Thread Number: 36702  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Hoover Portable: School me
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Post# 392704   6/2/2018 at 17:11 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Hey all, especially the Hoover experts.

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic for some of the items that I most clearly remember from my youth.
For example, I'm having an ivory Western Electric 554 telephone serviced so that I can use it with our landline provider. That's the phone I grew up with.
The first vacuum that I remember in our house was a Hoover Portable.
I'm having trouble remembering if the top part was beige, or more of a gold.
The bottom part was definitely brown.
This would have been early 1970s, but I have no idea how long my parents had the vacuum before I noticed it.
I've been entertaining the idea of picking one up for a while now.
The problem is, I can't find them locally, which pretty much leaves eBay.
People asking what seems like a lot of money for them, plus huge shipping charges for something that size.

The couple of them that I've seen on there recently seem to be missing at least one of the on-board tools.
And, I don't seem to see any auctions for just the tools for them.

If I do eventually acquire one, what should I expect?
Are they a well built machine that I should be able to actually use from time to time?
(I'm primarily an Electrolux fan; 1990s canisters, and it would have to go into the rotation.)
Are bags and filters still readily available for them?
And, as for the aforementioned tools...are they really hard to find, or am I doing something wrong in my searches?

Sorry for the long-winded post, and thank you for any knowledge that you might be able to impart.


Post# 392713 , Reply# 1   6/2/2018 at 20:42 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
Hi Barry,

gottahaveahoove's profile picture
I have numerous portables. I have an extra GREEN one.... I believe it matches the Garland Green Convertible.
All of the tools are interchangeable w/ all of the other Convertibles and Slimlines. The only difference could be the colors. They take Type "J" bags, the same as in the Constellations AND Slimlines. The "Portable" vacuum ended up in the Louvre Museum in France: Art Meets Function.

Post# 392715 , Reply# 2   6/2/2018 at 20:56 by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
RE Portables

They really are good vacuums, just a bit clunky to pull around, I want to find the first one with the step on switch and the pink Slimline.

Post# 392720 , Reply# 3   6/2/2018 at 21:14 by Paul (MN)        


Here's a link to another Vacuumland thread about Hoover Portable cleaners:

Looks like your parents' was either a model 2110, with the seal griege (brown) tools or the model 2204 with the oyster white tools. The former's casing is like Hoover's autumn gold color, while the latter's is similar to Hoover's ceylon yellow hue.

I'm not a Hoover expert but just thought I'd shed some light on the subject.

Hope you're able to find the Portable like your parents' for a fair price.

Post# 392741 , Reply# 4   6/3/2018 at 09:00 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Thank you for the replies!

I certainly didn't want to discriminate against any "non Hoover experts". Lol.
I very much appreciate your input.
My parents' would have had the "Seal Griege" attachments.
That's quite the name! How did someone in marketing or wherever come up with that?
I guess "brown" was too boring.

I saw the early one that you're talking about on eBay.
It sold last month for $40 plus shipping.
Downside is that the cover was cracked, like something got dropped on it, and it was missing the smaller, upholstery type attachment.
Other than that, it looked really nice.

Your collection must be amazing.
I think my head would explode from overload, trying to take it all in!
My present favorite is fairly late model Electrolux/Aerus canisters.
I have three Epic 6500s, and an Ambassador III.
But growing up, our home had its share of Hoovers (a little blue Lark which I loved to play with comes to mind too), and at least one Eureka.
They have a place in my heart as well!
Very cool about the Louvre!

I'll keep looking.
My in-laws actually have a somewhat later model Portable with the orange top.
(I wonder what kind of colorful name Hoover had for that color!)
It's been just sitting in their garage for years since they bought whatever they replaced it with.
It's not exactly like the one from my childhood, but I may see if they'd be willing to part with it.
They tend to be funny about stuff like that though. That's why I haven't even bothered to mention it to them.

I'm guessing that the versions with the big wheels mounted on the sides were the latest ones?
That just doesn't look right to me somehow, having only been familiar with the ones with the little rollers mounted on the back.
I suppose, if someone grew up with one that had the big wheels, the little rollers probably look out of place to them.

