Thread Number: 41692  /  Tag: Pre-1950 Vacuum Cleaners
The Hurley Thor!
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Post# 441105   4/22/2021 at 08:55 by myvacsrock (USA)        

This will make a fantastic restoration! The sad thing is the company opted to literally ďchromeĒ the vacuum. It has been chrome plated, and after 104 years the plating is indeed failing. So the look of the vacuum can and will improve, but it will never look as good as my polished aluminum vacuums.
However, a rebuild of the motor and wiring will at least make it work nicely, and talk about that original bag! Too cool.

For such a rare vacuum, Iím at least happy to have saved this one from hitting the landfill.

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Post# 441106 , Reply# 1   4/22/2021 at 09:04 by dysonman1 (the county)        

Such a rare machine. The original bag is just too cool. It looks to have the attachment adapter already. So glad you saved it. I do not have one and have only seen one in pictures from the Maytag advertisement.

Post# 441109 , Reply# 2   4/22/2021 at 09:44 by Brando_husky (Las Vegas Nevada)        

What a strange machine! It looks like it should have a nozzle but guess that's the nozzle we see. Never seen one pictured before

Post# 441110 , Reply# 3   4/22/2021 at 10:02 by Vacmadman (Pueblo Co.)        
Very rare find

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Good luck restoring it! Glade to see this old one wasn't left be-hide, and it's in good hands.

Post# 441113 , Reply# 4   4/22/2021 at 11:03 by Hoover300 (Kentucky)        
Very nice!

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The bag clip looks like the one on my Energex, with the hinged bar in the middle. Do you have the front cover for the attachment port?

Post# 441115 , Reply# 5   4/22/2021 at 11:31 by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
RARE! Thor

If I haven't seen one it's rare.When Tom hasn't seen one it's beyond rare!Amazing to find in any condition much less with original bag.Part early and primitive,part as modern as a mid 30s vac.Love the height adjusters.
Plating-Chrome or earlier nickel?

Post# 441117 , Reply# 6   4/22/2021 at 12:01 by myvacsrock (USA)        

I donít have the port cover outside of the attachment one, but I do have the attachments!
For the front cover, Iím leaning towards a cap that goes on a sink. Something will have to do!

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Post# 441118 , Reply# 7   4/22/2021 at 12:03 by myvacsrock (USA)        

We need to connectó Iíd like to come down your way buy some machines. All of my runnings around everywhere picking these up and I have not made it down yet! That wonít do!

Post# 441119 , Reply# 8   4/22/2021 at 13:13 by Elecroluxmodel1 ( Schererville, Indiana)        

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That is so cool! I have never heard of or seen one before. Good luck on the restoration!!!

Post# 441126 , Reply# 9   4/22/2021 at 18:08 by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
And you have--

--the attachments!?!Does switch rotate or push?What is the story on where this has been for the last 100 years??
Come on down!I have had 7 collectors here in the last month.There is MUCH MORE for you & others.Best to have few people during good weather.(If on weekend you could also see our 4 block Sat night car show.)Call ahead.

Post# 441129 , Reply# 10   4/22/2021 at 18:50 by Brando_husky (Las Vegas Nevada)        

We need folks like you out here in Nevada hah

Post# 441130 , Reply# 11   4/22/2021 at 19:51 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Being that old, it would be odd if it was actually chrome plate. It's more likely nickel, but even that's really weird. Nickel plated aluminum? I'm assuming it's aluminum. Is it steel? Or brass maybe? O_o

Once you polish it, nickel will shine with a slight yellow tint, chrome will not.

Anyhow, nickel plating aluminum is possible, it's just not a normal plating procedure. I'm not really familiar with the details.

Post# 441131 , Reply# 12   4/22/2021 at 20:12 by myvacsrock (USA)        
Itís essentially

Just horrible, horrible pot metal. Just the worst kind of scrap lol. I donít know why they did it this way.
Either way, itís been plated.

Post# 441132 , Reply# 13   4/22/2021 at 20:35 by Hoover300 (Kentucky)        

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Why they made it out of pot metal? It was cheap to make and molded relatively easily. That is probably why fan companies made tons of fans out of it in the 1910s and 20s. I actually did not know they made a whole vac out of pot metal, interesting. The only cheaper metal I have heard of being used for making vacs was the tin Torrington model A.

Post# 441417 , Reply# 14   5/3/2021 at 18:17 by portable (Corvallis, OR)        

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I thought the name THOR rang a bell. I have a brochure for it. Here's the first page. Someone dated this as 1919 in pencil on the cover, as you can see.

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Post# 441418 , Reply# 15   5/3/2021 at 18:18 by portable (Corvallis, OR)        

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Two of the inner pages.

