance to the factory on tomac avenue old greenwich ct . or he could go across the street to play golf at innis arden golf club which was not too often as he kept pretty busy with electrolux affairs as that was his life so he was constantly on the road !
i was very proud to have been able to cold canvass [ sell door to door at random ] with him in fort worth area of tx . but the heat was on me more ways then one as it was the summer and very hot out . he and another lux executive decided they wanted to see me in action . talking about hot under the collar !!!
i was never the best salesmen the company ever had not even close . maybe i say that because as a young man trying to fill my daddys mighty big shoes was near impossible . i mean , salesmen like charlie mckee were far and few in the world let alone electrolux ! i did my best though ... i also had the misfortune to have been made to canvas with the idiot who took over from my father during that distasteful period in the early 80's as it was a gradual thing not overnight .
that moron could not sell money out of his wallet for half price let alone a cold canvass vac sale ! i blew his doors in that day in waco tx . i got in most every door i knocked on with him that day made a couple of sales and would have made a third but the meathead tried to take over my demo and screwed up my close [ getting the contact signed ] and the woman got so pissed at him instructed us to leave the premise !
next time around if you are all still interested , i will mention some other products that electrolux toyed with the idea of selling door to door and repairing and i was smack dab in the middle of it all !

Post# 144558 , Reply# 15   7/24/2011 at 09:13 (4,597 days old) by silverado ()        
will the real e...

oh yeh as for the cbw and cw wet vac ... that may very well be correct . i will make it a point to get hold of my brother who ran the lux service center in ga. i am pretty sure he will know a lot about that and will get back to you with whatever info he can share with me .

Post# 144561 , Reply# 16   7/24/2011 at 10:04 (4,597 days old) by Real1 ()        

interesting with your dad at he helm, how LUX tried different things. I never heard about the 'fixing all brands' endeavor. I've always hated the door-to-door sale routine. Kirby tried to suck me into that back in the 70's when I was down on my luck. Started off with huddled masses in a small room, watching a movie narrated by Chuck Connors etc. But LUX was a company that had product to match its claims (not saying Kirby didn't, but the initial indoctrination process was dishonest).

A master salesman like your dad would make people feel good about their purchase long after he left-mainly because the product was that outstanding. If it kept working great for yrs & yrs, you soon forgot the purchase price....that was key to the Electrolux success story.

The real genius behind PH was Keith Reid-the writer/poet. It's the lyrics that kept me coming back....sometimes they were even ahead of the music. I dub to tape from LP's to get the analog sound and purity as we heard it back then. Many times digital transfer engineers don't get it correct. I've got a thing for watching the big reels spinning 'round 'n 'round anyway.;-)


Post# 144567 , Reply# 17   7/24/2011 at 11:05 (4,597 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

aeoliandave's profile picture
Without doubt the entertaining-est and most informative thread we have had here in a long time. Thank-you, Mr Silverado McKee for sharing your reminiscences so candidly.
Please continue as you see fit and time allows. You are essentially writing a fascinating article that is worthy of being printed in full in our Newsletter Bulletin.

For vacuum minutia fanatics like myself your first-hand memories are invaluable.
I'm looking forward to 'The Rest Of The Story'...


my cherished 50th Anniversary Commemorative Plate/wall plaque:

Post# 144571 , Reply# 18   7/24/2011 at 12:04 (4,597 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

Indeed,thank you for this thread! I think we all love hearing stories like that... :)

Now on a differnt note, Dave, looking at your Lux plaque, I didn't know that there was a model in between the XXX and the LX. Was it a thrift model, like the T perhaps?

