Thread Number: 36900  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Sunbeam Outdoor/Indoor
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Post# 394540   7/8/2018 at 20:29 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Hey all,

Is anyone familiar with this little guy?

It belongs to my father-in-law.

I was just curious about it, and decided to look around on the interwebs, and I'm coming up with nothing.

I don't think he has any of the attachments. In fact, all it has on it currently is a hose with an old metal Electrolux upholstery tool rigged onto the end of it.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size

Post# 394542 , Reply# 1   7/8/2018 at 21:37 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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It's an early utility vacuum, sort of the forerunner to the modern wet/dry vac. Probably late 1960s or so. They're dry pickup only and use a sort of cloth bag over the motor that I think had a paper filter over it.

I know Singer had one called the Porch N Patio, Shop Vac had some, this Sunbeam and probably Sears Craftsman did as well. They all looked pretty similar, not sure if everybody made their own or if one particular maker did and labeled them for everyone else. Of course the Sears ones were definitely relabeled as they don't make anything.

Usually they came with a large diameter but relatively short hose, plastic wands and large diameter attachments. I'm thinking a floor brush and a small utility nozzle were usually the included attachments but you could order others like a dusting brush or crevice tool. Sometimes you could get an adapter to use regular size attachments with them from your canister or upright.

They're good little vacuums for cleaning the garage or car, or using outdoors. You just can't suck up water with them as there's no ball float on the motor intake.

Post# 394547 , Reply# 2   7/8/2018 at 23:54 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

And for most of these the tank was made from a fiberboard material-so the tank could not withstand wet pickup.Shop Vac made ones like that too-they were just that--Shop vacuums for picking up sawdust,wood shavings,metal filings and such.

Post# 394552 , Reply# 3   7/9/2018 at 03:06 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
I sold one that looked just like this, but IIRC, it was a Craftsman and the can was brown.

Post# 394555 , Reply# 4   7/9/2018 at 06:42 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

The tank is definitely metal on this one.

Looks kind of like a miniature 55 gallon drum.

It has no wheels. I guess you just carry it by the handle on top.

He left it at our house years ago.
I don't know if he forgot, or if he just doesn't use it much and isn't in any hurry to get it back.

I'm probably going to give it a good cleaning one of these days.
I doubt if he never has.
I'd be surprised if the filter has been cleaned since Reagan was in the White House.


Post# 394560 , Reply# 5   7/9/2018 at 08:23 by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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Dad had a Craftsman unit, a bit larger, but looked the same on top, cardboard sides we got in 62

Post# 394589 , Reply# 6   7/9/2018 at 20:57 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

Sunbeam's former outdoor products division was better known for its line of electric lawn mowers!

Including this one...


This post was last edited 07/09/2018 at 21:22
Post# 394611 , Reply# 7   7/10/2018 at 03:03 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Oh yes--the Sunbeam mowers.The dual blade model shown in the video became a victim of modern CPSC safety regs.No discharge towards the user,no multipeice blades except on riding mowers or tractors.Replacement blades for these were single piece.Those Sunbeam mowers were good little mowers.They were well made since many are still around today.also the cordless mowers made today put a large dent in Sunbeams mowers.

Post# 394613 , Reply# 8   7/10/2018 at 05:58 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Thanks for the video!

Very cool mower!

Now I'm going to have to hit YouTube and see if there's a video of one running!


Post# 394633 , Reply# 9   7/10/2018 at 11:35 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
I have all three sizes of them.

gottahaveahoove's profile picture
Mine have the Hoover brand name on them. They ARE the forerunner to the wet/vac. or shop vac. Nice find.

Post# 394719 , Reply# 10   7/11/2018 at 21:48 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

fan-of-fans's profile picture
How loud is it? Here's a thread with pictures of a Singer Porch N Patio which looks similar, but it does have wheels on it. I remember my grandmother had a Singer Silver Glide canister, avocado and yellow she bought at Sears she worked at about 1974, and it had the manual and this vacuum was pictured on the back cover I think.

