Thread Number: 288
Air-Way Memorabilia
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Post# 2689   10/18/2006 at 16:22 (4,381 days old) by air-waycharlie (USA)        

When we were at the Midwest mini-meet this past weekend, I made some copies of pictures that I thought were interesting. So many people have inquired about the first power nozzle that Air-Way ever used, (after the demise of the two motor uprights), that I thought I would post a picture of it.

It was made by Hamilton Beech and was adapted by Air-Way under the direction of Don Clark. It was not sanctioned by the higher powers of Air-Way.

This picture is from promotional literature. Remember, Air-Way at this time was way behind in launching a power nozzle so this was just too much overkill.

Post# 2691 , Reply# 1   10/18/2006 at 16:39 (4,381 days old) by air-waycharlie (USA)        

Don Clark then moved onto a Eureka power nozzle that was really a complete Eureka upright model 1205 with a wood brushroll similar to the "disturbulator."

This set up was clunky and again overkill. When the higher powers at Air-Way found out what Don had done, he nearly lost his career with them. However, it did stir them to then make their own power nozzle which was a very good cleaning tool at the time.

The Eureka power heads came in tourquoise to match the Mark II 88 and in gold to match the Mark V. The power heads made by Air-Way came in both colors as well and all of these units have been seen at different times at VCCC conventions.

Post# 2692 , Reply# 2   10/18/2006 at 16:45 (4,381 days old) by air-waycharlie (USA)        
One last pic

This diagram is very intersting and has lots of information. Someone has added the prices so you get a good idea of the cost of different Air-Ways throughout the years.

The Dirtmaster was a VERY low production number item and very few still exist. I have seen Tim Fuller's and Stan Kahn's. Chuck Chatham also has one. These men are all members of the VCCC too. Keep your eyes on the lookout for a Dirtmaster--if not for yourselves, then for me!

The Dirtmaster was the last two motor upright Air-Way made. It was over engineered and not a good performer. It is still an aesthetically appealing vacuum.

Post# 2693 , Reply# 3   10/18/2006 at 16:47 (4,381 days old) by convertible68 ()        

WOW, THAT'S what the Hamilton Beach version of the Rugmaster looked like, very cool!!! Thanks for sharing! The wands on this one don't appear to be as long as the later Eureka version, but it looks like there's no handle release either; I bet it would be fun trying to "schlep" that thing across the rug!

I'm still wondering, though...was this a modified Hamilton Beach upright, or a separate powerhead altogether? I don't think I've seen any pictures of these uprights before; only the 1940's machines. How rare were they?

Post# 2696 , Reply# 4   10/18/2006 at 17:04 (4,381 days old) by air-waycharlie (USA)        
The Dirtmaster

Here is Stan Kahn's vacuum. Sorry the picture is so small. I don't know how to make it larger.

Post# 2697 , Reply# 5   10/18/2006 at 17:10 (4,381 days old) by swingette ()        

heres another.

Post# 2699 , Reply# 6   10/18/2006 at 17:41 (4,381 days old) by seamusuk (Dover Kent UK)        
The 1st powerhead......

Has a definate square hood Convertible look to it lol!!!


Post# 2703 , Reply# 7   10/18/2006 at 18:12 (4,381 days old) by vacuumkid3 ()        
A question for "ya'll" Air-Way experts...

How did the p/n attach to the vacuum? Did it just plug into the wall along side the vacuum plug? I will ask my local Air-Way Vacuum shop if they have any of these power nozzles. They would go great with a new hose and my newly polished Air-Way!

So, does anyone have an extra hose for the 88 Mark II? I REALLY need one, but *cry* do not have the money to pay for it. I guess I could vacuum some houses, but I don't know how much I would get from that! Thanks!



Post# 2748 , Reply# 8   10/19/2006 at 12:56 (4,380 days old) by sukething ()        
I am the proud owner...

I have one of the Mark II 88 the tourqouise one with the Eureka power head. But didnt they get sued for that?


Post# 2769 , Reply# 9   10/19/2006 at 18:26 (4,380 days old) by rugmaster37 ()        
Wow that looks like a....

then current model of the General leectric and Premier upright! Am I worng on this? It looks like the same base nad hood used on General Electric's base model upright.

