Thread Number: 14148
vintage tornado shop vacuum
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Post# 149627   8/30/2011 at 19:01 (4,567 days old) by tornado-dude ()        

I have a very old tornado shop vac that I am looking to gain information on. This shop vac may be of interest to many of you. I cannot find even a sentence or any pictures pertaining to this vaccuum. It was purchased by my grandfather with green stamps. On the front it says "breuer electric mfg co. Chicago, 40. Ill

Post# 149629 , Reply# 1   8/30/2011 at 19:42 (4,567 days old) by whirlsonicmore (South US)        

Pretty cool design. Looks darn tough.

Post# 149630 , Reply# 2   8/30/2011 at 19:55 (4,567 days old) by henry200 (Saint Paul MN)        

I remember seeing Tornado vacuums fairly frequently bake in the 60's and 70's, most often being used in commercial situations, shops etc.  Yours is unique with the horizontally mounted motor and that exhaust filter bag.  The only time I've ever seen one similar was many years ago in a woodworking shop where it was connected via hoses to the table saw, lathe, etc to siphon off the sawdust as it was produced.

Post# 149663 , Reply# 3   8/30/2011 at 23:53 (4,567 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
Motor reminds me of a circular saw!

Post# 149673 , Reply# 4   8/31/2011 at 00:31 (4,567 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

gsheen's profile picture
I have always wanted to see what early shop vacs looked like
Thats awsome

Post# 149676 , Reply# 5   8/31/2011 at 00:40 (4,567 days old) by tornado-dude ()        

Ya this thing is tough!. You can remove the motor and run it by itself. I've used it as a blower too by taking the dust bag off. It will just about twist your arm. It's very loud. Sounds and looks like a supercharger. And yes it was used in a woodshop by my grandfather. That's probably why its in ech good condition being it only sucked up wood chips and sawdust. Anyone have any idea on age? By the looks of the label, it was before zip codes were used.

Post# 149680 , Reply# 6   8/31/2011 at 01:04 (4,567 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Very interesting design tornado vacuum.The horizontal motor mount is interesing.I have a later model-the current one.Has a plastic drum and vertical mount 15A motor discharging into the cloth bag.Grainger sells them.NSS used to make a similar vacuum-under the "Bronco" name.They were really cool looking machines-the polished SS drum with the poilished motor on top--and the HUGE blue bag with the NSS "Horse" logo!!One of my dream vacuums.My Tornado does shop duty and cleans up after a paper shredder.The paper clippings make a nice sound if they get sucked thru the motors fan and into the bag!

Post# 149686 , Reply# 7   8/31/2011 at 01:27 (4,567 days old) by tornado-dude ()        
tornado pic

Here's another pic of the motor

Post# 149688 , Reply# 8   8/31/2011 at 01:38 (4,567 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

that would have to be a very early Tornado vacuum-it was said the company was founded by and owned by a woman!More power to her!!They make a nice product-today Tornado is part of the Tacony family.They make many types of janitorial and sanitation equipment.

Post# 149692 , Reply# 9   8/31/2011 at 03:26 (4,567 days old) by DeliriousDan ()        

ZIP codes appeared in 1963, replacing the Zone numbers previously used. ('ZIP' is actually an acronym- it stands for Zone Improvement Plan). Zone numbers were used from 1943 until 1963. Since the manufacturer's tag on your machine bears a Zone number, I'd say its date of manufacture would be sometime in that twenty-year span.

Post# 149698 , Reply# 10   8/31/2011 at 04:10 (4,567 days old) by tornado-dude ()        
shop vac

So shop vacs must be more of a rare find in the vacuum collecting world. I challenge you all to locate another one of these! Haha. I think ill try and call the tornado mfg. and see if they can give me some history on it.

Post# 149699 , Reply# 11   8/31/2011 at 04:28 (4,567 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

gsheen's profile picture
I know of only one is South africa though Im sure their must be more, It belongs to a guy who never uses it.

It is a bigger version with a vertical mounted motor. all stainless steal and has about a 50gal drum.
I have tried to buy it from him for many years now but he won't sell, dam pitty though

Post# 149701 , Reply# 12   8/31/2011 at 04:42 (4,567 days old) by tornado-dude ()        

This tank is about 20-30 gallons and is stainless steel also. The rest is a softer kind of metal, but heavy. Once I find out the history on it I may be open to selling it but it won't be cheap. I love this thing. Remember the oreck commercial with the bowling ball? Well I think this one could hold the guy, the oreck, and the bowling ball at once. It makes a great leaf blower too if you remove the dust bag.

Post# 149707 , Reply# 13   8/31/2011 at 05:58 (4,567 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Does the Tornado vacuum have the ball suction shut-off valve for wet pickup?If it doesn't have the ball valve device-its for dry pickup only.If you should ever want to sell that vacuum-I may be interested.

Post# 149737 , Reply# 14   8/31/2011 at 13:15 (4,566 days old) by tornado-dude ()        

No there is no suction ball. It's for dry pickup only.

Post# 149812 , Reply# 15   8/31/2011 at 22:24 (4,566 days old) by bisonian (Where the buffalo roamed! (Ocala, FL))        
Here's A Link...

to the History section of the Tornado website...

To add a bit to what Tolivac mentioned above, while the company wasn't founded by a woman, Linda S. Breuer was the last family member to run the company, succeeding her father as president/CEO in 1996, three years before the management buyout.

The company has always built very well-made products for the commercial market, if not always the easiest to use. I remember one upright vacuum (single-motor) that weighed 49 pounds. Not the easiest thing in the world to push, but it gave the impression you could run over it with a truck -- and break the truck.


Post# 149832 , Reply# 16   9/1/2011 at 03:33 (4,566 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

The one I currently have is the Tornado Task Force ext filter-the blower motor discharging into the bag.Like this design over the internal pleated filters that constantly clog and harder to clean.For the bagg-just dump it out like any other dump bag vacuum.and if you wish you can use the motor alone as a very powerful blower.Makes leaf blowers look wimpy.

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