Thread Number: 36354  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
the late Clay Floyd's Air-Way
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Post# 389731   4/3/2018 at 16:19 by dysonman1 (Missouri)        

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I had the bittersweet opportunity to help remove and distribute the late VCCC board-member, Clay Floyd's, entire vacuum collection. His sister wants to sell the house. A good quantity of Clay's collection was given to a smart young vacuum collector (he's 25) from Springfield, MO. It would make Clay smile that his machines were now in great hands of a terrific young man who really wants to learn about vintage vacuum cleaners.

Those of us who knew Clay, either from his more than 15 years with the VCCC, or more recently with the Vacuum Collectors Convention during the past 10 years, knew that he loved Rexair. I did get his Blue Ribbon Winning model C Rexair with it's VCCC Blue Ribbon still on the handle. It's now at the Vacuum Cleaner Museum, where his Hoover 150 and Hoover 634 are going to live.

However, it was Clay's Air-Way Sanitizor that I kept thinking about during the 12 hour drive. Clay would never give it to me, even though I begged him for it many times. He told me he liked it and enjoyed using it.

I'm sorry that he never gave it to me in person, but it will live at my home from now until my passing day. The upholstery nozzle was a gift to Clay from Tania Voigt, which is why the color doesn't match.

The power nozzle was made in 1978. That's the date stamp on the motor. The brush roller really beats the rug, like a hoover. The machine was a trade-in on a Rainbow many years ago, when the machine wasn't that old and had seen extremely little use.

Note the rails are also painted black. Very unusual.

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Post# 389732 , Reply# 1   4/3/2018 at 16:22 by dysonman1 (Missouri)        

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Laying on its wheels

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Post# 389733 , Reply# 2   4/3/2018 at 16:23 by dysonman1 (Missouri)        

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The RugMasteR. It circulates the air through the carpet for a thorough clean.

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Post# 389734 , Reply# 3   4/3/2018 at 16:25 by dysonman1 (Missouri)        

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RugMasteR from the top. Gorgeous powder coated paint. One of the last of the heavy duty power nozzles made by Air-Way.

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Post# 389735 , Reply# 4   4/3/2018 at 16:26 by dysonman1 (Missouri)        

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It's entirely correct to use your Air-Way while it is standing upright.

I loge this machine, and I love that Clay thought so much of it that he refused to give it to me. Well. Now it's mine and I will always treasure it.

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Post# 389751 , Reply# 5   4/3/2018 at 20:00 by Mpbyrd (Connelly Springs, NC)        
I remember Clay talking about this machine

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I used to frequent his store he had in Lenoir and then the one in Hudson. I was truly saddened when he left. He sold almost every Rainbow to each member of my family and worked on many more. He also gave me my first concept one made exclusively for JC Penny. He was always such a delight to talk too and will be truly missed. Canít believe he is gone.

Post# 389798 , Reply# 6   4/4/2018 at 09:47 by dysonman1 (Missouri)        

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Clay will be sorely missed my almost all who knew him.

I met Clay at the first VCCC meeting in Naperville, around 1994. He drove from Denver, with a van full of vacuums to GIVE away at the meeting. There were only 12 people in the 'club' then.

Over the years, Clay became a board member of the VCCC as well as "Member at Large". I'm not sure what a "Member at Large" was supposed to do, it was after I was President of the VCCC. He also helped the VCCC write the by-laws as well as get the VCCC incorporated.

There are lots of VCCC members and former members who knew him well.

After the whole VCCC thing was over, Clay came to the Vacuum Collectors Conventions in June at the Vacuum Cleaner Museum in St. James where he told his stories of the early days in the vacuum business in Denver, where he was originally from.

It's hard to believe someone with his wealth of knowledge is no longer with us. Thankfully, we have a video tape of Clay telling his version of all things Rexair related. Rexair was his passion in life, and he loved Rainbows.

Post# 389800 , Reply# 7   4/4/2018 at 11:15 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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I had a roommate when I lived in Boone around 1990 who sold Rainbow vacuums. I wonder if he worked for Clay.

Post# 389807 , Reply# 8   4/4/2018 at 13:33 by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
I used to work

For Hilltop Vacuum in Boone in 83 and 84

Post# 389809 , Reply# 9   4/4/2018 at 13:35 by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
ClayDidnt come to Lenoir until the mid 90s

But he never was a Rainbow dealer then, John Howard from hickory was the Rainbow distributor.

Post# 389817 , Reply# 10   4/4/2018 at 15:32 by Mpbyrd (Connelly Springs, NC)        
The Rainbows he sold

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to my family were used but your couldnít tell it. He always cleaned them to perfection. After my first visit to his shop that was were my whole family went for all things vacuum related.

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