Now was it true that Air-Way's FIRST real POWERED nozzle that was not already a complete vacuum, was the same one used by Royal for their model 501 Pony tank? Was it not referred to as an A.B.C or (Always Beauty Clean)??

I believe that I had saw on Fleabay a later Sanitizor Mark IV that was either black and white or yellow and white, that had that type of powernozzle and then at some point later obviously; they switched over to the Douglas (Scott-Fetzer) powerhead...

Diddn't Compact use the A.B.C powernozzle also?


Post# 2771 , Reply# 10   10/19/2006 at 19:04 (4,380 days old) by rugmaster37 ()        
One more thing.....

I looked again and am fairly sure that this Hamilton Beach conversion was a GE clone. I have a MUCH later Premier Commercial, and Jeff Parker has a home market two speed General Electric, two tone green and chrome with a headlight also.

They both look spookingly like this head that you have put up here...

Im looking at it and am wondering if Hamilton Beach wasn't just using a rebadged General Electric as their upright by that point. It's not too far out of a thought as many mfgr's at this point were badge engineering for everyone and their brother.

Anyone seen a Singer built Lewyt upright for example? Another fairly rare bird I must say myself...

It's a wonderful idea tho, maybe overkill yes...but has anyone seen a new Simplicity Synergy or a Riccar Radiance...using a lower motor with a fan, and another motor entirely for suction.

Was Air-Way again ahead of their time? Probably but just my opinion...


Ann Arbor Vacuum

Post# 2772 , Reply# 11   10/19/2006 at 19:17 (4,380 days old) by swingette ()        

now im still pretty new at all this VCCC stuff, but i think these Airway *Monster-Vacs* should be a permanent fixture at all conventions! (lol)

Post# 2828 , Reply# 12   10/21/2006 at 11:05 (4,378 days old) by dysonman ()        
Air-Way power heads

Air-Way's first power nozzle that they built themselves was in 1972. It was the metal RugMasteR. It came with a white painted handle, and the head was turquoise. Then, a chrome handle was launched in 1974. In '75, the nozzle was polished (it was made of aluminum) so it shined like a new Kirby. The all-polished RugMasteR made its debut on the Mark V (gold) in late '75. There were two gold versions of the Mark V, one with half rails and the large rear tires. One, with full rails, no support stand, and three wheels in back (one swiveled). This is a VERY rare Air-Way, as it is one of ONLY TWO machines ever made that used BOTH wheels AND runners at the same time (the other was the model 61 Electrolux).

Air-Way made their RugMasteR for both FairFax as well as Water Matic. The Water Matic head was turquoise with chrome handle, and the FairFax head was powder coated black with chrome handle. Then, Air-Way made their head in blue for Royal.

Air-Way's next machine, after the gold Mark V, was the mauve color Mark V, followed by the cinnamin color Mark V. After that, the machine was powder coated black with a white top. To match the powder coated black power nozzle.

After the black and white Mark V, Air-Way decided to abandon the metal RugMasteR in favor of the light weight Douglas-built power nozzle. While it was lighter, it also did not deep clean or beat the rug as well. In 2000, with the lauch of the 2-speed Centurion 2000 that I designed for door to door sales, Air-Way went to a VERY good powernozzle with the Cen-Tec geared belt, double brush, beater bar RugMasteR, which was changed in 2006 to the QuietDrive RugMasteR.

Post# 2829 , Reply# 13   10/21/2006 at 11:28 (4,378 days old) by dysonman ()        

The DirtMasteR had two FANS, not two Motors. I own a DirtMasterR that I got from Mike Hays years ago. It's really a very good machine, Stan Kann's has a worn out baffle and so, low suction. Mine has a good rubber baffle, and has a TON of suction. Excellent Cleaner, the demise came from the lawsuit over the beater bars by Hoover in 1936. Two versions of DirtMasteR were made, one with black hood, and one with polished aluminum hood.

Post# 2830 , Reply# 14   10/21/2006 at 11:29 (4,378 days old) by converto-skip ()        

The ABCp/n was the Compact p/n that was made by Whirlpool. Here is mine with my Compact c5

Post# 2833 , Reply# 15   10/21/2006 at 11:54 (4,378 days old) by ahzeks ()        
Air-Way Photos


Thanks for the Air-Way power nozzle history! I believe you mentioned in antoher post that you have every model of Air-Way made. Would you be able to post pictures of the different power nozzles? I would love to see what they looked like and it would be fun to see the evolution of the nozzles. Thanks!