Post# 392746 , Reply# 5   6/3/2018 at 12:07 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
The big wheels are the earliest ones.

gottahaveahoove's profile picture
"Seal Greige" was/is one of Hoover's "signatures". They took gray and beige=greige... in light, medium, and dark. I met "Frank", one of the colorists at Hoover. It must have been wild there. One of the oranges is "pumpkin". With over 450 Hoover appliances here in this house, MY head almost bursts as well.

Post# 392800 , Reply# 6   6/4/2018 at 11:39 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Thanks John

Now that you explained how they came up with "Griege", it sort of makes more sense to me.
Plus, I was pronouncing it wrong in my head...with an "ee" sound. Lol.

I see that I was wrong about the timeline regarding the big-wheeled Portables.
I was under the impression that the earliest models had the roller type rear wheels, mounted on the back.
Wasn't the green version with the different power switch one of, if not the earliest versions?
The one that was on eBay a month or so ago had the rear-mounted roller wheels.
I'm not questioning your knowledge of Hoovers, believe me!
I'm sure you've forgotten more about them than I'll ever know!
I was just surprised.


Post# 392801 , Reply# 7   6/4/2018 at 12:40 by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
The big wheel Portables are later.

The green with different switch IS the first.Later greens had the Convertible type switch that was used on all later Portables.Small rollers started off being color matched to vac.Deluxe features such as cordwinders,big wheels lids with design molded in and more were added with later ones called the Portable Cleaning Center.There were some great give away items with the first including a matchbook that was a replica with attachments pictured under the cover and hose pictured on the matches.
I have several that need to GO in my vac store clean out/down size.
As to COLORS I think Hoover had more than General Motors!

Post# 392805 , Reply# 8   6/4/2018 at 13:30 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
yes, that green one

gottahaveahoove's profile picture
was the first. As my closest friend and Hoover expert, Tom "A" will always kindly and gently correct any mistakes I make. I just try not to make many/any in the first place.

Post# 392806 , Reply# 9   6/4/2018 at 13:37 by vacuumlad1650 (Chicago Suburbs)        

vacuumlad1650's profile picture
If you ask men the portable was Hoover's finest non power nozzle canister. If it wasn't like I was dragging literal luggage around when I clean, I would use mine more often...

Post# 393046 , Reply# 10   6/9/2018 at 16:40 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Hoover Portable update

Hey all,

I just got home from the local Salvation Army store, where I scored a Portable!
It looks very gently used, and has all of its "greige" attachments present and accounted for.
I haven't even plugged it in yet to see if it runs or how it sounds.

It's going to get a cleaning, since that's one of my favorite parts of lugging vintage stuff home.
It's quite clean already, but I can't resist.
It's not the gold color of the one from my childhood.
But, I never find cool vintage stuff like this...ever.
So, again, I couldn't resist.

I believe it's the same color as the one that you're leaning on in your avatar.
Nice and vintagey!

I would guess it's probably been 35 years since I've actually handled one of these.
When I picked it up in the store, I couldn't believe how heavy it is!
I guess I've gotten spoiled by my plastic bodied Electroluxes!


Post# 393052 , Reply# 11   6/9/2018 at 20:25 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Update #2, and questions

Good news!

After a preliminary cleaning, I got up the nerve to plug her in and hit the switch.
Runs great! Sounds great! Good suction, etc.

Not bad for $10!

A couple of questions:

Inside the cover of the exhaust port, there's supposed to be a filter of some kind.
What was left of it was just a crumbling mess.
Any suggestions for something that I can use in its place?
I'm guessing that I can't still get actual replacements for it.

Also, bags.
I've seen several discussions about the best bags to use in Electrolux canisters.
Does anyone have a recommendation for the best Type J Hoover bags?

Thanks everyone!


Post# 393054 , Reply# 12   6/9/2018 at 21:17 by Paul (MN)        

Congratulations on your $10 Portable acquisition, Barry!

The photos below show:

1) the secondary filter information from the 1966 instruction manual

2) the secondary filter, part # 012512

Here's one link to the filter, which is apparently still available:

You may want to shop around for the best price & shipping.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 393056 , Reply# 13   6/9/2018 at 21:31 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Hey Paul,

Thanks! That's great to know that that filter is still available!
I'm definitely going to replace mine.

