Thread Number: 15442
Compact C5 with ABC Power Nozzle
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Post# 164096   12/31/2011 at 18:20 (4,445 days old) by KC_Kirby (Kansas City, MO)        

Well, the search is over for me. I finally found a Compact ABC power nozzle. I found it on Craigslist in Wichita. I don't live in Wichita but my parents do so I had my dad go and get it for me. It took about a week and a half to obtain it after emailing the seller. I thought for sure someone else would see it and take it before my dad had a chance. But that didn't happen. When I saw the pictures in the ad, I just about had a cow, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I have never even seen one in person, not even from another collector's collection. So I just couldn't believe of all places, Wichita Kansas one would turn up. I paid under a hundred dollars for it and the seller wouldn't budge on the price, they apparently knew it was valuable. What's really great about it is the power nozzle works great. There are some missing bristles on the brush roller but it actually didn't do too bad of a job grooming my carpet. The hose is obviously a replacement, but it is in really good shape. Interestingly enough, they set it up like the original hose where the hose wand and power nozzle are all attached permanently together. There isn't a "handle" in the hose, which I find kind of odd. And they just put an external cord on the hose like the early luxes did to get power from the vacuum to the wand. I had to wait until Christmas to pick this up from my dad, so it was kind of like a Christmas gift to myself.

Post# 164097 , Reply# 1   12/31/2011 at 18:22 (4,445 days old) by KC_Kirby (Kansas City, MO)        

Notice there is a suction relief near the power nozzle and not up around where you would hold the hose when vacuuming, an odd location. It's that gray piece of plastic a few inches up from the bottom of the wand.

Post# 164098 , Reply# 2   12/31/2011 at 18:23 (4,445 days old) by KC_Kirby (Kansas City, MO)        

This is where the hose attaches to the wand, you can tell the wires were put together and taped.

Post# 164099 , Reply# 3   12/31/2011 at 18:24 (4,445 days old) by KC_Kirby (Kansas City, MO)        

this is bottom of the rugplate.

Post# 164101 , Reply# 4   12/31/2011 at 18:25 (4,445 days old) by KC_Kirby (Kansas City, MO)        

This is model number information.

Post# 164102 , Reply# 5   12/31/2011 at 18:26 (4,445 days old) by KC_Kirby (Kansas City, MO)        

And this is the power nozzle plug on the vacuum. Its way back on top by the power switch. An odd location to put it and the later Compact/TriStars had the plug in the front on the bottom so it was nearer to the hose.

Post# 164104 , Reply# 6   12/31/2011 at 18:37 (4,445 days old) by danemodsandy ()        

Whatta FIND!

I am pea-green with envy; that is one rare machine.

The brushroll can be re-bristled, and you're already on the right track with the cord setup. Myself, I would purchase a new hose, and then use a separate cord and cord straps to supply power to the PN. You can find PN cords on eBay; they're still around for Lux Model L machines. Rainbow still makes cord straps, though they're black.

The reason I'd use that setup is that the originals should be saved for posterity; using replacements will save those rare original pieces.

Again, congratulations.

Post# 164127 , Reply# 7   12/31/2011 at 21:58 (4,445 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

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Now this is what the Vintage Forum is all about, in my mind.


Spectacular find, Chad! I am feeling your Thrill! We must have more pictures...

I've never seen an ABC in person either but I have been collecting pictures of them. Super rare and I can tell you why yours is one of the rarest of the series.


First off, it's 'Patents Pending' indicating it is one of the first produced and sold. But more significant are the lack of rollers.

Here's a pic of the second version to which two small rollers have been added to the brush plate. Like the 1957/58 Lewyt 107 Motorized Beater Sweeper the polished brush-plate was meant to glide effortlessly over short nap pile carpet but as longer tufts became the fashion it had a tendency to bog down digging in to the plush, so rollers were added to the second Lewyt PN when it went 'electronic'.

I suspect it was the same finding with the ABC.

This post was last edited 12/31/2011 at 22:35
Post# 164128 , Reply# 8   12/31/2011 at 22:33 (4,445 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

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Another interesting feature of the later one, and we will need side view pictures of yours to confirm my suspicions but...


You say the cord runs all the way - un-connectable - from the PN up the wand (and probably was extended as long as the hose to reach back to the Compact - just like the Lewyt 107 PN cord).


I can see it is a later hose but it is admirable that is is a genuine Compact woven hose. Possibly when the hose & cord repair was done it seemed best to simply splice a new cord to the one-piece wand (that is most definitely a one piece Turquoise kwrinkle-tone enameled Compact wand).