Post# 2834 , Reply# 16   10/21/2006 at 15:18 (4,378 days old) by air-waycharlie (USA)        
The Dirtmaster


I should have known better than to say two motor when referring to this model! I lump it in with the others due to the kind of similar look and time frame. Yes, it only had the one motor with the two fans.

Most people that I have talked with, including Tania, who I consider kind of an Air-Way, "guru", think the Dirtmaster was not a very good vacuum. You may be one of the lucky ones that has a better performer. Mike Rogers also concurred with their less than stellar performance. According to a few other Air-Way folk, they were also known to have a high repair record.

I do know the story of the Air-Way/Hoover lawsuits, (you and I have discussed these many times), and we had quite a discussion earlier this year on the AW forum about that story. Many vacuum folks had no idea of the history between those two companies. Very interesting to say the least!

Michael in Bozeman: I have the tourquoise Mark II 88, (my grandmother's 3rd Air-Way), with the matching Eureka powerhead. I will post a picture tomorrow. Fred Nelson has a gold version that he acquired from Tom. Tom has many Air-Ways and I hope he will post pictures of his.

Post# 2836 , Reply# 17   10/21/2006 at 16:51 (4,378 days old) by rugmaster37 ()        
On the powerhead issue...


I was reffering to the use of complete Hamilton Beach/GE and Eureka powernozzles as having a initial fan AND brushroll, and the tank having it's own suction fan a'la the Riccar/Simplicity Radiance and Synergy. Just in canister format.

So you may remember, I sitll have the 88 Mark II that you sent me many years ago. It's still working away as intended mainly used now for my attic where we have a large family room area of sorts...with all hardwood flooring with a few rugs. As usual the Air-Way takes this all in stride.

Those are great photo's of the early powerheads everyone. And as usual Tom, you the man when it comes to information.



Ann Arbor Vacuum

Post# 2894 , Reply# 18   10/23/2006 at 11:21 (4,376 days old) by dysonman ()        
Air-Way photos

My friends Derreck Fricke and John Pease (both VCCC members) are coming to my home this coming Saturday to get out all 442 of my vacuums from the vacuum 'room' and we are going to arrange them and clean them up to show at the upcoming St. Louis Gathering of the VCCC (Mini Meet) the first weekend in December. I'll ask Derreck to take some digital photos and post them of all my Air-Way's especially the gold Mark V with all-chrome RugMasteR, which is one of only two vacuums ever made that used BOTH wheels and runners at the same time (the other was the model 61 Electrolux).

As far as the DirtMaster, the single motor was (is) very large, and turned the twin fans very well. It DID clean well and had tons of suction. BUT, there was a rubber baffle on the door that closed off the suction opening, to divert the suction to the hose opening in the side. When this baffle was worn ( or there was dirt under it ) the baffle wouldn't seal well and the cleaner seemed like it had low suction. My DirtMasteR has an excellent seal and tons of suction. It was the world's first 'widepath' upright. I'll be sure to make it one of the machines we show and demonstrate at the St. Louis Mini Meet in December.

Post# 2914 , Reply# 19   10/23/2006 at 14:59 (4,376 days old) by air-waycharlie (USA)        
St. Louis mini-meet


I am disappointed that I will not be able to be there to see your vacuums. I did get to see them once before a few years back with Fred. December is a horrible time for airline employees to travel as everything is starting to be full and we only go if there is a seat available.

I'll take your work on the Dirtmaster as I don't own one. The only one I've ever seen running was Tim Fuller's and it must have had the baffle problem.

One of these days I'll see yours and check it out first hand. I'm glad you and Derrick will take pics and post them. That will be great.

Post# 281238 , Reply# 20   5/20/2014 at 18:58 (1,610 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

This PN resembles a Thermax PB3, Rug Doctor V-10 & RinseNVac PB-850 Power Brushes

Post# 281244 , Reply# 21   5/20/2014 at 19:26 (1,610 days old) by Caligula (Benton, Pa)        
Hi Air-Way Charlie.

caligula's profile picture
Does anybody know what happened to the Air-Way factory? I do, and would love to share that info if anybody's interested.

