Thread Number: 14998
Electrolux TurboTool
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Post# 159011   11/14/2011 at 20:37 (4,482 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

Here's my recent find.

A nice Electrolux TurboTool floor scrubber/polisher w/drill chuck.

It even came with the box! :)

Post# 159012 , Reply# 1   11/14/2011 at 20:38 (4,482 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

Underside of Turbotool & side view of box

Post# 159014 , Reply# 2   11/14/2011 at 20:39 (4,482 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

Top view of box. The box has seen better days. Its missing a flap.

Post# 159015 , Reply# 3   11/14/2011 at 20:40 (4,482 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

Top view of box when opened.

Post# 159017 , Reply# 4   11/14/2011 at 20:44 (4,482 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

TurboTool in drill/screwdriver mode. Missing the drill & screwdriver bits.

I guess the tan bristle brushes are for waxing & polishing; but are the black bristle brushes for shampooing carpets/rugs or scrubbing bare floors?

How do the pad(s) stay on the brush(es)?

If anyone has owner's manual & the Rug Washing accessory & brush, can I please have them?

Post# 160395 , Reply# 5   11/27/2011 at 21:47 (4,469 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        
Scrubbing Pads

Where can I get the "scrubby" pad material in bulk? Those pre-cut pads are expensive!

Post# 160710 , Reply# 6   11/30/2011 at 20:29 (4,466 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

Here's my other Turbotool. This one's just a rug shampooer & floor scrubber/polisher, & I'm not sure if it works as a drill/screwdriver? My parents bought this one new with the 1205 back in 1970.

Sadly, I no longer have the boxes of the rug washer or the vac, because they smelled like cigarettes. :(

Post# 264461 , Reply# 7   1/22/2014 at 13:01 (3,682 days old) by Kevin (Livonia)        

Was there a Model G colored version of the Turbotool? If so, please post a pic of it.

Also wondering if someone has collected all the different versions of the successive generation of rug washers (ivory/teal, ivory/tan, teal/ivory, gold/ivory, brown/ivory, gray/ivory, jade/ivory, taupe/ivory)? I think they were first manufactured in 1962 and discontinued after the Marquise.

FYI...Somewhere on Vacland I've seen a collection of the early Polisher/Scrubbers from the Model XXX to the Model E. It seems the Turb-O-Tool w/Rug Washer accessory was first manufactured during the Model A E era in hammertone blue, then the gray/beige version came with the Model F.

Following are some pics I found on eBay:

(Aqua Model G/Ivory Model L era--ivory with teal base)

Post# 264462 , Reply# 8   1/22/2014 at 13:03 (3,682 days old) by Kevin (Livonia)        

(Model 1205/Teal Model L era--teal with ivory base):

Post# 264463 , Reply# 9   1/22/2014 at 13:06 (3,682 days old) by Kevin (Livonia)        

Note: After posting, I noticed that the top and base of the previous pic were teal and the solution tank was ivory

(Model 1401 B/Brown Model 1453 era--brown with ivory solution tank and base):

Post# 264464 , Reply# 10   1/22/2014 at 13:09 (3,682 days old) by Kevin (Livonia)        

(Model 1505/Gray Model 1453 era--dark gray top with light gray solution tank and dark gray base):

Post# 264465 , Reply# 11   1/22/2014 at 13:11 (3,682 days old) by Kevin (Livonia)        

(Model Diamond J/Sand Model 1453 era--jade top with ivory solution tank and jade base):

Post# 264466 , Reply# 12   1/22/2014 at 13:12 (3,682 days old) by Kevin (Livonia)        

By the way, I also remember reading that there was a blue (teal?) caddy for the early Rug Washers. Please post a pic of it if you have one.

Post# 264477 , Reply# 13   1/22/2014 at 15:19 (3,682 days old) by caligula (Wallingford, Connecticut)        
Hi Kevin.

caligula's profile picture

Thought you might find this interesting, it's Electrolux's version of Kirby's Handi-Butler. I don't know if it was sold or not, but it's a fun patent.


Alex Taber.

Post# 264483 , Reply# 14   1/22/2014 at 15:43 (3,682 days old) by caligula (Wallingford, Connecticut)        
Hi Kevin.

caligula's profile picture

The problem with patents like this is that we don't know what was or was not marketed. As I've never seen this, I only surmise that it was one of the numerous things that didn't muster up to the engineering department. Still, like several designs for the model LX, this gives a comical look at the countless products that were introduced to the U.S. patent office over the years.


In the early days of the club, I thought of gathering all the vacuum cleaner patents in a file. I learned form the Chicago public library that there were millions of them, and told it was an impossible task. Finally I decided to start with Electrolux, Hoover, and Kirby. But again, there is no confirmation on which designs were used. We also thought of writing a book on the history of the vacuum cleaner, but that too is the tail wagging the dog.


Alex Taber,  

Post# 264484 , Reply# 15   1/22/2014 at 16:01 (3,682 days old) by caligula (Wallingford, Connecticut)        
Hi Kevin.

caligula's profile picture

It did exist!


