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G. E. Vacuum Information
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Post# 228025   4/11/2013 at 22:01 (3,816 days old) by Paul (USA)        



Please inform me where I can find information regarding my G. E. Swivel Top vacuum cleaners (i. e. years of manufacture and parts).  I contacted G. E., and it does not keep information on any of its discontinued appliances--which I think is strange for such a large, reputable company.  It seems to me that G. E. sold its vacuum cleaner division to another company, but I do not know that for sure. 


Also, I am interested in learning about any websites, blogs, or vlogs specific to G. E. vacuum cleaners. 


Any information you can provide will be appreciated.





Post# 228133 , Reply# 1   4/12/2013 at 21:42 (3,815 days old) by kenkart ()        
Model no. or picture would help,

Swivel top GEs were made from 1952 thru 1972 when GE sold its vacuum division to Premier electric, in those twenty years they made dozens of variations, The first one was the AVC-815, which my Mother purchased new at Home Electric co in Lenoir NC for 99.00 which was VERY expensive for that day.

Post# 228137 , Reply# 2   4/12/2013 at 22:13 (3,815 days old) by Paul (USA)        

Hi, Hans,

Thanks for the information.  I have since seen several Swivel-Top ads on Ebay--the oldest being 1953--so I was thinking that was the year they were first manufactured since the model was a C1.  If you know the sequence of model ids please let me know.   The fact that your mom's 1952 model was an AV-815 and that I saw a C65 manual also on Ebay has me confused.  Did they have different series of the canisters manufactured at the same time?  Also C1 to C65 (if all numbers were used in between) sure is a lot of sweepers during a 20-year run! 



Post# 228140 , Reply# 3   4/12/2013 at 22:31 (3,814 days old) by kenkart ()        
They started out..

AVC-815, then C-1,C-2,C-3,C-4, I dont know about C-5 and C-6, but the C-7 was the first one with a cordwinder, Green and Chrome, they made DOZENS of variations in the 60s,

Post# 228143 , Reply# 4   4/12/2013 at 22:37 (3,814 days old) by kenkart ()        

Came out in 53.C-2 ,and C-3 in 54, and the pink C-4 in 55, it was made thru 57 I think, the first ones had a chrome swivel top and the last were pink plastic, I have 2 C-4s that were made in 58, but they have different attachments!, that is why its so hard to date GEs, they changed them so often, For instance, the first C-7 had a small bucket, large cast aluminum side clamps and handle, I have a 62 model C-7, it has a plastic handle, large tool bucket and the side clamps are chromed steel...

Post# 228144 , Reply# 5   4/12/2013 at 22:39 (3,814 days old) by kenkart ()        

C-7, with a 1964 GE upright.

Post# 228146 , Reply# 6   4/12/2013 at 22:42 (3,814 days old) by kenkart ()        

Swivel top, first one with the more powerful 830 watt motor and the Twin Clean rug tool!, the one on the left is a lower priced model from near the same time.

Post# 228147 , Reply# 7   4/12/2013 at 22:46 (3,814 days old) by kenkart ()        


Post# 228148 , Reply# 8   4/12/2013 at 22:48 (3,814 days old) by kenkart ()        


Post# 228150 , Reply# 9   4/12/2013 at 23:19 (3,814 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
Ahh, my aunt had the c4, had been trying to remember the detail. that did it.Circa 62 I saw it maybe

Post# 228155 , Reply# 10   4/12/2013 at 23:58 (3,814 days old) by Paul (USA)        

Hello again, Hans,


Thanks much for providing more info and posting your awesome GE pics!  Wow!  Are you planning on collecting all the Swivel-Tops?


Anyway, I forgot to mention that I have a model C13 (I am assuming that is short for what the manufacturer's tag states as V11C13--please explain if you know anything about that).  I just did an online search for the machine and discovered a 1968 Life magazine ad featuring it.  I also have another Swivel-Top but need to check on its model--it looks much the same as the C13 with a slightly different color and no cord winder, so it's probably a C11 or C12 unless the cord winder was an optional feature--then it could be slightly newer.  By the way, I got the C13 at the city's spring clean drop-off site for free with its attachments and paid about $5 for the other one at a thrift store (w/one attachment).  I use the C13 to clean my low pile carpeted garage, and it works great for getting all the grass and small debris that collects on it.  The other one's cord is in tough shape, so I haven't used it till I get a new one.



