Thread Number: 37798  /  Tag: Pre-1950 Vacuum Cleaners
The Hoover Baby Model 103 Really Old and Original
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Post# 402990   12/23/2018 at 15:19 by Phaeton (Los Angeles )        

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I just picked this up and it seems to be complete and original. The tag that is attached indicated it is from "The Hoover Suction Sweeper". The bag while in poor condition appears to be the original bag. The cord also looks original with the screw-in lamp socket connector. The commutator looks strangely as if the vacuum was only run a short amount of time. It has been used as there someone has stapled the belt back together. The little foot pad for the on/off switch is missing. I will have to lubricate the lower bearing before I run the the vacuum as it is a bit stiff when turning the fan by hand. That will be a project for later in the week and I will add the results to this post. I will not do anything other that make the little 103 run as it is cosmetically okay for me the way it is.

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Post# 402997 , Reply# 1   12/23/2018 at 20:33 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Nice find! I wonder if maybe it was never used much, and just sat in a closet for decades.

Post# 403013 , Reply# 2   12/24/2018 at 02:43 by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
thankyou for sharing those photos

I had never seen that screw in type of plug before. I always thought that to plug in to a lamp socket back then meant screwing in an adapter then plugging into that. Now I know! Bill

Post# 403015 , Reply# 3   12/24/2018 at 04:23 by scoover (Scoovstoun, UK)        

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It's amazing that 100 year old machines are still out there in untouched condition. The beauty of living in a huge country. This would have been melted down to make Spitfires in the UK 70 odd years ago...

Post# 403022 , Reply# 4   12/24/2018 at 09:50 by DaveVac (Westlake, Ohio)        

Very house (built in 1881) was electrified in 1905 and has the screw in outlets in most rooms. That vacuum would have been used in my house.
I've been looking for a machine like yours to add to
my's first on my list...
Maybe I'll add a picture showing the outlet that would have been used when I get home.


Post# 403029 , Reply# 5   12/24/2018 at 12:55 by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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Leave the socket plug on it, that's not something many vacuums came with at that time and certainly a lot of them were likely tossed out through the 40's 50's and 60's. Just use it with the adapter on it like you shown. You've got a fine museum piece there, something I'm sure the VCCC museum would love to have on a plinth. Original bag too that isn't even moth-eaten or anything! I'm sure that the only thing wrong is the 100 year old grease has gummed up into tar. I wonder if maybe because of the broken belt that was the reason why it was tossed in a closet? They might have just bought another one instead.

Post# 403039 , Reply# 6   12/24/2018 at 16:30 by DaveVac (Westlake, Ohio)        

Here it Edison Outlet...they were the first way to plug something in.
And PLEASE don't take the plug off your is rare
If you are ever going to sell it...let me know.....but I would keep it if I were you

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Post# 403062 , Reply# 7   12/24/2018 at 20:22 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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eyy that's pretty neat. I bet quite a few kids stuck their fingers in that thing :P

Post# 403069 , Reply# 8   12/24/2018 at 22:45 by Phaeton (Los Angeles )        

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I will add to this Thread tomorrow. Please know I will not remove the connector as that was why I decided to buy the Hoover Baby Model 103. The vacuum is from the Farm land here in California and I do not believe it has been used in 70 to 80 years. The motor did not need much in the way of lubrication nor cleaning. The was a massive amount of caked on dirt between the fan and bottom of the motor and the motor runs really strong. I am working on getting the brush roll out, there id a lot of rust.
I agree with MadMan about your sockets DaveVac. I added a few pictures for now and more tomorrow.

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Post# 403096 , Reply# 9   12/25/2018 at 16:33 by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

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Neat! If you want to run this beauty from a modern outlet, Home Depot and Lowe's sells these adapters in their electrical section. That way you can run the cleaner without having to chop off the rare screw in plug. They're only a few bucks and I strongly suggest that you pick one up.

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Post# 403097 , Reply# 10   12/25/2018 at 16:35 by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

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I didn't look at the last picture! Now I look like a tool! XD

Post# 403104 , Reply# 11   12/25/2018 at 21:33 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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They have adapters the other way around for DaveVac's wall outlets :3

Post# 403130 , Reply# 12   12/26/2018 at 20:38 by Phaeton (Los Angeles )        