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Post# 441419 , Reply# 16   5/3/2021 at 18:20 by portable (Corvallis, OR)        

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Some inner page(s). Sorry about splitting them - my scanner is not wide enough to scan the pages fully opened.

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Post# 441420 , Reply# 17   5/3/2021 at 18:24 by portable (Corvallis, OR)        

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Back page, showing attachments., and the West Coast distributor locations of Pacific States Electric Co.. Note the small comapny info of Hurley Machine Company.

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Post# 441421 , Reply# 18   5/3/2021 at 18:24 by Hoover300 (Kentucky)        

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I wonder what the difference is between the 5 and 12? The head seems smaller on the 5, yet there is no way its 5". Makes me wonder why they chose those numbers for it. Maybe it was a setup similar to the Premier Duplex and Junior uprights, the smaller being sold for apartments and the like?

Post# 441422 , Reply# 19   5/3/2021 at 18:37 by portable (Corvallis, OR)        

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Hoover300: They do say in this brochure that the 12 has a 12" wide nozzle. But you're right, the 5 doesn't look small enough to be a 5" nozzle. It could just be a marketing ploy for the later 12, if it was made after the 5. I noticed also that it says that 300,000 American women are satisfied Thor Cleaner users, so I guess they made them for quite awhile.

Post# 441480 , Reply# 20   5/4/2021 at 21:19 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Well... is it pot metal or steel? Try a magnet.

Post# 441490 , Reply# 21   5/4/2021 at 23:11 by texbodemer (Mountlake Terrace)        

Maybe a classic car shop can rechrome it? Although, I like it as-is!

Post# 441495 , Reply# 22   5/5/2021 at 07:46 by myvacsrock (USA)        

It is indeed pot metal.

Post# 441516 , Reply# 23   5/6/2021 at 07:01 by Hoover300 (Kentucky)        

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Kirby Utility branded Thor???

Post# 441528 , Reply# 24   5/6/2021 at 15:22 by luxz80 (Bournemouth ,England Then Florida and back to England)        

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I really hope myvacsrock bids and wins the Thor hand vac listed on ebay now. Would be a great companion for his upright Thor.

Post# 441529 , Reply# 25   5/6/2021 at 15:26 by myvacsrock (USA)        

The Hurley Thor Upright I bought was a fraction of a fraction of the cost of that hand vac... so Iím good. :)

However, my Hurley Thor will be for sale post restoration!

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Post# 441530 , Reply# 26   5/6/2021 at 15:30 by luxz80 (Bournemouth ,England Then Florida and back to England)        

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I will look out for post restoration. Knowing how your projects turn out should be a real looker.

Still remember when Ant & Dec challenged you vac sounds knowledge.

Post# 441531 , Reply# 27   5/6/2021 at 15:34 by luxz80 (Bournemouth ,England Then Florida and back to England)        

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If selling I would like to see it end up in the Vacuum Museum. Should be happy there with all the other vintage vacs.

Post# 441538 , Reply# 28   5/6/2021 at 16:56 by Hoover300 (Kentucky)        

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That stator looks like a sized up Premier Spic Span stator. Looks like that motor housing will shine up nice!
I'd love to bid but I know the price is gonna get wicked high lol

Post# 441550 , Reply# 29   5/6/2021 at 23:38 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Legit looks like stamped steel. And it's rusty. Where're you getting the notion that it's pot metal? It would show evidence of casting, and it wouldn't rust.

Post# 441551 , Reply# 30   5/7/2021 at 02:40 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

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That's definitely pressed steel, the bubbling on the finish is from humidity and moisture damage where the metal has corroded under the paint or to the surface of the metal iteslf and is lifting it off from underneath. I have a few steel vacuums that have rusted in this way - not from my house - but from others. If I took a wire brush to it, it would likely knock a lot of paint off. It's basically rusting from the inside out and tearing the paint or layers of the metal off with it. It's pretty brutal.

Example of humidity damage and rusting to an old rifle:

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Post# 441555 , Reply# 31   5/7/2021 at 09:25 by Oreck_XL (Brooklyn, New York 11211)        

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Chrome plating is not cheap, but probably worthwhile in a case like this. And, some sundial cloth covered wire so it looks period correct. I wonder how many of its sisters were melted down during the metal scrap drives of World War II?

Post# 441560 , Reply# 32   5/7/2021 at 10:09 by myvacsrock (USA)        

Trust me itís definitely chrome plating

Photos if extra parts attached as well. Obviously not plated.