Post# 144585 , Reply# 19   7/24/2011 at 16:36 (4,596 days old) by silverado ()        
will the ....

thanks for the nod .
i seem to remember this plaque and then again maybe not . there was so much going on at so many different levels of the company . local sales branches , district , divisional , corporate . so many promotions and awards ... impossible to follow it all . there was a lot of elbow room for local sales to promote within and i do mean honest training , promotions and awards . my father was strict on honesty and integrity . obviously there were times when certain individuals strayed from this simple yet effective philosophy . and when caught in the act .... you did not want to be there !!
not to knock the kirby followers but lux did not make you learn a "bible text book " on selling vacs verbatim .
moving on .... procol ... i am a analog man no doubt . my collection of restored 60's tube amps will support my statement ! but i have to admit all things not being equal , this new re-release of procol is pretty good sounding and not too digital harsh . check it out . i too like seeing the platter spin and a good reel to reel is very hard to beat !
and now really moving on ,
my bro from ga tells me his first store was called "electrolux home care center" located roswell ga and if i remember right it was on roswell road . i used to stay at the howard johnsons hotel near the highway or at the executive suite on roswell road when i was working there . my bro had a condo down the road .
then they opened another location at stone mountain ga and a 3rd at buckhead ga . sorry but i forgot the names of those places as we had a nice long conversation about lots of stuff and i do not do shorthand and shorthand memory is not much better!
info on the wet/dry vac is pending as my bro tells me another bro [ another bro not yet mentioned as part of my little tales so far ] was very much involved with the wet/dry vac and at one time sold them in his store . could this be possible ? selling new lux stuff in a non company storefront ? who knows, who still cares but i will fill you in when the word comes back .
i would prefer this stuff i email you with is not posted as a permanent log/story as someday i might need a few bucks and if i publish a book on all this it won't be as much fun or be a best seller if half of it is already posted all over the place. hold on ! let me check ... yeh i could use a few extra bucks . so maybe i cannot post anymore lux stories.
lol! kidding sorta ...

Post# 144595 , Reply# 20   7/24/2011 at 17:13 (4,596 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        




Well, I think my Electrolux History web site speaks for itself in terms of my great devotion to, and admiration of, "The Electrolux That Once Was."


I for one am tickled pink to have someone posting here who was so close to the company in its halcyon days and, sir, you never have to apologize for your postings or worry about boring me. And I do know I speak for others.


I fully agree that it was downhill from there when Electrolux became a part of Consolidated Foods. While the machines up to (but not including) the plastic Diplomat were still well made and great performers, the company itself lost a part of its soul when it was conglomerated.


I will say, though, to me, and this is just my opinion, the last really great machine they made -- in every aspect and sense -- was the Model G. They just never got better than that.


P.S.: You haven't said, and maybe it's a bit tasteless to ask, but is your dad still alive? I'd love to speak to him sometime if he is. That would be a great thrill and a high honor.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO electrolux~137's LINK

Post# 144597 , Reply# 21   7/24/2011 at 18:14 (4,596 days old) by silverado ()        
will t.....

first off , i did enjoy reading the article capsule of old lux . there are several errors in your writings . none of which i have any interest in discussing at the moment and none that take away from real stuff at hand : but there are some little areas that at some time we should update each other on . ok , one little one to start with : [ can't help myself ]
it was not consolidated foods[ nate cummings ] that brought lux down . it was a particular person and powers to be that did it in the form of sara lee foods well beyond the consolidated corp with ceo john bryant of bryant foods [ kinda like hormel stuff] .
in my fathers heyday at the helm , electrolux usa sold more cleaners in the usa then all others cleaners combined year by year ! [ that included the bissells , hoovers , kirbys , rainbows. airwave , royals etc etc etc and store bought included. talking about the ultimate household name !! and still the bottom line was quality . the model g is and old time fav of most vac lovers but it still did not perform as well as the super j or silverado . nor was it really made any better . it is my fav overall cuz it looks cool [ art deco/rock and roll fan that i am ] but functionality and 50-50 on reliability the silverado was as good and better and did not fall over all the time [ see earlier post on that ]
as i said before sorta kinda , if the model 30 has casters and a power nozzle , i would be a happy camper .
had it a hepa pull out filter ... oh man !!!!! lol !

Post# 144600 , Reply# 22   7/24/2011 at 18:49 (4,596 days old) by silverado ()        

i think the electrolux history website is fantastic ! minor errors aside :
it is not impolite or in bad taste to ask if my father is "still" alive . that is assuming you did not know .
my father passed on a several years ago and my mother a couple of years after and in the middle of all this my oldest brother [ vp of electrolux sales ] died . my only sister died in 1973 . the rest of us are waiting our turn .

