Thread Number: 3962
What in the Name of Henry Dreyfuss Have We Here?
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Post# 45307   6/30/2008 at 23:03 (3,856 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        

I have just last weekend finished work on these five beauties. It has been an ongoing project for nearly two years. Each of these Hoover 150s has been restored to the very best of my abilities.

All of them were completely disassembled to allow for thorough cleaning and lubrication. All wires were replaced, all the way down to the leads coming out of the field coils. I removed the coils from the field irons, unwound the brittle and soiled cotton wrapping tape, extracted the old lead wires, soldered in new wires, wrapped the coils with new cotton tape and reinstalled them. The only wires I did not replace were those running from the switch in the handle to the handle fork. Having spent the past 70 years in the relative dark cool and calm of the inside of a Hoover handle, they were all in amazingly good condition.

Bearings were cleaned and re-greased.

Armatures were cleaned; commutators polished and reseated; carbon brushes inspected and replaced where necessary.

Agitators were cleaned, rebuilt and NOS brush strips installed.

I picked over the wheels and replaced those that were beyond all hope.

All gaskets were replaced. I used weather stripping felt on the underside edges of the belt/pulley covers, closed cell vinyl foam stripping for the motor gaskets and rubber o-ring stock for the bag rings.

Some of the power cords are original Hoover, some are new, fit-all black vinyl.

All but the "Special" have original Hoover 2-speed switches. The "Special," when it was made into a "Special" many years ago: Was converted to single speed (equivalent to the high speed on the other machines); The full-bag indicator was removed and the fan chamber was reinforced or armored with an internal perimeter steel band. It originally came to me wearing a smart black bag that proclaimed itself to be "THE HOOVER SPECIAL." Tragically, it all but crumbled in my hands when I tried to clean it. The bag it is modeling in these pictures is the black rayon Hygienisac assembly that came to me with one of the other 150s. The screen printing on this bag was quite faded, so I hand embroidered it back to life.

The cleaner in the center of the group pictures (with the blue ribbon from VCCC 2006 in St. Louis) has all original finishes, cord, bag and bag support strap and furniture guard. You may recognize it, Charlie Lester. I bought it from you several years ago!

Two of them have new, black, cotton twill "to fit" Hoover bags. One has a vintage charcoal gray with white thread genuine Hoover bag.

The internal bag support straps have been either rebuilt with nylon webbing or the original cotton tape was in good enough condition to be reinforced with stitching. The Special uses an external hook and spring.

The hoods and the hood bands were hand polished.

Four of the five were completely stripped down to bare metal, primed, painted and clear coated. The fifth machine, as I mentioned above kept its original finishes.

All five motors sound great.

All five automatic height adjusters work perfectly.

Of the four with full bag indicators, three work as they were designed to and one just kinda sits there. Here's the theory: As the bag fills with dust and air flow becomes restricted, the internal air pressure increases. This back pressure forces air through a small rubber tube connecting the inside of the bag to the indicator device which is essentially a small rubber bellows that, when inflated by the back-pressure air, causes a small metal disk, painted with a red dot to move in line with a site hole on the right rear side of the main casting. They're fun but not very accurate. . .at all! The rubber bellows on the fourth indicated had completely deteriorated. Despite repeated attempts with a variety of materials and membranes, I could not get it to operate.

Enough already! Here are some pictures.

Post# 45308 , Reply# 1   6/30/2008 at 23:05 (3,856 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
More Pics

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Post# 45309 , Reply# 2   6/30/2008 at 23:05 (3,856 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
More Pics

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Post# 45310 , Reply# 3   6/30/2008 at 23:06 (3,856 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
More Pics

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Post# 45311 , Reply# 4   6/30/2008 at 23:07 (3,856 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        

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Post# 45312 , Reply# 5   6/30/2008 at 23:07 (3,856 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        

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Post# 45313 , Reply# 6   6/30/2008 at 23:09 (3,856 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
The June Taylor Dancers

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Post# 45314 , Reply# 7   6/30/2008 at 23:10 (3,856 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        

8 of 9

Post# 45315 , Reply# 8   6/30/2008 at 23:12 (3,856 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
My Fave

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I hope you've found all of this interesting or at least amusing.