Alex Taber.

Post# 281281 , Reply# 22   5/21/2014 at 01:02 (1,610 days old) by kirbyvertibles (Independence, KS)        

kirbyvertibles's profile picture
so was this actual set up ever produce?

Post# 281285 , Reply# 23   5/21/2014 at 03:39 (1,610 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Yes,would like to know what happened to the former Air-Way site-please let us know-inquiring minds want to know!Is it another vacuum builders site?

Post# 281314 , Reply# 24   5/21/2014 at 11:18 (1,609 days old) by Caligula (Benton, Pa)        
Hi tolivac.

caligula's profile picture
A few days ago I came across three newspaper clippings that were sent to me back in the Summer of 06. Before I post these, I want to give you a brief history of the factory.

The Air-Way Electric Appliance Co. was located in Toledo, Ohio, and owned by two bothers, Pratt and Clarence Tracy. They made washing machines, and radios and perhaps other things, but it's their vacuum cleaner that they were famous for. What most people don't know is the man responsible for that vacuum cleaner.

We all know that Air-Way introduced the first disposable bag, but few people know that it was the brainstorm of Dr. Daniel B. Replogle of Toledo, Ohio who patented his upright vacuum cleaner in 1916. The problem here was who was to manufacture it. Sometime around 1919 he turned to Pratt Tracy, and the result was the Air-Way home sanitation system which appeared in 1920.

The factory was located at 1501-07 W. Bancroft street (at the corner of Auburn Ave), and produced the Air-Way until the late 1950's, I think the exact year was 1957. After it ceased being used for making vacuum cleaners, it was passed to other owners, then lay vacant for ten years.

According to the three page article I have, and will post later today, the fire that engulfed the building was on or around July 28, 2006. I also have the paperwork from the United States patent office, and the Trade-Mark information that I'll also post.

Post# 281319 , Reply# 25   5/21/2014 at 13:08 (1,609 days old) by Caligula (Benton, Pa)        
Hi tolivac.

caligula's profile picture
Lets start with the trade-mark info.

Post# 281320 , Reply# 26   5/21/2014 at 13:10 (1,609 days old) by Caligula (Benton, Pa)        

caligula's profile picture
Patent info.

Post# 281321 , Reply# 27   5/21/2014 at 13:12 (1,609 days old) by Caligula (Benton, Pa)        
Hi tolivac.

caligula's profile picture
Here's the newspaper articles.

Post# 281322 , Reply# 28   5/21/2014 at 13:14 (1,609 days old) by Caligula (Benton, Pa)        
Air-Way fire.

caligula's profile picture
Text on page one.

Post# 281324 , Reply# 29   5/21/2014 at 13:16 (1,609 days old) by Caligula (Benton, Pa)        
Air-Way fire.

caligula's profile picture
Follow-up article.

Post# 281325 , Reply# 30   5/21/2014 at 13:17 (1,609 days old) by Caligula (Benton, Pa)        
Air-Way fire.

caligula's profile picture
Next page.

Post# 281326 , Reply# 31   5/21/2014 at 13:20 (1,609 days old) by Caligula (Benton, Pa)        

caligula's profile picture
Here are a couple of patents.

Post# 281327 , Reply# 32   5/21/2014 at 13:26 (1,609 days old) by Caligula (Benton, Pa)        

caligula's profile picture
Here's the first of the line.

Post# 281333 , Reply# 33   5/21/2014 at 13:54 (1,609 days old) by raycarter (Taylor, Michigan)        

To answer the earlier question as to whether the Hamilton Beach designed power nozzle was a modifiedupright design, I would say the answer is yes. I believe it is a modified Hamilton Beach model 470 from the 1960s. I have not seen this model personally, but I do know it was tested by Consumer Reports in 1964, and was relegated to the bottom of the ratings of the acceptable, fully tested uprights (reason being that its rug-cleaning performance, while not as good as any of the other fully tested models, was still considerably better than any of the straight-suction canisters. Back then, an upright first had to outperform all straight-suction cleaners in order to qualify for the full battery of performance and convenience tests.)

Post# 281388 , Reply# 34   5/22/2014 at 01:57 (1,609 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Good info-the orig site was destroyed by a fire-didn't Air-Way move to Alabama during their final years?What happened to that site?

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