Thread Number: 37245  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
Let’s play “Which vacuum from the thrift store?”
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Post# 397631   9/1/2018 at 16:10 (352 days old) by broomvac (N/A)        

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Hi all,

Yesterday I went to the local thrift stores, having not been for three months or so. These stores all turn over vacuums very quickly since they price the vacuums between $5 and $10. I took some pics to share with you all, just for fun.

There were a few interesting hits on the radar. I spotted an Omega in remarkable shape for $5, and another quite vintage looking Kirby. There was also an old Electrolux and a green Concept One. I even spotted two Portapowers/Swingettes hiding.

I bought just one of these cleaners. Which one do you think it was. Hint: I bought it to part out.

Which would you take?

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Post# 397632 , Reply# 1   9/1/2018 at 16:15 (352 days old) by broomvac (N/A)        

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I forgot the picture of the Portapowers. Also, here is the picture of the old bags, now turned the right way up.

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Post# 397633 , Reply# 2   9/1/2018 at 16:26 (352 days old) by compactc9guy (Bathurst NB)        

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To easy Electrolux canister Eureka Canister and all Kirby and of course The Concept One.

Post# 397635 , Reply# 3   9/1/2018 at 16:59 (352 days old) by huskyvacs (Upper Midwest)        

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Oh that's heaven! I have never seen that many vacuums in a thrift store in all my life!

The only thrift store here is Goodwill and Salvation Army. Salvation Army confiscates any vacuum that comes in to use to clean their entrance rugs and floor around the counter. Haven't seen a vacuum for sale there for about 6 years.

Goodwill only gets 1 or 2 in every week and they price them at $25 each. They price the little hand vacs at about $15 each too. If you don't go on half-off day you're pretty well screwed for getting a cheap vacuum for the collection.

I would have got the Fantom first off, and then took the Tempo along with it, that is a great bagged vacuum that is well respected. I also would have taken the Kirby DS because that's Kirby from "The Brave Little Toaster". I also would have taken that little burgundy Hoover hand vac on the shelf because that's another great vacuum for a hand vac.

Also that Hoover behind the Fantom, if that's the self propelled one (I forget the name of it if it has a name) that is another great bagged vacuum but the fly-by-wire self propulsion system can be fiddly and frustrating to repair.

Post# 397637 , Reply# 4   9/1/2018 at 18:12 (352 days old) by vacuumlad1650 (Chicago Suburbs)        

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Personally I would grab the Electrolux and any packs of Genuine bags they had...but that's just my opinion

Post# 397638 , Reply# 5   9/1/2018 at 18:25 (352 days old) by completenutt (West Hollywood, California)        
Wild guess...

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Is it the Kirby with the main carpet nozzle attached?

Post# 397639 , Reply# 6   9/1/2018 at 18:26 (352 days old) by electrolux137 (Land O Plenty USA)        


The Kirby with the gray bag is a 516, the first of the later streamlined 500-series machines. It was called the "50th Anniversary Kirby" in company literature (although that seems to be stretching the point a little -- granted, Jim Kirby made his first mechanically operated sweeper in 1906, but the first machine to bear the "Kirby" name did not come out until 1935.) What's remarkable is that this machine still has the original bag -- granted, faded -- and the original cord with the red plugs. Those cords are very rare and hopefully you got this machine.

Post# 397640 , Reply# 7   9/1/2018 at 18:27 (352 days old) by electrolux137 (Land O Plenty USA)        


P.S.: The white and gray Electrolux is a Model R -- it has the original hose, wands, combination floor nozzle and cord.......

Post# 397642 , Reply# 8   9/1/2018 at 19:33 (352 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I don't know, but that's a pretty good selection there.

If I had to guess I'd say that incomplete Hoover or the Fantom, but I can't really narrow it down.

By the way, that short gray and lavender machine next to the Eureka canister is an early Bissell carpet cleaner. It's one of the models that connects to a faucet. This is the shorter smaller capacity model, there's one at my Habitat now but it's just the machine itself. The larger Plus model was larger capacity and taller.

Post# 397644 , Reply# 9   9/1/2018 at 20:12 (352 days old) by Seijun (Portland, OR)        

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I would have jumped on the Kirby Omega and the Kirby 516!

Post# 397648 , Reply# 10   9/1/2018 at 22:19 (352 days old) by Gj3476 (Prosper,TX)        

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Strange looking thrift store. Looks like a big garage.

Post# 397657 , Reply# 11   9/2/2018 at 09:41 (351 days old) by broomvac (N/A)        

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Thanks for the info, everyone. I always enjoy learning the details of cleaners with which I am not completely familiar, especially those which are rare.

Yes, these thrift stores are a bit different from the standard fare. I visited three stores, and each is much like a big garage sale.

I’ll do the big reveal this evening to give others a bit more time to play.

Post# 397672 , Reply# 12   9/3/2018 at 03:47 (351 days old) by fantomfan57 (Central Texas)        
Nice selection:

I would go for the Eureka Canister and the packages of bags sitting on top of it. Without seeing them, I would guess they are bags for a Fairfax or Compact.

Post# 397723 , Reply# 13   9/3/2018 at 21:23 (350 days old) by broomvac (N/A)        
And the winner is...

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fan-of-fans! Yes, I bought the Fantom.

Now, I already own a Thunder, so I did not need two. This Thunder was pretty beat, anyways. I bought this machine, rather, for parts. $10 for all-you-can-eat NLA Fantom parts is not a bad deal at all. Pictures below show what I took from the machine. Not shown are the 12 amp Lamb motor, brush roll, motor mounts, and rear wheel sleeves, also saved. My Fantom does not currently require these parts, but I figured that these would be good spares. I do use my Thunder regularly.

@fantomfan57 You have an eye for detail. IIRC, those bags on top of the Eureka are indeed for Tristar/Compact. Envirocare brand I believe.

Post# 397724 , Reply# 14   9/3/2018 at 21:25 (350 days old) by broomvac (N/A)        

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Naturally, I forgot the pictures.

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Post# 410424 , Reply# 15   6/13/2019 at 18:42 by CMBCOOL01 (United States)        

I know I'm late and these are probably gone but the concept one, Hoover Tempo, and the kirbys

Post# 410431 , Reply# 16   6/13/2019 at 20:40 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Good heavens that thrift store I'd like to visit. Almost every vacuum you could turn around and sell making a profit off each one. I'm not a fantom fan but people are fans. I'd load up spend a couple days cleaning and sell everyone and visit again do it all over again.

Post# 411447 , Reply# 17   7/12/2019 at 11:56 by AmanaDeluxe (Currently trapped in Houston. Detroit is my home. )        

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GAH! That Omega has the rare bag with the little rubber nubbins pattern I’ve been looking for forever!
Just sitting in a resale shop.
For five dollars.
Waaaaahhhh! Not fair! 😫

Post# 411465 , Reply# 18   7/12/2019 at 21:48 by jcste09 (Lubbock, TX)        
I know those thrift stores!!!

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Hey broomvac, you wouldn’t happen to live in Lubbock, TX by chance? Those were at the Goodwill Pound Store and Disabled American Veterans store here in Lubbock.

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