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I do have to say this Hoover Baby Model 103 has been the most interesting vintage vacuum I have ever worked on. From that little cloth tag that says Hoover Model C that is attached to the motor to those wooden bearings in the brush roll and the amazing connector on the cord and less I forget the belt with the staple in it that is spinning that brush roll in one of the pictures.
Things that I have fixed on the 103. The motor would not spin and I check and cleaned the carbon brushes which a near new. Removed the fan and cleaned the 80 to 90 years old caked dirt from between the motor and fan. All the wheels were frozen and it took 2 days clean the rust around the brush guard so I could get to the frozen brush roll.
My theory regarding the tag on the motor of this Hoover may have to do with it was originally a Farm Voltage Vacuum and that the motor was replace when the farm became 110 voltages with Hoover Baby Model C which is the same as the Hoover Baby Model 103 Robbins & Myers motor. The Vacuum did come from a framing community here in California.
I have read on Vacuumland that early Hoovers used wooden bearing and guess what, in this brush roll they is wooden bearings.
This is a great little vacuum and for me this is as restored as it will get.
I bought 3 somewhat vintage vacuums this month and working on them all. The first one is an Air-Way which I do not know what model it is but it had the front wheels so I bought it. Then a Rexair Model B because it is complete with most of the attachments, I believe the dolly was designed for the Model C Rexair. Then the Hoover Baby Model 103 because the bag looked original and the connector that is on the cord. I really do not need any of these machines but I like working on them.
I did not take pictures of the Air-Way when I had it apart. It was not running because it was overly greased and the grease turned to glue. It still had a an original paper type bag in it.

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Post# 403133 , Reply# 13   12/26/2018 at 20:49 by Phaeton (Los Angeles )        

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I forgot to say the Rexair needed a lower bearing which I got on eBay and the fans were really dirty. All 3 vacuums are running really good.

Post# 403135 , Reply# 14   12/26/2018 at 21:06 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Those are sweet. The brush agitator on Hoover you can tell is just humming. Sweet job on restoring. Lucky you are in California in most other states those would have rotted.

Post# 403246 , Reply# 15   12/28/2018 at 21:34 by bikerray (Middle Earth)        

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Re: Rexair - Be careful with the bolt at the top of the armature, it's a left hand thread.

Re: Hoover Baby - Looks good, the brushroll is easy to rebristle.

So if your belt has a staple in it is it a leather belt off of a treadle sewing machine?

Post# 403281 , Reply# 16   12/29/2018 at 14:37 by Vaclover (Freestate, Virginia, South Africa)        

Very nice Machine! Here in South Africa we dont often get such old machines. Davevac do you have more pics of your house? Im crazy about old houses, and their staircases. In my town theres an old farmhouse built in the 1800's burnt down in the Anglo boer war, then rebuilt using the wood of an old english fort for the ceiling and the staircase. its VERY beutifull.

Post# 403286 , Reply# 17   12/29/2018 at 17:58 by Phaeton (Los Angeles )        

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bikerray and DaveVac
The belt on the Hoover Baby 103 is rubber and still stretches and I would guess it is the belt that was on it when put away. There a some cracks in the belt as pictured and it is spinning the brush roll.
No problem with the top Bearing on the Rexair. I removed it, cleaned out the old grease and re-packed it with fresh grease.
It would be interesting to use those baseboard outlet. I have only pictures of people screwing the cord into a lamp socket.
I drove about 50 miles out to Horse and Farm area of California to pick up the Hoover Baby 103 because it looked so original and about 50 miles to Santa Ana to pick up the Air-Way and a really old White Sewing Machine, these also looked original.

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Post# 403294 , Reply# 18   12/29/2018 at 23:00 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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I dunno use heat shrink put over belt and melt on with heat gun. They retread tires maybe get a piece of another belt melt it on. I don't know. I'm sure there is way to repair belts. That santa ana valley is the scariest freeway. Holy cow going 85 coasting and everyone is flying past you. The grade is super steep. Out of 12 hour drive from Utah to Oceanside CA that is scariest road. They do have a lot of farm country. Do they post items or how do you find old items.

Post# 403378 , Reply# 19   12/31/2018 at 06:26 by DaveVac (Westlake, Ohio)        
Edison Outlet

Phaeton - You can easily install an "Edison Outlet"......I see them
on eBay every once in a while....or, your local salvage/antique store may have them. Just hook up two wires and you're good to go.
If I had an extra, I'd send it to you


Post# 403465 , Reply# 20   1/2/2019 at 13:22 by dysonman1 (Missouri Ozarks)        

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Very nice machines, and GREAT restoration job.

Your Hoover is beautiful and certainly original. The tilting fulcrum will take some getting used to.

The Rexair model B that you have, was made AFTER WWII. Between 46 - 50. The dolly was definitely NOT a Rexair product, but it works very well with that cleaner

The Air-Way Sanitary System you have was made BEFORE 1929. After 1929 there were two adjustment levers on the back of the nozzle.

Congratulations was owning three of the four "great inventions". Hoover invented the revolving brush. Air-Way invented the disposable bag. Rexair invented the bagless cleaner that never loses suction. Electrolux is the 4th of the 4 "great" vacuum inventions of all time.

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