Marty Kaplan

Post# 45317 , Reply# 9   6/30/2008 at 23:43 (3,856 days old) by z30soulbrother (West Midlands, UK)        

is it the same converter as 612 or slightly different?

Post# 45323 , Reply# 10   12/31/2069 at 18:00 (17,917 days old) by charles~richard ()        

What GREAT photos!! Beautiful restoration jobs on them all!!!

I've always enjoyed seeing "fleet" photos of same-model vacuums. I guess that comes from when I was a little kid and the church were my mama played the organ had three identical late-500-series Kirbys that stood in a row in the janitor's closet under the broad stairway in the back that led up to the Sunday School rooms.

Fun fun!

Post# 45325 , Reply# 11   12/31/2069 at 18:00 (17,917 days old) by akabent (LEFT Coast)        

Marty, what an incredible job you have done!! I am throughly impressed. Who knew? They are fabulous!! Hope to see you in North Canton!

Post# 45327 , Reply# 12   7/1/2008 at 06:45 (3,856 days old) by mihi ()        

These are fantastic machines! It's obvious you've done an excellent job of restoring them. Congratulations, you've inspired me to get to work on one of mine that needs it.

Post# 45330 , Reply# 13   7/1/2008 at 07:02 (3,856 days old) by vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture

You are so talented! Those machines look showroom new!

There are vacuum here at 35 Lindberg that could use your spa treatment!


Post# 45334 , Reply# 14   7/1/2008 at 08:07 (3,856 days old) by arh1953 ( River Park, in Port St. Lucie, Florida)        
Beautiful machines, beautiful job

arh1953's profile picture
Better than perfect! What a sight!

Post# 45336 , Reply# 15   7/1/2008 at 08:13 (3,856 days old) by vac-o-matic (Saint Louis, Mo.)        

You are the bomb! They look wonderful and I'm sure clean beautifully. Look forward to trying them all!


Post# 45339 , Reply# 16   7/1/2008 at 09:16 (3,856 days old) by louvac (A)        

Fine job, Marty!

Are we going to do some ironing at the convention? That was a fun night at Greg's!

Anyway, I second Charlie's comment about seeing "fleet" models. I don't know why, but that is one thing that really fascinates me for some reason; seeing several of the same models together! I actually tend to collect vacuums that way.

Post# 45353 , Reply# 17   7/1/2008 at 10:30 (3,856 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
Golly Guys!

Thanks for all of your enthusiastic and decidedly happy-making comments.

Simon, you asked: Is it the same converter as 612 or slightly different?

The converter would be the same as that used on your model 160. It is similar in concept and design to those used on other machines with "side-entry" converters, but, like everything else on the 150 or 160, it too is fabulously over-engineered and unique to that model. It has a spring latch mechanism to hold it in position, once inserted and a ridge on the underside that fits in a track in the converter housing to keep it alligned as it is inserted.

Tool conversion on the 150 was arguably the fastest, smoothest and easiest operation of its kind at least until the advent of the Dial-a-Matic. Simply and gently insert the converter, while the motor is running, if you wish. A roller-tipped "feeler" simultaneously lifts the nozzle off of the floor as the converter is inserted. Attach the hose and you're in business. To remove the converter, squeeze the release latch on the converter and pull gently. The nozzle drops back to the carpet.

Incidentally, one of the five main castings in my little harem is marked "model 155" and the patent plate has all Canadian patents. Amusing that they thought to strike a balance between the US 150 and the UK 160!

It was in cosmetically very rough shape when I got it. A previous owner had had the bright idea to paint it with an oil-based FLAT finish house paint! It was hard to tell for sure, but I think it may well have been originally painted in shades of brown and tan rather than the blacks and warm grays of the 150. I assume it would originally have had one of those fabulous maple leaf emblazoned bags. Otherwise it was in all ways identical to the 150.