Looking at figure 3 of that patent, the Electrolux Turbo tools, did in some way follow the Kirby Handi-Butler, though I still question figures 1 and 2. Also, this was designed for the model XXX, but didn't appear till about 1956, still it's a great idea.

Post# 264540 , Reply# 16   1/23/2014 at 10:15 (3,681 days old) by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
Rug Washers

There were RWs in both Mo G colors.Early ones had a tray that looked like a large colored dinner plate to rest on when not in use.These came in a taller square box and included brush and bristle ring for hard floors.9 and 10 above are mine.You are welcome to use pics or even place a bid!You will see where the sham bottle shape was changed and a holder molded in the caddy.I should find other versions later.

Post# 265569 , Reply# 17   1/31/2014 at 15:07 (3,673 days old) by Kevin (Livonia)        


Thanks for the information and the pics (9 and 10). I wouldn't mind having all the colors of rug washers eventually but am not in a financial position at this time to purchase them. I do already have an ivory one with the teal base (Model G), but I would like to have the storage tray. If you ever come across one let me know, or if you see one online post it.

Here is the gold rug washer. I don't think it's yours, because it is displayed differently (didn't check your seller friend's name on the other ones):

Post# 265840 , Reply# 18   2/2/2014 at 18:03 (3,671 days old) by sleepdoc (St. Louis, MO)        

sleepdoc's profile picture

This is the most comprehensive set of turbo attachments I've ever seen.  Thanks!

Post# 265842 , Reply# 19   2/2/2014 at 18:37 (3,671 days old) by electrolux137 (Los Angeles)        

electrolux137's profile picture

Stan Kann used to talk about a lady who kept insisting she had seen in a magazine a vacuum cleaner attachment used to lift refrigerators! Of course he thought she was kookoo until she brought him the article! He showed it to me once. It was a bad photocopy so it was hard to make out how the apparatus worked, but it appeared to have two long flat "fingers" that slid underneath the refrigerator. Then when you turned the vacuum cleaner on with the hose in the blower end, a turbo-powered fan would purportedly exert enough air-lift under the refrigerator to make it move like a hovercraft. Anyone ever seen or heard of this device?

Post# 265906 , Reply# 20   2/3/2014 at 10:25 (3,670 days old) by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
moving a refrigerator

I think I have seen a similar item to move heavy appliancs,furniture,etc that used the vac exhaust spread over a large area from narrow openings to create lift.Sort of the Constellation idea with different air vents and pressure.--I also remember a one time mention of a refrigerator with a hose port built into the base area that you would attach the blower hose to and then the exhaust would allow the fridge to move out for cleaning what must be the dirtiest place in any home.Could this have been a 60s Westinghouse??--Later Frigidaire had a built in tape recorder to allow families to leave voice 'memos' to each other.--And a 40s or 50s Crosley had a water dispenser in door.--Interesting ideas that are sometimes seen once and then no more.

Post# 271970 , Reply# 21   3/15/2014 at 12:10 (3,630 days old) by kevin (Livonia)        
Turbotool with Shampoo Dispenser

Thought I would add pics of the Model-F era Turbotool with the new shampoo dispenser and its storage box (I believe which debuted in 1958):

Post# 271971 , Reply# 22   3/15/2014 at 12:14 (3,630 days old) by kevin (Livonia)        

Rug Washer base:

Post# 271972 , Reply# 23   3/15/2014 at 12:15 (3,630 days old) by kevin (Livonia)        

Shampoo Dispenser:

Post# 271973 , Reply# 24   3/15/2014 at 12:18 (3,630 days old) by kevin (Livonia)        


Post# 271974 , Reply# 25   3/15/2014 at 12:20 (3,630 days old) by kevin (Livonia)        

Total unit from bottom:

Post# 271975 , Reply# 26   3/15/2014 at 12:20 (3,630 days old) by kevin (Livonia)        

Total unit from top:

Post# 271976 , Reply# 27   3/15/2014 at 12:21 (3,630 days old) by kevin (Livonia)        


Post# 271982 , Reply# 28   3/15/2014 at 12:56 (3,630 days old) by electrolux137 (Los Angeles)        

electrolux137's profile picture

Here's the very first version of the Electrolux Turbotool, at the time called Turb-O-Tool.

This came out toward the end of the E-Automatic production, replacing the earlier "air-powered floor polisher and scrubber" that first came out in 1949 with the Model XXX.

Post# 271983 , Reply# 29   3/15/2014 at 12:58 (3,630 days old) by electrolux137 (Los Angeles)        

electrolux137's profile picture

Here's the box for the main unit. Accessories included the floor polisher/scrubber, drill bit, rotary saw and hedge clippers!

Post# 271984 , Reply# 30   3/15/2014 at 12:59 (3,630 days old) by electrolux137 (Los Angeles)        

electrolux137's profile picture

This photo is currently running on eBay; has been on there for several months. When the seller comes down on his $29.95 price, maybe he'll sell the photo.......