Post# 228156 , Reply# 11   4/13/2013 at 00:06 (3,814 days old) by Paul (USA)        



Have you considered compiling your Swivel-Top info. (Models, Years, Colors, Characteristics...) into a table?  I haven't seen anything history on GE vacuum cleaners on the web, so something like that could be a start.  Even if you don't have complete information others could contribute.  Just a thought.


Also, I am curious to know about other styles of GE vacuum cleaners besides the Swivel-Tops such as the uprights.  Any information you can post or direct me to would be appreciated.



Post# 228201 , Reply# 12   4/13/2013 at 09:50 (3,814 days old) by kenkart ()        

I was half asleep last night, The correct dates are....C1, 1953, C-2, 1954, C-3 1955-1957, the two tone model I listed as a C-4 is, but the pink one is a 57 C-3, GE made some really great uprights, also they made a rectangular cannister with a cordwinder on the back and tool bin on the top, I cant remember the model, but it had the same 830 watt motor as the others, I would love to find one again, I have two versions of the upright in the pic, one with cord hooks and one with a pocket on the bag for the cord, I think that model is U-4, they also made a VERY REARE upright that has a big wide roller under the rear of the housing, very similar to todays Dyson, it was a twin fan machine and I have never even seen many of them.

Post# 228202 , Reply# 13   4/13/2013 at 09:51 (3,814 days old) by kenkart ()        


Post# 228207 , Reply# 14   4/13/2013 at 10:42 (3,814 days old) by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
GE Swivel Tops

All good information above.- Model Nos went from 815 to C1,etc but the 65 number might be a misprint(?)-Tool storage went from large cardboard box on 815 to small box to store in closet or hang on doorknob to small,then larger plastic bucket to hang on vac.-Tools went from 10(?) on 815 then 5,then rug and floor combined.Often color matched but later mostly white.-Hoses went from braided cloth to matching rubber,to stronger braided vinyl.-Late 50s added the Low Boy standard along with deluxe.-First wheels were removable dolly then attached to vac.1 or 2 economy models had no wheels.-Many great colors including matching 2 tones and 2 tone with white.And in 60s avocado green and much more.Hope this adds.Any you want?

Post# 228211 , Reply# 15   4/13/2013 at 11:22 (3,814 days old) by paulg (my sweet home Chicago)        
One of the worst electric shocks of my life

paulg's profile picture
Came from a GE swivel top...
I was a young lad.. And I used to pick up vacuum cleaners on the way home from school. I never walked home on the sidewalk, always the alleys. Such fun.
However, I picked up a GE swivel top - the one with the GE logo on the on/off pushbutton.
Took it to the garage, plugged it in and pushed on the GE pushbutton. I got one of the worst jolts I ever received.
Well, stupid me (ok... I WAS very young....) forgot that it had rained the day before. I opened the top of the unit and it was completely full of water.
I was stupid and smart at the same time. I threw the vacuum away but I pulled off the "GE" pushbutton and glued it to a stick-pin. It was on my bulletin-board for years to remind me to always check a device before plugging it in. I still have that stick pin somewhere..
For that I pat myself on the back. Smart move I do say...

Post# 228212 , Reply# 16   4/13/2013 at 11:29 (3,814 days old) by dysonman1 (the county)        

dysonman1's profile picture
The GE upright with the 'ball' (kind of like a Dyson) was the model U-1 from 1960.

Post# 228213 , Reply# 17   4/13/2013 at 11:31 (3,814 days old) by dysonman1 (the county)        

dysonman1's profile picture
The GE canister came both with or without a cord reel. This is the Deluxe, with cord reel. Alex Braun gave this to me on the day we opened the Vacuum Cleaner Museum in St. James, Missouri. Thanks Alex for all your support over the years.