Thanks again for the great responses. I'm looking forward to seeing you all in North Canton.


Post# 45355 , Reply# 18   7/1/2008 at 10:54 (3,856 days old) by clarkecombi ()        

could u post a pic of this full bag like to see it..Nice machines.Henry Dreyfuss would be Proud to see his design look so good

Post# 45365 , Reply# 19   7/1/2008 at 15:07 (3,855 days old) by myhooverco ()        


You definitely have a talent and a passion for these machines. I have never seen one let alone 4 that have been so carefully restored from less than perfect examples. To get the paint that nice one would have to totally disassemble the machine which as you know is not an easy feat. These 150s were very well made and had many over engineered features. Are you going to bring any of them "home" to the convention? Thanks for posting these fantastic pictures of your talent and hard work. They are truly beautiful examples of one of Hoover's best machines ever produced.


PS...I have several 150s that I will be selling at my super duper Hoover garage sale to end all garage sales on August 8th! (they are NOT nearly as nice as your machines Marty!)

Post# 45366 , Reply# 20   7/1/2008 at 15:16 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        

Thanks, Tom.

I'm driving to Ohio with John Pease and we're both debating about how much room we'll have to bring machines. It would be fun to bring something! We'll see.

Post# 45367 , Reply# 21   7/1/2008 at 15:19 (3,855 days old) by rolls_rapide (Scotland)        
Different Agitators

I see that the cleaner on the extreme left has a different agitator. It has curved brush strips, whereas the others appear to be straight brushes with double beater bars.

Post# 45377 , Reply# 22   7/1/2008 at 17:48 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        

Yes, the two agitators with straight brushes and double v-shaped beaters are original Hoover 150 equipment. The curved brush agitators are genuine Hoover replacements.

Post# 45380 , Reply# 23   7/1/2008 at 18:48 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
Bag Full Indicator Demo

Here the motor is running and the empty bag is unobstructed.

Post# 45381 , Reply# 24   7/1/2008 at 18:50 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
Bag Full Indicator Demo, continued

Here, the motor is running and I am pinching off the bag near the base, forcing air into the bellows of the indicator thereby causing it to move the red dot into view.

Post# 45382 , Reply# 25   7/1/2008 at 18:52 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
Bag Full Indicator Demo, continued

Now we remove the hood to show the bag-full indicator mechanism.

Post# 45383 , Reply# 26   7/1/2008 at 18:53 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
Bag Full Indicator Demo, continued

Another view -

Post# 45384 , Reply# 27   7/1/2008 at 18:53 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
Bag Full Indicator Demo, continued

Showing that red dot!

Post# 45385 , Reply# 28   7/1/2008 at 18:55 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
Bag Full Indicator Demo, continued

Detail of the air tube from the bag to the indicator -

Post# 45386 , Reply# 29   7/1/2008 at 18:56 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
Bag Full Indicator Demo, continued

You can see a "rib" of the bellows inside the indicator in this shot.

Post# 45387 , Reply# 30   7/1/2008 at 18:56 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
While the hood is off . . .

Here's the motor!

Post# 45388 , Reply# 31   7/1/2008 at 18:57 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
More motor pics

Another view

Post# 45389 , Reply# 32   7/1/2008 at 18:59 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
Now an Essay on Hose Converters

The 150 converter - side 1

Post# 45390 , Reply# 33   7/1/2008 at 19:00 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
Converters continued

The other side . . .

Post# 45391 , Reply# 34   7/1/2008 at 19:02 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
INSERTION and the Consequences Thereof - Let This be a Lesso

The converter port. . .

Post# 45392 , Reply# 35   7/1/2008 at 19:04 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
150 Converter, continued

Fully inserted, viewed from above. . .

Post# 45393 , Reply# 36   7/1/2008 at 19:05 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
150 Converter, continued

Fully inserted, viewed from underneath . . .

Post# 45394 , Reply# 37   7/1/2008 at 19:06 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
150 Converter, continued

Partially inserted with cover plate removed . . .