Post# 271985 , Reply# 31   3/15/2014 at 13:04 (3,630 days old) by electrolux137 (Los Angeles)        

electrolux137's profile picture

And, finally, this photo compares the Model F version of the Turbotool with the Model G version. Note the turquoise bumper and the white shampoo splash guard on the G version.

btw the very first version of the shampooer setup did not have the pull-string shampoo release. There was a knurled spring-loaded silver knob on top that the user was obliged to bend down and unscrew to release shampoo and then bend down again and screw it closed again, having to repeat that procedure every time more shampoo was required. Electrolux folks soon realized the tedium of that process and came out with the more efficient pull-string setup.

Post# 271991 , Reply# 32   3/15/2014 at 13:17 (3,630 days old) by kevin (Livonia)        

Great info. and pics, Charlies (#s 28-31). Thanks for clarifying and adding!

Post# 271993 , Reply# 33   3/15/2014 at 13:22 (3,630 days old) by electrolux137 (Los Angeles)        

electrolux137's profile picture

A couple more things ...

First, a flyer about the Turb-O-Tool (actual size 8.5"x11") ...

Post# 271994 , Reply# 34   3/15/2014 at 13:23 (3,630 days old) by electrolux137 (Los Angeles)        

electrolux137's profile picture

Article from June 1957 issue of Popular Mechanics.

Post# 271999 , Reply# 35   3/15/2014 at 13:41 (3,630 days old) by kevin (Livonia)        

Way cool images in #s 33 and 34, Charles. Thanks again.

The capris and pointed flats in #33 make me think of Laura Petrie (wasn't she the first TV actress to wear them on a show?), and the guy in #34 reminds me of Ozzie Nelson; I'm still thinking about the woman in #34--for some reason she doesn't strike me as Harriet Nelson ... maybe Hazel Burke or Thelma Ritter? haha

(Thelma Ritter):

Post# 273709 , Reply# 36   3/27/2014 at 17:42 (3,618 days old) by Kevin (Livonia)        

Another classic photo of the air-powered floor polisher ... this time with a Model LXI:

Post# 292338 , Reply# 37   8/7/2014 at 21:24 (3,485 days old) by ronni (USA)        

Here's a Youtube video showing the Model G Turbotool in action:

Post# 292378 , Reply# 38   8/8/2014 at 04:52 (3,485 days old) by electrolux137 (Los Angeles)        

electrolux137's profile picture

Here's a photo of the E-Automatic with new turbo tool that I found somewhere.

Interesting point: The combo floor/rug tool is the earlier Model E version - note the "naked" neck with no spring-clamp. That feature was first introduced in the E-A.

As for the Turb-O-Tool (as it was called at the time), note the optional circular saw and hedge trimmer accessories as well as the power screwdriver & drill bits. I don't know what the second, third and sixth accessories in the bottom row are.

(The rug shampooer accessories weren't added until the Model F came out.)

  View Full Size
Post# 292380 , Reply# 39   8/8/2014 at 05:10 (3,485 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Unknown tools-#2 looks like a paint stirrer,#3 appears to be a jigsaw,and the last one is a "flycutter" holesaw.Nice set-would love to have one!!!Bet that saw would really cut when the device is hooked to my NSS m1 or my Tornado!Basically,all the tools shown to use with the turbo tool motor are just like those used with electric drills at that time.With this turbo tool,or electric drill you can have a complete toolkit to do many jobs.Too bad you can't get these anymore!!!Just be so cool to have and use!

Post# 292381 , Reply# 40   8/8/2014 at 05:16 (3,485 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Nice video showing the turbo tool used to wax a beautiful wood floor.Is there a wheel for the turbo device to buff the floor with so you don't need to use the Swiffer like tool?The Swiffer tool did a good job,though.Too bad I don't have any wooden floors-mine are vinyl and carpet.And two tile bathroom floors.No fun for polishers there.

Post# 292430 , Reply# 41   8/8/2014 at 13:55 (3,484 days old) by ronni (USA)        

I'd enjoy having a complete set of the Turb-O-Tool's accessories, too. I don't imagine they were sold in large quantity; however, due to their rarity. I wonder if Kirby's Handi-Butler had some of the accessories photographed above? I believe that attachment lasted quite a while. Thanks for posting the photo, Charles.

Rex, you could always get a later Turbotool with the Rug Washer attachment and clean your carpets and rugs with it along with volunteering to clean your church's or club's kitchen with the scrubbing and polishing brushes and pads. I would think that it would have had a buffing pad as part of its function was to polish furniture.

Post# 310919 , Reply# 42   1/4/2015 at 21:44 (3,335 days old) by kevin (Livonia)        
Page from a 1959 Turbotool Manual

Post# 310920 , Reply# 43   1/4/2015 at 21:50 (3,335 days old) by kevin (Livonia)        
Little Pro (sold circa 2000-2001)

Originally posted on a 2013 Vacuumland thread by tig21er:

Post# 310921 , Reply# 44   1/4/2015 at 21:51 (3,335 days old) by kevin (Livonia)        
Turbo Foam Used with Little Pro

Post# 313575 , Reply# 45   1/27/2015 at 17:34 (3,312 days old) by ronni (USA)        

I thought photos of a Turbotool award model from a current eBay listing belonged here.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size

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