Post# 144602 , Reply# 23   7/24/2011 at 19:50 (4,596 days old) by silverado ()        

johnson , sheridan , dumas , dick brown ... etc etc and lots more of etc electrolux superstar vip's or hit the road salespersons and everyone in between ... they were the best of the best ! call 'em what you want : but if i had to collect a group of people to manage /run /prosper/ trust a business today , i would ask my god to lend me all these terrific people for just one more run !

Post# 144625 , Reply# 24   7/25/2011 at 01:05 (4,596 days old) by Real1 ()        

too bad that this isn't the rare case where all the ex-employees got together and reformulated/refound Electrolux. Probably the powers at be made sure no one on earth could ever use the name again-legally....which would cripple a new start of an old name. These ventures rarely work, but when they do, they are truly Harley Davidson.

Your stories are incredible....I wait with baited breath for the next....and I'm sure I'm not the only one. An hell, since LUX was a household name across the US, Canada and beyond, maybe it's time for an inside book and look at the company in their finest hr. Just be careful that you're not sued by He Who Shall Not Be Named (or the surviving family). I figured by the way you talked about your dad, he had passed. Sounds like you and your surviving brothers could tell a hell of a story. Rope in some other surviving VIP's and you have your book!


Post# 144635 , Reply# 25   7/25/2011 at 07:24 (4,596 days old) by silverado ()        

hi kevin , do not hold your breath too much longer or you may turn blue like those bojack rebuilt model 30's ! lol !
again , i think the person who posted the link to their electrolux history site did an incredible job !
i guess it shows there are some mighty proud followers of the company still left out there.
there was talk at the time that some of the "family" might start up "competition" again . obviously though that did not happen for various reasons .
there were also talks and outlines for books from a few of my family [ me included ] but to date did not go further .
as for a law suit ! i do not think it is illegal to speak the truth !
besides the book has not been written ... yet ! lol !
i think it is terrific that there are still lots of people who are really into the history of cleaners and are fiercely loyal to their favorite brand of cleaner .
whether hoover , kirby , airwave , bissell or whomever ! just terrific !
f y i still working on lux wet/dry vac info . if and when i find anything i will post again .

Post# 144650 , Reply# 26   7/25/2011 at 11:45 (4,596 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        




I would really like to know what information in my Electrolux History is incorrect. I pride myself on that effort more than anything else I've done. It's the most thorough and most-researched. If there is wrong information in it, I want to fix it. If you'd prefer to email me privately that would be fine. You can reach me at


99% of what's there came directly from Electrolux documentation. But if there are mistakes, that would not surprise me. That happened frequently in the telling and re-telling of company lore, not just with Electrolux but other brands as well.


You must have a very keen sense of detail -- quite a few other former Electrolux people have read my site and missed the mistakes.


Something I've always wondered about... in the factory there was a room with displays of prototype machines, 15 or 20 of them, arranged on a bench-like ledge that ran around the room.


And in another room on all four walls, wall-to-wall and floor to ceiling, were displays of prototypes and patent samples of attachments and accessories.


I've seen these things in old photos from the Electrolux plant, and I've always wondered what became of all that stuff when the place closed. Did someone save it, or did all just get pitched into a dumpster? Ditto for what surely must have been vast paper files from all those years as well as blueprints, factory orders, etc. Oh, what I would give to have been able to save some of those materials.


And yes, there is a very special, very affectionate place in my heart for Electrolux. That was by far the most common vacuum cleaner in people's homes when I was growing up. I remember many, many XXXs, LXs, Es, AEs, Ss, Rs, Fs and Gs and at least one T. There were far more Electroluxes running around back then than any other brand. And I loved them all. And still do.


At one time I had a complete set of the first 50 years of American Electrolux tank machines, from the Model V to the Golden Jubilee, with all variations and sub-models (e.g., all the variations of the XXX, all four colors of the Model L, etc.) However, I had to greatly reduce that collection when I moved to a smaller apartment and lost my workshop and display space. But I still do have the best of them, with some very "rare birds."