Post# 228214 , Reply# 18   4/13/2013 at 11:32 (3,814 days old) by dysonman1 (the county)        

dysonman1's profile picture
This is the ad for the GE canister.

Post# 228216 , Reply# 19   4/13/2013 at 11:34 (3,814 days old) by dysonman1 (the county)        

dysonman1's profile picture
AFTER 1972, General Electric did not make vacuums any longer. They sold the vacuum factory and the rights to the design to another firm, who reused the name "Premier". This is the Premier upright and "lowboy" (meaning: shorter, single fan model) canister from 1976.

Post# 228234 , Reply# 20   4/13/2013 at 15:41 (3,814 days old) by Paul (USA)        
Hans, Jimmy, Paul, and Tom,

Thanks for your information and photos.  For as long as GE made vacuum cleaners I am surpised that there isn't a website dedicated to them with such data listed in an organized way such as Kirby has.  I have attached a photo of a current Ebay listing which features the C65 Swivel-Top owner's manual.  Also, I did check and found that the "other" machine I own besides the C13 is a C8.  Does anyone know when these two models were manufactured?  In addition, do you know if the machines have serial #s, and if so where I would find them? 



Post# 228252 , Reply# 21   4/13/2013 at 16:38 (3,814 days old) by dysonman1 (the county)        

dysonman1's profile picture
The model C-65 is called a "Lowboy" since it is only a single fan motor. There's also no blower port. It was the 'entry' level model (cheapest) in the lineup. It was made in the mid 1960's. They continued to make the same model (with different model numbers denoting the color changes) until 1972 when GE could cheapen it no more and decided to exit the vacuum cleaner business.

Post# 228257 , Reply# 22   4/13/2013 at 16:48 (3,814 days old) by Paul (USA)        

Thanks for the 411.  The "lowboys" must have been a good sell if they were continued by Premier through the '70s.  It makes me wonder if they were more popular than the Swivel-Tops--because of their style, price, or both.   Any idea if the C-65 was the first of the lowboys?  I am also curious to know if the other lowboys' model ids were consecutive or if they skipped around?



Post# 228266 , Reply# 23   4/13/2013 at 17:27 (3,814 days old) by kenkart ()        
Thanks tom

That cannister and upright are exactly what im talking about!!!

Post# 228271 , Reply# 24   4/13/2013 at 18:01 (3,814 days old) by stricklybojack (Southern California)        

stricklybojack's profile picture
That 1957 C-4 looks fantastic & if i find one it will be the first pre 60's vacuum i want to add to my collection...

Post# 228289 , Reply# 25   4/13/2013 at 20:52 (3,814 days old) by collector2 (Moose Jaw, Sk)        

collector2's profile picture

Just as a matter of interest CGE (Canadian General Electric) continued to produce vacuum cleaners till about 1984 when they sold their appliance division to Black and Decker. While very similar to the US models initially, the colours and model numbers were different. Around 1980 they switched from the style above to using the same design that had previously been used by Regina (Switson Industries).

As an example this is the model VC2B which was sold in Canada from 1956 to 1959.

Post# 228300 , Reply# 26   4/13/2013 at 23:07 (3,813 days old) by dysonman1 (the county)        

dysonman1's profile picture
The first lowboy model (single fan motor) was the blue one, followed by your C-65. Along the way, they continued to cheapen the machine to meet a certain price point, their competition was Sunbeam, who had a $29 canister with a single fan Lamb motor. Those cleaners (the lowboy models) were always "on sale". Heavily advertised as a "loss leader" for a store. You'll note the taller, heavier dual fan models had a lot more 'zip' to them. The single fan models were just loud and had fairly low airflow.

It's well to note that GE made the motor for the Air-Way models 55, 66, and 77 with virtually the same suction power as their dual fan Swivel Top cleaners. The 'start up' sound of the Air-Way and the GE dual fan Swivel tops, is virtually identical.