I'm not entirely convinced that the original and replacement hoses would not have had Compact curved handles - it is possible it's a direct connect but as you say it is kinda awkward under hand -  but you'll only know that when you remove the new hose from the wand and test fit a Compact handle (that's what I'd do and if the wand barrel will accept it I'd put a Compact handle on it).

The black cement smears would support the idea that the handle was left off and the new hose simply glued on.


As you can see on the second version, the wand was a friction fit while the backside of the ferrule has a separate 2 pin connector so that the PN can be disconnected and removed from the wand which can now accept regular Compact accessories.


If yours doesn't have this 2-pin socket then BINGO! I'd say you have a true first-run rarity. And even if it does and it has been disabled it would be a snap to re-introduce it.  My ruminations about how this could have happened are: the pin socket somehow got destroyed and so the cord, which would have been very long anyway, was run directly to the PN motor, the cord was shortened and electrical-taped to the top of the wand where it was spliced to a new Electrolux G PN cord.

Yes, I'm guessing here but the color is somewhat of a clue - the pin plug end for the Compact socket...we need a picture.


It's a beautiful thing, Chad and a genuine piece of the historical puzzle. Congratulations.



Post# 164136 , Reply# 9   1/1/2012 at 00:44 (4,445 days old) by Brandon_W_T ()        

OH CHAD!!!!!


This compact nut sitting here is in compact heaven looking at these wounderful images!

My grandpas compact has that power nozzle port. Its a c6 if I recall correctly.

Sadly no ABC nozzle that he knows of.

Post# 164139 , Reply# 10   1/1/2012 at 00:58 (4,445 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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Thrilled to see it all guys.

Post# 164145 , Reply# 11   1/1/2012 at 03:18 (4,445 days old) by goadie12 ()        

Wow that's a amazing find if I ever saw one I have been looking for a power nozzel for my lewyt that a found a while back and it is damn near impossible so ya that is awesome how you found a complete system like that congrats. Zach

Post# 164179 , Reply# 12   1/1/2012 at 11:02 (4,444 days old) by KC_Kirby (Kansas City, MO)        

Dave, here's another pic. I knew you would be one to want more pics, which is perfectly fine. I have no problem sharing all I can about this rare item. I would say you are correct, my wand does not detach from the power nozzle head. In the picture you posted, it looks like its an actual plug between the nozzle and the wand. On mine, it looks like its hard wired.

Post# 164180 , Reply# 13   1/1/2012 at 11:04 (4,444 days old) by KC_Kirby (Kansas City, MO)        

Another view showing the top of the connection.

Post# 164181 , Reply# 14   1/1/2012 at 11:14 (4,444 days old) by KC_Kirby (Kansas City, MO)        

And here is an old ad I found on the web long ago. I saved it because I had never seen a picture of what the ABC power nozzle looked like new. It shows there definitely was a handle built into the hose. But its interesting they didn't re-use the handle part and hook the new hose to the handle on mine. Unless the handle was broken, which is possible. I also notice there is more there around where the wand and the nozzle attach and I notice a "button" that you probably pressed to release the wand from the nozzle. So this is most likely the later version of the power head. Another thing I notice is the cord running from the hose to the plug on the vacuum is missing, I wonder why it isn't plugged in?

Post# 164186 , Reply# 15   1/1/2012 at 11:43 (4,444 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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WOW! Speechless .

Post# 164187 , Reply# 16   1/1/2012 at 11:56 (4,444 days old) by collector2 (Moose Jaw, Sk)        

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Hi guys:

From the ad above it appears that the hose was connected directly to the wand and the handgrip was just a plastic piece to hold it curved and give you a place to hold. More than likely either the plastic broke or was broken when they tried to take the old hose off.

As far as it not being plugged into the vacuum simple answer - Product Photography. It looked much neater to hide the cord behind rather than to have it draped across the machine for the picture.

LOL - thats my speculation on the subject anyway.

Happy New Year all


Post# 164189 , Reply# 17   1/1/2012 at 12:45 (4,444 days old) by danemodsandy ()        

I really appreciate your posting of that ad; I had it a long time ago on another computer and lost it. The photo is reproduced in Thomas Hines' excellent "Populuxe," but not the text.

So, thanks - it's great to be reunited with that particular bit of Compact/Interstate lore.