You can't begin to imagine how fascinating your "Electrolux Recollections" are to me, and I'm glad you found our offbeat little corner of Cyberspace!


p.s. I have many Electrolux pages on my site in addition to the History. If you go to my main portal (link below) and scroll down, you'll see a list of those pages under the heading E L E C T R O L U X.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO electrolux~137's LINK

Post# 144672 , Reply# 27   7/25/2011 at 14:38 (4,595 days old) by luxman107 (USA )        

Being a true Electrolux fanatic, I love this thread..Charles, I have read your electrolux history link so many times...Thanks to both of you for the great information..
Silvarado, Do you have any pictures to post of the old manufacturing plant in Conn

Post# 144673 , Reply# 28   7/25/2011 at 15:00 (4,595 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        




p.s. to Silverado, it just occurred to me that I hadn't posted a link to the opening page of my Electrolux History site, only the "Electrolux Today" page. Here's the link, if you haven't seen it.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO electrolux~137's LINK

Post# 144674 , Reply# 29   7/25/2011 at 15:35 (4,595 days old) by silverado ()        
will the ...

charles [ that is a real nice name ] i went back and re read the link to history of modern electrolux .
all i can say is i truly apologize as i misread/ interpreted some excerpts .
i do not see those several errors now. again my sincerest apology !
very well written ! i am sure charlie the tiger [ my father ] would have liked the article .
i have some pics somewhere when the duke of windsor came to visit the factory and my father . i thing they were outside shots in front of factory .
here is a tidbit : the old eckman center owned by electrolux and kiddy cornered the old greenwich plant was sold by lux to the town of greenwich for close to a half a mil back in 1966 and the name changed to greenwich civic center and may also be know now as west greenwich civic center .
eckman was a lux boss at one time i think but correct me if i am wrong . they had plant employee parties and what not and there was even an old time little bowling alley in the place . when greenwich took over the bowling was eventually taken out but it has a gymnasium and function rooms , commercial kitchen etc etc.
i even went to a couple of dances there as an underager and the last dance my dad got stuck with driving both ways ! there is at least one video of some people shooting hoop on youtube. just search as greenwich civic center. and enclosed i uploaded off the internet of a pic of what it looks like now and from what i remember the outside is not so different then it was when i was a little squirt .

Post# 144675 , Reply# 30   7/25/2011 at 15:58 (4,595 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

In some of the issues of "Electrolux News" I have, there are photos and articles about Eckman Center. Nice to know it's still there.


btw does the name Charles MacMillan ring a bell? Back in the early 1980s before there was a Vacuum Cleaner Collectors Club, before I knew there was another soul on the earth with any interest in vintage vacuum cleaners, I wrote a letter to the Electrolux Plant in Greenwich asking if anyone there still had any old printed matter about Electrolux. My letter made its way to Mr. MacMillan (CEO at the time) and he replied to me, sending me a nice pack of stuff including xeroxes of articles from Electrolux News showing the prototype machines and attachments I mentioned earlier. He also sent me a bunch of instruction booklets but nothing really, really old. The oldest one was, I think, the 1205. He also sent a large color cutaway diagram of the 1205 showing the interior and motor. I still have all that stuff!

Post# 144676 , Reply# 31   7/25/2011 at 16:15 (4,595 days old) by silverado ()        
will the ....

charles , i know him but your spelling of last name is slightly off .
my brother the vp of sales had every lux news letter . i think his wife convinced him some time ago to chuck it all . i had a lot of that also . being in their repair service for a time , i had or had access to lots of manuals and so forth .
some got tossed out , given away or lost in moves it is not funny !