Post# 228383 , Reply# 27   4/14/2013 at 16:36 (3,813 days old) by Paul (USA)        

Thanks for the education, Douglas and Tom,


I didn't realize that there was a Canadian General Electric--and that it made its own vacuum cleaners.  That VC2B has a cool retro style and is in awesome condition!


Do you know the model id of the first blue lowboy, Tom;  was it a C-64?  Also, I am taking for granted that it debuted in 1964 if the C-65 was 1965.  Let me know if I'm wrong.  In case you haven't guessed I am into stats!


Didn't know that GE made motors for several of the Air-Ways.  That practice seems to happen quite a bit in the appliance industry.  I just learned that AO Smith makes not only its own brand but many of the other models (can't call them competitors).  I understand brand loyalty to a point, but this is misleading to customers who think their preferred brands are unique to others'.  In my view it would be a more ethical practice to list the brands like:  Bradford White/AO Smith or Air-Way/GE.  I also understand that Kenmore has always been just a name--not a manufacturer.  I just spent a great deal of time researching--including reading customer reviews--before purchasing a water heater that I wouldn't have needed to do.  Instead, time better spent would have been to just research prices, purchase agreements, and efficiencies.   Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now.



Post# 228985 , Reply# 28   4/18/2013 at 19:20 (3,809 days old) by super-sweeper (KSSRC Refurbishment Center)        
The General Electric upright,

super-sweeper's profile picture
I've always wanted one of those General-Electric/Premier standard uprights, and the U-1 low-profile cleaner of 1960 has been a dream machine yet to be found.

One day I'll simply have to make a trip to that museum!

Post# 228988 , Reply# 29   4/18/2013 at 19:53 (3,809 days old) by luxman107 (USA )        

Great looking swivel tops. Would love to get my hands on a nice GE roll easy

Post# 377772 , Reply# 30   9/3/2017 at 09:51 (2,210 days old) by Collector2 (Moose Jaw, Sk)        

collector2's profile picture
Just re reading this thread and have another bit of info to add. Premier was not a separate company. Premier and Hotpoint were subsidiaries of GE, having been bought out by GE in the 20s if memory serves. For many years the same vacuum cleaners were marketed under all 3 names, just in different colours. So technically it was not a buy out when the vacuums were all changed to the Premier name. They just switched vacuum cleaner manufacturing to that division of the company in the US.

Post# 377819 , Reply# 31   9/4/2017 at 11:57 (2,209 days old) by CajunVac (St. Martinville, LA)        
GE parts

I learned about GE not offering replacement parts long ago! Had an aunt that broke the bowl of her model 25 GE stand mixer. This was some time around 1965. I tried writing to their listed service center in New Orleans and Houston about a replacement. Both responded that they no had no parts available since it was a discontinued model. GE had changed the bowl bowl capacity/dimensions of subsequent models from 3 to 3.5 qts. The bowl I did buy fit the turntable but would have little distance between the bowl and stand support. Turntable dimensions from the first triple whip (3 beater models) until they stopped making stand mixer never changed. Early ones were metal and later to plastic. GE was a pioneer in the use of plastics in appliance housings and internal parts. They were also first in having the "throw-away" mentality constructing appliances not designed for servicing using rivets and fasteners not meant to be removed once installed.

Post# 466144 , Reply# 32   9/13/2023 at 14:23 by Paul (USA)        
Promo Article

1963 Nov. 8 THE DISPATCH

  View Full Size
Post# 466156 , Reply# 33   9/13/2023 at 17:50 by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
I am always interested in how companies expanded beyond the borders of their birthplace countries. General Electric is a great example, because the company set up both Canadian General Electric and Australian General Electric, both with modified versions of the famous cursive “GE in a circle” logo.

I wonder if British General Electric was connected to the American GE company. Same question for the German AEG company (do the initials stand for Algemeiner Electrische something or other?)

On another corporate footnote: The modern Korean LG company seems to have been inspired by GE. Though the initials represent the amalgamation of two older Korean corporations (Lucky and Goldstar), their logo looks like a modern version of GE’s, and their advertising slogan at one point was almost a carbon copy of “GE - We bring good things to life”…can’t remember now the LG slogan but it was very very similar!

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