Post# 164190 , Reply# 18   1/1/2012 at 12:49 (4,444 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

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Thank you so much, Chad; exactly what I wanted to see. That advert is priceless for all the detailed information.

And extra cool - it's the 3-wheel C-6!

The second version PN has an extended cast barrel to accommodate a 2-pin plug.


I agree with Doug about the handle. That means the hose was dedicated to the PN and a second regular hose would be needed for the manual accessories...


The advert shows what may be yet a third variation (but more likely the complete 2nd version) - notice that the wand has an additional collar that mates with the PN. Possibly this is the detachable PN version; the PN I have pictured from an eBay auction did not include a wand. Yours shows no evidence it had that extra collar so again I say yours is the debut Compact PN before tweaked improvements were added.


It is in remarkably good condition and a true prize.



Post# 164191 , Reply# 19   1/1/2012 at 12:54 (4,444 days old) by danemodsandy ()        

Speaking of product photography, Interstate's attempt to position Compact as a luxury cleaner is clear in that photo. The sofa in that shot is a Folke Ohlsson design for Dux, a Scandinavian manufacturer. It cost a BUNCH of money back in the day. I used to have the matching easy chair with ottoman.

And shag carpeting was expensive in 1959-60 when the C-5 was produced; it was kind of the newest "look" in carpeting at the time.

Post# 164193 , Reply# 20   1/1/2012 at 13:10 (4,444 days old) by danemodsandy ()        

Your grandpa's Compact is a C-5. The easy way to tell is that his machine has the front exhaust slots found on all models between the C-4 and the C-7, but it has two non-swiveling wheels in back, not the single swivel caster of the C-6.

Given that there is a PN cord and straps attached to the hose, there has GOT to be a PN for that machine around somewhere, unless it was lost in a move or tossed because it wasn't working any more or something. You could probably use a current TriStar PN with it if you cared to.

Post# 164194 , Reply# 21   1/1/2012 at 13:17 (4,444 days old) by danemodsandy ()        

I just confused things, sorry!

Brandon's grandpa's machine is a C-5, produced in 1959-60.

The machine at the top of the thread and the one seen in the ad shot are actually C-6s, produced from 1961-70. The single swivel caster at the rear is the giveaway. The C-5 had two non-swiveling wheels back there, and the C-7 went to the twin swivel caster setup seen all the way to the end of the Compact design run, the EX-20.

Post# 164200 , Reply# 22   1/1/2012 at 14:01 (4,444 days old) by KC_Kirby (Kansas City, MO)        

I think Sandy and Dave are confused. My Compact is a model C5 not a C6. I am pretty sure the C5 had the single swivel caster in front and the C6 had two swivel casters in front. So Brandon's would most likely be a C6 like he states. I have another C5 that has the port for the power nozzle, identical to the one I just got with nozzle, single caster in front. Its possible they made some C6's with a single swivel but looks like not all were made that way. I also notice there is C6 on Ebay now and it has two casters not one. Another intersting tidbit, notice the model number has "PB" after the C5. I am pretty sure that means it was built for the power nozzle. There were models made without the "PB" that did not have the plug for the power nozzle. I assume PB stands for Power Brush.

Post# 164201 , Reply# 23   1/1/2012 at 14:25 (4,444 days old) by danemodsandy ()        

The reason I said yours appeared to be a C-6 is that the historical information on the TriStar website (, shows that machine as a C-6, giving the dates 1961-70 as the production dates.

Since your machine is clearly marked as a C-5, that probably means that the change from fixed rear wheels to the single swivel caster took place as a "running change," meaning between formal introduction of models.

One of the unfortunate things about collecting TriStar and Compact products is that there is not yet an "uber-collector" who has huge numbers of examples, the way Charlie Lester does with Electroluxes. That kind of collecting is the only way to figure out the small variations that occur as running changes; a manufacturer's history usually does not get into that much detail.

If I have confused things further, I am sorry. If anyone wants to see the TriStar history page, go to and click on "About Us," then click on "History of Products."

Post# 164202 , Reply# 24   1/1/2012 at 14:37 (4,444 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

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Yes, I guessed the model number off the notoriously inaccurate Tristar Poster.


Sandy, why do you term the exhaust end of the Compact as the Front, with ball casters in the Back?

What do you know that we don't? Surely pulling the machine around while vacuuming one is towing the front end...?





Post# 164204 , Reply# 25   1/1/2012 at 14:52 (4,444 days old) by danemodsandy ()        
Personal Terminology!