Post# 144704 , Reply# 32   7/25/2011 at 18:31 (4,595 days old) by silverado ()        
will the r...

charles , i disagree that electrolux went downhill after they "allowed" consolidated foods to buy them .
and certainly not a loss of heart and soul by any means . i feel if anything it was quite the contrary .
while maybe not making that "classic" design some us were used to and liked . times had to change and the "new" electrolux design did improve greatly especially considering carpet care .
there were more promotions within the company sales wise to motivate , just all kinds of stuff to make it more fun , yes , fun to sell the products .
the move to consolidated gave thew company the extra financial support to modernize their product and go beyond the same old same old [ not that there was anything wrong with the same old but at some point you really have to up and on ] .
my father had the chance to run consolidated as the big boss at one point but turned it down [ for various reasons ] and his love for electrolux ! [ granted he was vp and director but kept his main helm attention focused on lux ] .
again , from a point of view regarding a companies growth and financial success the consolidated years were luxs zenith !
anyways my opinion ....
the b-8 was the most fun machine i ever worked with . i used it to make more sales and it was fun to use and did a darn good job at buffing and "dry foam" shampooing . i still have the gold and silver versions . you just cant beat or kill a b-8 !
it is funny as when the upright first came out it had problems getting clogged up . the factory fixed that problem and that machine also made me a lot of sales whether converting from a upright to a canister or just the upright .
i am not saying it was as good a upright as i would have liked but it had some merit .
i would throw some rubber wheel covers on that baby and walk it down the road like walking a dog from house to house to office to wherever and just had a lot of fun with it . especially because you did not have to carry a big box and unpack everything and so forth . just roll that baby inside and dig of piles of dirt .
i did very little with commercial sales intentionally so did very very little with the cb . although i owned one once and it worked just fine . commercial accounts were a different animal all its own in my opinion .

Post# 144714 , Reply# 33   7/25/2011 at 20:00 (4,595 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Just to reiterate, my comments about Electrolux were all based on discussions and interviews with former Electrolux personnel, including a plant manager from the Bristol factory who, along with the rest of the work force, lost her job when the plant was summarily closed in 2003.

Most of the "old-timers" I've talked to have said -- emphatically -- that the Model G was the best machine the company ever made. However, I don't necessarily agree with that 100%. The Silverado is a fantastic performer and its understated color scheme is elegant and tasteful. I even developed a soft spot for the much-later Grand Marquise when I had the opportunity to acquire one at a very reasonable cost. That machine, with a new genuine Electrolux coiled vinyl electric hose, is now my "daily driver."

That having been said, all the models after the G, while, granted, are somewhat more powerful*, are also noisy and screechy -- the later plastic machines the worst offenders.

And to me, the boxy, squared-off post-G machines [until the Renaissance] look ugly and ungraceful. The squared-off, flat fronts can get caught against table legs. That never happened with any of my earlier Luxes.

I have never had a problem with any Lux 'tipping over' -- not the Model G, nor even the early Model E (the later one had a stabilizer foot added), S or R. If people don't yank and tug on the machines, they will not topple over. It's a matter of treating the machines nicely.

*I can't help but wonder if there's a diminishing point of return with more and more suction power. As Stan Kann once put it, "My God! The new  vacuums scream so! Who can stand all that racket? Everyone wants more, more, more suction! They're nuts, all of them I tell you! Crazy!! You only need enough suction to move the schmutz from the floor into the vacuum cleaner bag!"

Then, switching gears...

Speaking of Bristol...


Bristol Virginia plant closing, to idle 250 workers
Aerus Electrolux to shut down by end of May
Bristol Herald Courier
March 14, 2003

The Aerus Electrolux plant in Bristol Virginia will shut down by the end of May, idling as many as 250 workers, officials of the vacuum cleaner manufacturer said Thursday.

Employees filed into the plant Thursday morning to attend a teleconference** with Aerus Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joseph P. Urso, who told them of the shutdown.

"We are extremely grateful to our employees in Bristol and to the surrounding community for all of their support and efforts over the years," he said. "And we are very sorry for any adverse impact that this decision may have on our employees, their families and friends in the Bristol area."

Company officials said in a statement that Aerus had signed an agreement with The Eureka Co. -- a subsidiary of Swedish firm AB Electrolux -- to have Eureka's El Paso, Texas, facility take over assembly and some manufacture of Aerus vacuum cleaners, floor polishers, floor shampooers and air-filtration devices now made at the Bristol plant.

Aerus and AB Electrolux are separate corporations. The production shutdown and move were expected to start immediately and be complete in May.

Urso said implementing outsourcing opportunities -- such as the contracting of Aerus production to an outside firm -- would "lower the cost and improve the supply of Aerus products and services."