Post# 45395 , Reply# 38   7/1/2008 at 19:07 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
150 Converter, continued

Fully inserted with cover plate removed . . .

Post# 45396 , Reply# 39   7/1/2008 at 19:11 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
150 Converter, continued

Detail of converter "feeler" roller that is attached to the automatic nozzle lifter actuator and the bail spring . . .

Post# 45397 , Reply# 40   7/1/2008 at 19:17 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
A Study in Converters for other Hoovers - in Reverse Chronol

The straight brown one is original to models: 60, 61, 27 and 28.

The brown converter with the 90° bend is from a model 62

The blue one is from a 63.

Any of these three will fit any of these models: 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 634, 27, 28, and 29

Post# 45398 , Reply# 41   7/1/2008 at 19:18 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
Other Converters, continued

The flip-side

Post# 45399 , Reply# 42   7/1/2008 at 19:22 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
Other Converters, continued

For Model 115, the little brown apartment sized or junior cleaner.

The shorter converter accepts only the bayonet type hose-end. The longer one can accept either the bayonet, umbrella latch or button-on-hose type hose-end!

Post# 45400 , Reply# 43   7/1/2008 at 19:27 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
Other Converters, continued

From left to right:

425, the only flat-belt Hoover until the Dail-a-Matic


25, 26 and 930. This is the only Bakelite converter that I'm aware of.

Conversion of the 425 and 305 require removal of the bottom plate.

Post# 45401 , Reply# 44   7/1/2008 at 19:28 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
Other Converters, continued

The flip-side . . .

Post# 45402 , Reply# 45   7/1/2008 at 19:33 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
Other Converters, continued

Again, from left to right:

"Button-on-Tools" (older style) for 541, 543, 575, 700, 725, 750, 800, 825, 900, 925. This model also serves as a blower adaptor.

"Button-on-Hose" (newer style) for 541, 543, 575, 700, 725, 750, 800, 825, 900, 925. The blower adaptor is a separate item in tool sets using this adaptor.

1, 300, 450, 475

Post# 45403 , Reply# 46   7/1/2008 at 19:34 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
Other Converters, THE END

Flip-side . . .

Post# 45411 , Reply# 47   7/1/2008 at 21:09 (3,855 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
they look like

gottahaveahoove's profile picture
old ice cream scoopers

Post# 45439 , Reply# 48   7/2/2008 at 00:08 (3,855 days old) by kirbyvertibles (Independence, KS)        

kirbyvertibles's profile picture
I think I will retire painting and take all my work to Marty. Hey Marty do you have room for 25-30 vacuums at once? lol

They look GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post# 45445 , Reply# 49   7/2/2008 at 00:50 (3,855 days old) by swingette ()        

Cool motor shots. Surprising how much its like a 20s Hoover under the skin.

Post# 45474 , Reply# 50   7/2/2008 at 10:00 (3,855 days old) by z30soulbrother (West Midlands, UK)        

was there any particular reason for the L- shaped side entry converter?

Post# 45477 , Reply# 51   7/2/2008 at 10:30 (3,855 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
L-shape converter

This bend made it much easier to pull the cleaner along by the hose rather than dragging it perpendicularly to the direction of the wheels, or around in a circle.

Post# 45484 , Reply# 52   7/2/2008 at 12:57 (3,855 days old) by z30soulbrother (West Midlands, UK)        

of course ! never thought of that cheers

Post# 45488 , Reply# 53   7/2/2008 at 13:40 (3,855 days old) by vintagehoover ()        
This is amazing!

I've been enjoying this thread so much! The 150 Special, and the 155, must be among some of the rarest Hoover models. How lucky you are to have 5 - I thought I was doing well with 2 160s and a 960!

I was really interested to see how the bag full indicator worked; we didn't have that, or the height control. And although we got the better-looking new handle, the pitch-fork style one was much sronger and more reliable.

Tom - if you're selling some 150s, and I do make it to the Convention, I'd certainly be in the market for one; I've been trying to get hold of one for ages!