I did see a Shop Vac version at Habitat, it didn't have any hose or attachments with it and the color was a dark green. Early because it had a NJ address instead of the current one in PA.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO fan-of-fans's LINK

Post# 394720 , Reply# 11   7/11/2018 at 21:57 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

There are quite a few of them on the 'Tube.

A Sunbeam 3129:

I most recently discovered this one: a Sears Craftsman 663.914323 built 12/2/80.

And here's mine:


Post# 394721 , Reply# 12   7/11/2018 at 22:04 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Hey Cole

That does look a lot like it!
The intake and exhaust ports, the toggle switch, the carrying handle.

I suppose this one may have had those wheels on it at one time.
I never saw it when it was new.

One of these days, I'll clean it up a bit.
I can't say for sure, but I think my father-in-law has been using it for years without the paper filter bags that it mentions.
And he probably never really cleans the cloth filter.
I wonder if some kind of paper filters would still be available for it.


Post# 394723 , Reply# 13   7/11/2018 at 22:13 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Hey...thanks for the video!

I actually spent some time the other day checking some of them out on "the tube".

Neat machines!

I know I would run over the extension cord.
We have a small electric tiller that I use to turn over our equally small vegetable garden, and it's s two person job.
The wife has to hold the cord out of my way, so I can focus on where I'm working.
And keep stopping to move rocks!


Post# 394724 , Reply# 14   7/11/2018 at 22:50 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

That is where the reversible handle feature comes in... just flip it over to start somewhere else.


This post was last edited 07/12/2018 at 00:11
Post# 394726 , Reply# 15   7/11/2018 at 23:11 by Seijun (Portland, OR)        

seijun's profile picture
I have a 1972 Shopvac that looks pretty much identical to yours except for the color and decals. Does yours have a date under the hood?

Here is the thread with pics of mine:

Post# 394727 , Reply# 16   7/11/2018 at 23:15 by Seijun (Portland, OR)        

seijun's profile picture
EDIT: The motor might be different on mine too? It is rated as 5.2 amps/600 watts at 115 volts.

Post# 394742 , Reply# 17   7/12/2018 at 07:20 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Hey Pam

That's so cool, what you did with that dolly!
Does it fit as good as it appears to in the picture?

I love how all these different branded versions seem to be nearly identical except for the colors and graphics.

My reaction to your first picture of it:
Wow! It looks identical except for the col...KITTY!!!


Post# 394746 , Reply# 18   7/12/2018 at 08:11 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
You too could have one!

If anyone is interested in picking up a Sunbeam branded version, there's currently one on eBay.
It looks identical to the one I posted pics of, but the model number is different, and the watts/amps are slightly lower on the eBay example.


CLICK HERE TO GO TO JustJunque's LINK on eBay

Post# 394747 , Reply# 19   7/12/2018 at 08:35 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

I noticed that the one in the auction doesn't have wheels either.
Maybe Sunbeam didn't offer them on their version.


Post# 394760 , Reply# 20   7/12/2018 at 11:00 by Seijun (Portland, OR)        

seijun's profile picture
Barry: there is about a half inch of space around all sides of the vac when it is on the dolly. If I was less lazy I could glue some chunks of foam or something in there to make it a snug fit, so that the dolly would stay "attached" when I lift up the vac.

The motor on mine still has the cloth bag over it, and over that I have a HEPA bag. I bought some HEPA bags for a large upright vac and then cut them to fit. We use the heck out of this thing. It is the only canister vac in the house that can pick up all the hay and feathers in the pet room without the hose instantly getting clogged. It was my first vintage vac and the only one I couldn't live without!

Post# 394879 , Reply# 21   7/14/2018 at 02:45 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Sunbeam dual blade mowers-used to have one-sadly the motor in it went belly up.Now the dual blade mower I have is a Greenworks 40V dual blade-dual motor.Has two motors-one for each blade-Works very well!Its rear bag or can mulch.No discharge.It can also use two 40V batterys-when one goes out-the other cuts in.Takes about a second.Kobalt has a similar mower.Only dual blade walk electric mowers I have seen today.

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