About 250 employees in the production side of the plant were given 60 days notice required under the federal Warren Act, said Aerus Vice President and General Counsel Jeff Harvey, although transfer of operations was expected to take between 90 and 120 days. The transfer to El Paso will include production equipment at the Bristol site, he said.

Aerus will continue handling product development, sales and marketing and franchise-ownership opportunities, according to the statement. About 100 support and administrative jobs were to remain at the Bristol plant.

Harvey, when asked whether any jobs were cut effective Thursday, said "not many, even if there were any." The statement called the closing and transfer a step in "Aerus' commitment to continuous improvement and cost-rationalization of all company activities."

The three-decade-old Bristol operation, which began as Electrolux, was bought in 1998 by Engles, Urso, Follmer Capital Corp. and renamed Aerus. Urso is a partner and CEO of Engles, Urso, Follmer. Aerus shut down its 200-employee plant in Piney Flats last year, followed by two rounds of Bristol facility layoffs totaling 100 employees from last August to November.

"We look for opportunities to realize economies of scale," Harvey said of the production transfer. "We specifically were concerned and sought an opportunity to improve outsourcing for our production." Harvey, when asked whether the remaining Bristol operation would be moved to a smaller facility and the existing Aerus plant sold, said the company had no "immediate plans to do so."

When asked whether the shutdown was due to foreign product competition, he said it was not.

Aerus President James Scott said in Thursday's statement that the company plans to "make the transition as smooth as possible and will involve the assistance of various state agencies and private outplacement services."

**"Employees filed into the plant Thursday morning to attend a teleconference" -- what a cowardly, chicken-shit way to tell people they're losing their jobs.


Employees react to news of plant closing
Bristol Herald Courier
Friday, March 14, 2003

Employees of Aerus Electrolux in Bristol Virginia leave the building for lunch Thursday hours after learning that the plant will be closed in May.

Not many of the employees leaving the Aerus Electrolux plant in Bristol Virginia at lunchtime Thursday wanted to comment about the news they'd just received -- that the facility would be shut down.

But a few said they had concerns about how the company has been managed.

"I'm not angry at this place here," said 15-year employee Eva Hunt as she headed to lunch. "I'm angry at the company for the way they handled things."

Hunt, who works on the plant's hose manufacturing line, said she received her 60-day layoff notice that morning.

The shutdown notice followed layoffs last year of 300 workers at the Bristol plant and at a now-dormant sister facility in Piney Flats. Some remaining employees at the Piney Flats facility were transferred to Bristol at the time.

"We knew it was coming two years ago," Hunt said. "All these people who came from Piney Flats, single mothers and single fathers. I'm 50 years old. Who's going to hire me? Who's going to hire them?"

The Bristol plant, which opened three decades ago as Electrolux, has seen changes as its parent company found itself under new ownership in 1998, when Engles, Urso, Follmer Capital Corp. bought the company.

By 2001, Aerus had sold certain rights to the Electrolux brand name to Swedish-based AB Electrolux -- to "prevent confusion by distinguishing our company from" AB Electrolux.

"It was a good company up until five years ago," Hunt said before driving away.

"When they sold our name, they sold our integrity," said 25-year employee Annie Miller as she left the plant.

Carol Salcido, a 17-year employee, said she didn't know what she'd do next.

"It's been a good place to work," Salcido said.

Bristol Virginia Mayor Doug Weberling said city officials were aware that something was about to happen with the Aerus operation, although its timing was unknown until Thursday's announcement.

"The last few months (Aerus) brought people in to look at the property," Weberling said. "We're disappointed. It seems a shame because everyone said we had such a great work force."

Aerus planned to move production to a plant in El Paso, Texas.

"I don't think they'll find the same quality of work force in El Paso," the mayor said.

Weberling said he expects to see the the Aerus plant sold, although company officials said they had no immediate plans to sell the building, which was to continue housing about 100 support and administrative staff members.

"We'll offer (city Economic Development Coordinator) Jerry Brown any help we can to market the property," the mayor said. "We're hoping that the fiber-optic network we've installed in the city will lead prospects to see the potential uses for that site."

This post was last edited 07/25/2011 at 23:19

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