I may never need to replace it again, as this vacuum is not going to be a daily driver.

I still need to find something to use inside the exhaust port door though.
I'll probably have to find a comparable material, and just cut a piece to size.
Although, if that other filter is still available, maybe the one for the exhaust is too!


Post# 393058 , Reply# 14   6/9/2018 at 21:35 by vacuumlad1650 (Chicago Suburbs)        

vacuumlad1650's profile picture
Inside the exhaust port I cut to size a peice of HVAC vent filter media. The type that is one layer and white but almost see through. They come in a 12 pack at a home improvement shop.

  View Full Size
Post# 393060 , Reply# 15   6/9/2018 at 21:59 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Thanks Andy,

I'll look into that.

I'm so pleasantly surprised by how good this vacuum seems to run.
I was convinced that it wasn't going to work at all.
I thought there was no way it was in such good cosmetic condition, has all of its on-board tools, AND runs good.
But, that seems to be the case!
I haven't run it for a really long time. I just tried it in one room so far.
One day soon, I'll run it through the whole house and see how it goes.


Post# 393063 , Reply# 16   6/9/2018 at 23:17 by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
Hoover motors

Generally were as good as or better than anything ever made, at least the old ones were.

Post# 393069 , Reply# 17   6/10/2018 at 07:33 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

fan-of-fans's profile picture
I'll second on the cut-to-fit filter media for the exhaust port. My Slimline (same base pan design as the Portable) filter was missing, so I used that same kind of material to replace it. Works very well and probably better than the foam that was used originally. Just a few drops of glue to secure it to the door and it was ready to go.

Post# 393072 , Reply# 18   6/10/2018 at 11:04 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
Great news there!

gottahaveahoove's profile picture
And, that IS a hard color to find.
Yes, the Hoover type "J" bags are best. They fit the old Constellations, Slimlines, AND Portables.
Happy Hoovering!

Post# 393074 , Reply# 19   6/10/2018 at 12:32 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Hey John

Good deal!

Bonus that it's a hard to find color!

The tag on it said it had just been put out on the floor that day.
Believe me...I'm never the guy that makes those finds.

So, would you recommend genuine Hoover bags as opposed to another brand?
I've seen the Type J bags by other makers too.
Envirocare, Filtrete, etc.


Post# 393077 , Reply# 20   6/10/2018 at 17:53 by vac-o-matic (Saint Louis, Mo.)        

If you can find any other high filtration bag besides Hoover, buy them! Hoover bag quality currently being sold is very low quality since Hoover no longer makes them. If I need bags for my Hoovers, I look on ebay for the green ones that used to be made at the Hoover plant, actually I'll probably never run out. They can also sometimes be found in thrift stores for a song.

Post# 393079 , Reply# 21   6/10/2018 at 18:18 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Thanks Rick

That's good to know.

I don't expect to be using the Portable a lot, but I certainly may want/need to replace the bag at some point.
I don't even see a brand name on the one that came with the machine.
I've read good things on this site about the Filtrete bags for other makes and models.
Maybe I'll give them a try.


Post# 393128 , Reply# 22   6/12/2018 at 05:08 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Just a heads up

Just in case anyone else was thinking of ordering the secondary filter for your Hoover Portable:

Paul...I did look around at a few other sites that listed that secondary filter, but they all said it was no longer available.
Only the site to which you provided the link said it was in stock.
So, I ordered one.
The next day, I got an e-mail from them, stating that my order had been cancelled.
The reason...item no longer available. 🙁

Now that I know a little more about that filter, and that it's removable/replaceable, I'll probably just take mine out and carefully vacuum it.

If someone with a lot more mechanical abilities than myself, who might happen to own a Portable, wanted to take on a project:
Maybe you could take your secondary filter out, and use it as a template to create some new ones out of some sturdy cardboard and filter media; replicating the original as closely as possible.
Then, those of us who own Portables, and probably Slimlines, if they use the same design, could buy them from you!
I know there has to be a member on here with the skills!
Just a thought.