I've always termed the exhaust end the "front," simply because it's somewhat face-like compared to the other end. The Compact/TriStar machines have a somewhat pig-like shape (my CXL is named "Arnold," after Arnold Ziffel on "Green Acres"), and the exhaust end looks like its snout.

So, I don't "know" anything more than the next person; I'm just applying a personal standard here.

Post# 164277 , Reply# 26   1/2/2012 at 00:24 (4,444 days old) by Brandon_W_T ()        

The front-rear discussion on compacts has always bugged me. The correct "front" of the machine is actually where the caster wheels are, with the suction inlet as well.

It just seems backwards, and crazy, but its right!

Post# 164278 , Reply# 27   1/2/2012 at 00:25 (4,444 days old) by Brandon_W_T ()        

Another way to think of it, is where the cord comes in. Why would the cord enter the machine front? Every canister has the hose at front and cord at rear. :)

Post# 164584 , Reply# 28   1/3/2012 at 23:58 (4,442 days old) by kirbyvertibles (Independence, KS)        

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in that poster the one they have marked as the c5 is the later c4. The c4 came with both flat and raised lids. They are also missing one of the gold models as well as a pinkish model.

Post# 164585 , Reply# 29   1/4/2012 at 00:02 (4,442 days old) by kirbyvertibles (Independence, KS)        

kirbyvertibles's profile picture
oh yea and Chad, I hate you so much!!! ;) I want that power head and I know where you live!!!!
I'll give you one of my cars for it, well the Buick at least, na just kidding congratulations Chad I'm so happy for you that you got MY POWER HEAD, no wait im not! LOCK YOUR DOORS!!!

Post# 164593 , Reply# 30   1/4/2012 at 04:30 (4,442 days old) by 1926700 ()        
see Chad.....

i told you he was serious.....that's him after hes calmed down, like i said he was cussin you out when u first found it...=), and thank god i was there to clam him down....he has such a temper....remember when his wall was knocked down???, that actually happend when i found is 66 convertble.....NEED I SAY MORE!=)

Post# 164601 , Reply# 31   1/4/2012 at 07:26 (4,442 days old) by kenkart ()        
RE Poster!

They also have the C6 shown as being made from 61-70..NOT! The c5 was being made as late as 1962, I know this because I have an owners manual...also, the machine pictured is a c5 not c6, c5 had one caster, c6 had 2.

Post# 164609 , Reply# 32   1/4/2012 at 10:18 (4,442 days old) by normvac (COLUMBUS, OHIO)        
Personally Drove a C6 and ABC

I have to tell you, as much as I so hate to ! Not because your thoughts or statements are Incorrect. You are all right on, almost. Facing my 65th birthday on this friday the 6th. I must confess, that very good family friends and neighbors. Had the first Compact New, that I ever saw. It was 1964/65, as I was graduating in June of 65. The Kemps had a demo, bought the new Compact with the ABC and traded their Kirby 560 in.
I used the Compact several times, with the ABC nozzle. It was awesome. It had the plastic handle, completely attached to the PN wand. The cleaner came with a cloth hose too. Which all fit in the storage chest, except for the ABC nozzle. It stored in the dinning room. The Pig Tail was used to tie the machine end of the hose to the handle for storage ( don't know if the saleman suggested that or they decided). I actually borrowed it one day when Mom was gone, as I was just dieing to use it. Making the excuse that our vacuum needed repairs. I was forwarned that where the Pig Tail plugged into the socket on the machine was Not a good fit (this was in July/August) after they had bought the machine in Feb of 65 (I think). They were right, it keep going on and off as I used it. Later on, after going off to college. The husband must have fixed the problem himself. As the wire that was connected to the female end was hanging out of the machine with a replacement black socket on it. I did not see the ABC nozzle in it's usual storage place ? Than realized in the early 70's that there was a new Kenmore upright vacuum in it's place. The Compact storage chest was still sitting behing the front door.
Now, the one thing I do remember about the attachments was that there were 2 Clips that one could clip onto the reg. Carpet tool. The reason, to vacuum Shag carpet !
The last time I knew anything about the machine was in the late 90's, maybe even early 2000's. The wife gone a decade, the husband heading into his his 90's. Said to me, when he asked if I still hand my vacuum repair business (which had been gone since 1987). "That old Compact was a good vacuum, still doing it's job down at the church" (which he and his daughte used to clean) .
Sorry if I went on to much, but did have to share the reality and excitment of a day gone by.

Post# 164612 , Reply# 33   1/4/2012 at 10:33 (4,441 days old) by normvac (COLUMBUS, OHIO)        
Compact Sales in the Lake Erie Region !