Post# 45489 , Reply# 54   7/2/2008 at 14:04 (3,854 days old) by myhooverco ()        


I do hope that you can make it to this VERY SPECIAL VCCC convention here in North my super duper garage sale first come first served...(wink) I even have a complete tool set for a 150 that will be going with everything else! I have to thin out the herd so to speak.

The converter saga is very interesting. The side conversion was big news in the 1930s. The model 60 and 27 used the same side converter but it was silver in color. There were two different brown angled converters for the model 62. The 29 used the same set. The earlier one had a round "elbow" until it reached the flat section that entered the machine. The one shown looks like the blue one making it a later version. There were lots of small changes over the years. Much like the Kirby thread...a Hoover expert can spot the changes in a minute however subtle they are! Thanks again Marty for posting all of these wonderful photos. You have expertise in this field that is for sure.


Marty,I never realised that the 425 had its own unique converter! Will the 425 converter fit the later 450 and 475?

I can't wait to talk with you during the convention!

Post# 45490 , Reply# 55   7/2/2008 at 14:13 (3,854 days old) by watsonw (Newport, Shropshire, UK)        
Magnificent !!

Congratulations, superb job Marty, people who don't have our passion just dont know what there missing !!

Those USA 150's were so luxurious compared to our equivalent Perivale 160's.

Why were some American hoovers not fitted with rubber handle grips ?

Regards, Walter, UK.

Post# 45491 , Reply# 56   7/2/2008 at 14:23 (3,854 days old) by vintagehoover ()        
425 converter...

Tom, the 425 converter will not fit the later 400-series machines, or the 300; it is totally unique, hence finding one is a rare event. The little metal tab which secures it in place under the spring-latch for the underplate is located higher on the 425 converter than on the one for the 450 and 475.

The Model 425 was the first pre-war Hoover I ever bought, and I was lucky enough to find one complete with it's boxed tools.

Post# 45495 , Reply# 57   7/2/2008 at 14:46 (3,854 days old) by myhooverco ()        

Thanks Jack...I never realised this converter was so rare...I will have to look through my odd loose converters...I may have one lurking around yet. You are quite lucky to have the whole 425 ensemble. Beautiful machine.


Post# 45502 , Reply# 58   7/2/2008 at 16:49 (3,854 days old) by marukap (Saint Louis, MO)        
Match that converter!

The models: 1, 300, 450 and 475 all share the same converter. The 425 is alone in its glory!

Walter: The comings and goings of rubber handle grips on American Hoovers is, to me, one of the great mysteries of the universe.

For instance: 25 YES; 26 YES (I think); 27 NO; 28 YES; 29 NO; 31 NO
60, 61, 62 YES; 63, 64 NO

Jack: That 425 is picture perfect!

Post# 45504 , Reply# 59   7/2/2008 at 16:59 (3,854 days old) by vintagehoover ()        

Marty - thanks! It looks even better now, because since that photo was taken, it's been machine-buffed to restore the gleaming original finish. The handle bale could do with being sanded down and resprayed, too - the UK 400-series cleaners had silver-painted handle bales, rather than the polished metal finish that the US versions had.

It's interesting to note that there were two versions of the 425; the original was 210w, and had a unique flat belt. Later versions were 240w and had round drive belts. Many of the early 425s were converted later in life to take round belts, because the flat belts were quickly made obsolete.

Post# 403244 , Reply# 60   12/28/2018 at 20:22 by 2011hoover700 (owosso michigan)        

2011hoover700's profile picture
Hey marty I wonder how to make new field coils and especially solder 2 wires as to make a 2 speed field coil I can actually fix a motor I'd just need to know how to tap the field coils and I will be looking forward to restoring old hoovers some with custom built field coil replacements.

Post# 403304 , Reply# 61   12/30/2018 at 00:54 by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

ultralux88's profile picture
My real interest in vacuums begins with this era, right as they started to be more streamlined and stylish, they look like they’re flying through the air as you push it across the rug! Then we started getting all these fun colors soon after! I love the older machines too, but visually this nd the Lux 30 start the best looking era of machine in my eyes.

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