Post# 393130 , Reply# 23   6/12/2018 at 06:30 by vacuumlad1650 (Chicago Suburbs)        

vacuumlad1650's profile picture
Hey Barry I will check for sure but I think i might have one of those pre-motor filters down in the basement.

Post# 393132 , Reply# 24   6/12/2018 at 09:50 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
You CAN make a template.

gottahaveahoove's profile picture
Then, you can use air conditioner filters....the black spongy type, the very thin stuff.

Post# 393148 , Reply# 25   6/12/2018 at 15:56 by bnsd60m9200 (Ponder,TX)        
pre motor filters

bnsd60m9200's profile picture
use what andy said, the sponge material a/c filter doesn't filter very well.. motor filters from the 60's and 70's really didn't do... anything. a pre-motor and exhaust air filter made out of a/c filter media will be much better, and still provide proper airflow.

Post# 393152 , Reply# 26   6/12/2018 at 17:54 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Thank you all for your suggestions.

If you have a spare pre-motor/secondary filter laying around, I'd be interested.

As I was saying, I'm not prepared to make a template and reproduce a filter myself.
But I'm going to take y'all's suggestion about the HVAC filter material for the exhaust port.

The old pre-motor filter that's in my vacuum did have quite a bit of dusty crud in it.
I gave it a quick vacuuming. But now that I know I can take it out, I'm going to do a more thorough job.
And there will probably be schmutz that has gotten past the filter.
I should be able to get at some of that too.
Like you were saying Will, I don't think the filter is the most effective, but it does seem to have stopped some of the nastiness.


Post# 393189 , Reply# 27   6/13/2018 at 19:38 by Paul (MN)        

Thanks for the update, but sorry to hear that, Barry.

Actually, I had the same experience recently with two companies whose websites hadn't been updated. I was looking for a couple parts for my Floor-A-Matic 3610.

Regarding the prefilter I didn't see it in the '66 Portable manual; so it's not necessary that you have it. It's just an insurance in case a bag were to break. It may have been an added feature on the later models or just something the previous owner of your cleaner chose to add.

As for the secondary filter, another option would be to just wait for one to get listed on eBay or another site. You might even check with your local long-time vacuum cleaner stores.

Post# 393191 , Reply# 28   6/13/2018 at 20:03 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Thanks Paul.

I may just be using the wrong terminology.
What I was referring to as the pre-motor filter is the "secondary" filter shown in your picture from the manual.

I'm trying to locate the telescoping wand/wands for this machine as well.
Mine is there, but, despite the overall nice condition of the vacuum itself, the wands are kind of rough.

Would anyone know what year/years the Model 2210 was offered in this turquoisey color?
In case I ever come across a manual, I'd like to get one that's the right year for the machine.


Post# 393193 , Reply# 29   6/13/2018 at 21:29 by Paul (MN)        

Got it, Barry.

Check out this older Vacuumland thread regarding Hoover Portables for details:

Hope you get your wands. I haven't had success with any requests I've posted at Vacuumland either; so I'd again recommend checking your local vac shops, thrift stores, Craigslist, garage sales, et cetera.

Post# 393194 , Reply# 30   6/13/2018 at 21:33 by Paul (MN)        


My bad, Barry--just took time to read the whole paragraph on the "Secondary Filter" I'd posted for you and noticed that I'd assumed that it was an exhaust filter instead of a pre-filter. So you were right in using that term.

Post# 393355 , Reply# 31   6/16/2018 at 18:25 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
No problem, Paul

I just appreciate the information!
I can see how you could think that.
If you figure the pre-motor filter would be a "primary" filter, it would make sense to think "secondary" filter...after the motor.
But I guess they consider the filtration provided by the bag to be the first stage of filtration, thereby making the pre-motor filter the second stage.


Post# 393383 , Reply# 32   6/17/2018 at 12:44 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        

gottahaveahoove's profile picture
I sent you a note in Supermarket.
Yes, I DO have an extra telescoping wand. We''l talk after the VCCC convention.
Do you need Type J bags?

Post# 393405 , Reply# 33   6/17/2018 at 19:27 by Paul (MN)        

Yeah, Barry, that's exactly what I'd thought.

I think your deduction is correct regarding the primary and secondary filtration.

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