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Post# 441574 , Reply# 33   5/7/2021 at 15:30 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

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Yeah that's really strange, reminds me of how they paint BBQ parts with fake chrome and after so many years it starts flaking apart. I'll bet they didn't have the resources to polish out the metal and make it chrome to begin with so they went for a painted topcoat, and then combined with moisture and dampness damage over the decades - it peeled off.

They likely had too much competition from Eureka, Bissell, and Hoover so they couldn't afford to go all out on manufacturing and went a cheaper route.

I'm sure someone with knowledge of turn of the century metalwork would be able to explain better what they did and why it was done that way.

Post# 441578 , Reply# 34   5/7/2021 at 16:32 by myvacsrock (USA)        
It springs to life

So when I received it the wires to the motor were completely gone. After some soldering I was able to save her!
Here is the first glimpse of the Thor springing to life and sounding like new after a full motor rebuild!
Cosmetics and final handle rewiring to come in the following weeks.


Post# 441586 , Reply# 35   5/7/2021 at 18:48 by Brando_husky (Las Vegas Nevada)        

What a great sounding vacuum

Post# 441596 , Reply# 36   5/7/2021 at 21:28 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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It's stamped steel. You can see the spot welds, and where the metal is rolled, and the rust. Not pot metal. I'm guessing it's nickel plated. Peel some of the plating off and observe if it is magnetic, nickel is. Chrome plating will also be, but only because chrome uses nickel as a base plate. 99% chance it's nickel plating. Chrome was expensive and uncommon at the time, whereas most steel parts that had to be pretty were nickeled. Nickel also oxidizes and dulls, and looks exactly like that. Chrome pretty much doesn't dull over time.

Post# 441607 , Reply# 37   5/8/2021 at 09:04 by dysonman1 (the county)        

I had an ad for the "Maytag" version, which was made for Maytag as a private labeled Thor. In the Maytag ad for that vacuum, it claimed it was made of stamped, nickel plated steel. I gave up the ad to Tacony when they were coming out with their Maytag line, for use in their advertising, and never got it back. Thor (and Maytag) called the brush inside the nozzle "the flexible besom".

Post# 441662 , Reply# 38   5/10/2021 at 00:06 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Besom = broom.

Post# 442167 , Reply# 39   5/24/2021 at 15:25 by myvacsrock (USA)        

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Post# 442168 , Reply# 40   5/24/2021 at 15:26 by myvacsrock (USA)        
And here we have it

Too bad this thing is nickel plated; not much can be done about the finish. But, full motor restore and a total electrical rip out. Resoldered into the motor, new runs and all good to go!

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Post# 442169 , Reply# 41   5/24/2021 at 15:27 by myvacsrock (USA)        

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Post# 442170 , Reply# 42   5/24/2021 at 15:30 by myvacsrock (USA)        


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Post# 442171 , Reply# 43   5/24/2021 at 16:03 by Hoover300 (Kentucky)        

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Fantastic job!! I bet thats the only one known to exist, or close to it! Where did you find it?

Post# 442173 , Reply# 44   5/24/2021 at 16:17 by Opelgtkarl (Puyallup, Washington)        

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Post# 442179 , Reply# 45   5/24/2021 at 20:07 by OhioVacuums (Ohio)        
Nice !

You do excellent work...the only other parts I might clean up a little would be the screws, washers, bolts. I run them under a brass wire wheel and they polish very well. If you sell it and I can rob a bank to buy it, I'd be tempted to have it re-plated. It's old enough and rare enough that (I think) it would be worth it.

Post# 442180 , Reply# 46   5/24/2021 at 20:26 by Hoover300 (Kentucky)        

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Karl, is yours also a model 5, or is it a different model? The handle fork looks different, but the rest looks the same from what I can see. Also, the link does not work

Post# 442193 , Reply# 47   5/24/2021 at 23:53 by Opelgtkarl (Puyallup, Washington)        

opelgtkarl's profile picture
Mine is indeed a model ďNumber 5Ē

My apologies about the link. I wasnít trying to upload one.

Post# 442199 , Reply# 48   5/25/2021 at 09:40 by Vacmadman (Pueblo Co.)        

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you did a wonderful job restoring that Thor impressive.

Post# 442201 , Reply# 49   5/25/2021 at 12:19 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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Indeed, a beautiful job. If it were mine, I would not bother having it re-plated. Its condition is a testament to its authenticity and besides, it's only original once!

Post# 442228 , Reply# 50   5/25/2021 at 22:20 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
Plating's not that hard. Though the size of it might be a little problematic. It's polishing it prior to plating that'd be the real work.

Post# 442231 , Reply# 51   5/25/2021 at 22:39 by myvacsrock (USA)        

The size is precisely what makes this particular plating hard. Lol

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