I know I have posted this before, as well as my personal experience.
One more things one might think about the issue of the c-5 and c-6 over
lapping. It is very possible.
To help sell more Compacts the new buyer wrote notes of wonderful praise
on Compact Sales Letterhead. Praising their new Compact and asking friends
and neighbors to make an appointment (the same as Kirby at that time). To
come to their home just to see what a "marvel" the machine is ! We had a Demo and they never even showed us the ABC model. As the Sales came into our house, without a machine talked about what we owned (air way 66), looked at the carpet situation. Than came back with an almost exact machine, but no Plug on top for
the ABC nozzle !
So if you made a purchase, the owner that sent you the invite for an in your home demo, got a $5.00 credit. Unless you made the purchase, than they got a $10.00 credit toward their purchase.
If I recall correctly they were asking at least $150.00 with the ABC. The price the Salesman quoted Mom, was about $120.00. That was just way too much in Mom's eyes. As she said "never again" when she made the $5.00 a month payments on our Air Way 66 back in 1953.


Post# 164688 , Reply# 34   1/4/2012 at 21:49 (4,441 days old) by kirbyvertibles (Independence, KS)        

kirbyvertibles's profile picture
Well Jason I can't help that I threw you through that wall for a 66 Convertible, I can't help myself it's like a crack addict. lol Everyone just so you know we are just kidding. I am very happy for Chad ;)

Post# 164689 , Reply# 35   1/4/2012 at 21:56 (4,441 days old) by Brandon_W_T ()        
"throwing someone through a wall for a 66"

I dont see anything unreasonable about that.

Really... Think about it...

An all original, nice hoover 66 convertible, decked out in garland green, and gold.... Oh yea. Id throw more than people through a wall for one.

HEHE! Just kidding.

but seriously,
Dont tempt me to! :)

Post# 164878 , Reply# 36   1/6/2012 at 00:45 (4,440 days old) by kirbyvertibles (Independence, KS)        

kirbyvertibles's profile picture
Well part of the story is true, jason came over for a visit and we made a vacuum trade for the 66. I gave him a Regina brush n beat for that MINT 66. While we were hanging out I got board and decided to do some work on my house ( the house was under construction at that time ) Jason said what can I do to help and I said take a hammer and knock out that wall. He thought I was kidding because that wall went into the next room. So I took the hammer and busted it through the wall, his mouth dropped open. lol He thought I had lost my mind. I had decided right then I wanted to make the two rooms one big room. We had a blast tearing it out. Then we told everyone I threw his ass through that wall a took the Convertible.

Post# 320187 , Reply# 37   4/3/2015 at 00:20 (3,257 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

I just found a Compact C6 with ABC PN on the curb! Previous owner completely worn out bristles & cloth bag torn; I will give it a spa treatment

How can I rebristle the brush roller? Will the TriStar CXL flat belt fit the ABC PN?

Mine is probably a late version like this one

Post# 320216 , Reply# 38   4/3/2015 at 09:34 (3,257 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa)        

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Hey Eirk, post a picture when you can! I'm sure many of us would like to see it.


Post# 320258 , Reply# 39   4/3/2015 at 12:07 (3,256 days old) by constellation86 (Roy, UT)        

Wow lucky find!

Post# 371791 , Reply# 40   5/5/2017 at 09:34 (2,494 days old) by mandy104 (Chesapeake City, MD)        
Finally found it!

I have looked and looked trying to identify this power nozzle. I'm not a collector, so I wasn't sure where to look. The vacuum was my fiancÚ's grandmothers. I have many appliances that are still in original boxes and never used that she packed away. The vacuum and power nozzle are still in the box, but I think they have been used. They are still in amazing condition. I don't currently have them with me to take pics, but I will as soon as I get them out of storage. I look forward to everyone's expert info. I'll post pics soon.

Post# 371841 , Reply# 41   5/6/2017 at 12:55 (2,492 days old) by Mandy104 (Chesapeake City, MD)        
My machine

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 9         View Full Size
Post# 371849 , Reply# 42   5/6/2017 at 16:45 (2,492 days old) by dysonman1 (the county)        

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$265 was a FORTUNE in 1962. Consider that the same year, an Electrolux model G was $149. And the Power Nozzle was $49 extra.

Post# 371852 , Reply# 43   5/6/2017 at 21:33 (2,492 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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I know our new house and car payment were 89 and 63 a month!

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