Thread Number: 41831  /  Tag: Pre-1950 Vacuum Cleaners
Air Way
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Post# 441962   5/19/2021 at 02:33 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
I got me an Air Way from that proxibid auction someone posted. $10 and came with a hand pumped old vacuum as well. More on that later. Had to drive two hours to get it (looked closer on the map).

It's in rough shape. The motor isn't frozen, but the bearings are gummed up. It'll need new wheels and the indicator window plastic. Saw that other thread about using a glass thing. Will check it out.

It came with an original paper bag, with about 5 pounds of petrified dust. What's the scoop on bags for these? People just make their own? Is there some other bag that's easily adapted? I was kind of thinking I'd find a suitable replacement and use it as raw material to make some new ones.

The cord seems nice and supple. And original. Can't plug it in until I get the motor fixed.

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Post# 441968 , Reply# 1   5/19/2021 at 08:11 by OhioVacuums (Ohio)        
Indicator celluloid

I made the glass one...I should have the original artwork and supplies for more.
I may have an extra one already done..not sure.
I'll look in my basement later today.
I can at least send you the artwork.

Post# 441971 , Reply# 2   5/19/2021 at 09:01 by Vacmadman (Pueblo Co.)        

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The 1929 Air-Way doesn't have bearings and the cord looks to have been replaced the original cord was cloth covered. You can use a hoover type C bag in these vacs. That's a great buy for $10.00 congratulations.


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This post was last edited 05/19/2021 at 13:32
Post# 441976 , Reply# 3   5/19/2021 at 12:02 by dysonman1 (the county)        

I was told by none other than the late, great Stan Kann (the grandfather of the vac collecting hobby) to use Vaseline for the grease in an Air-Way sleeve bearing model. He always did, and I now have his collection including his Air-Ways. They all run fine.

Post# 441982 , Reply# 4   5/19/2021 at 13:01 by Vacmadman (Pueblo Co.)        

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I also use Vaseline in my Air-Way'S, works well.

Post# 441984 , Reply# 5   5/19/2021 at 15:00 by luxz80 (Bournemouth ,England Then Florida and back to England)        

luxz80's profile picture
I also do.

My 375 ran very rough so I was able to find a spare motor unit of ebay. When it arrived it sounded a bit dry so I gave it a clean out and used Vaseline to lube the bearings. Now works great. Best stuff ever.

Post# 441998 , Reply# 6   5/19/2021 at 20:03 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
Vacuum is one I will acquire once I think out my hers of vacuums. It had a power nozzle and many other things way ahead of it's time.

Post# 442007 , Reply# 7   5/19/2021 at 22:47 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
@OhioVacuums - if you could link me to your thread, that'd be nice. I can't seem to find it. I'd appreciate the artwork as well, no rush, this thing's gonna be on the back burner for a while.

Post# 442015 , Reply# 8   5/20/2021 at 08:58 by Vacmadman (Pueblo Co.)        
Air-Way motor

vacmadman's profile picture
I have two extra Air-Way motors that I have rebuilt. This one was the most challenging to restore. It didn't run when I got it, due to rust, but now it runs great. Here are some before and after pictures.

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Post# 442016 , Reply# 9   5/20/2021 at 09:17 by OhioVacuums (Ohio)        
link to glass indicator

Post# 442040 , Reply# 10   5/20/2021 at 21:04 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
Woah, congrats on finally getting one! I got one as well several years ago. $50 it cost me. The guy did not want to ship it but I convinced him to, and the damn thing got lost in the mail for 4 weeks. Thanks USPS. But it made it in the end and all safe. I'm missing the front wheels for my nozzle but that's all I know so far. Mine has a black kind of almost tweed material bag - some kind of rough material - and it has orange letterwriting for the logo.

This vacuum still amazes me how they had this kind of technology so long ago. We did not see a swivel-steering vacuum for at least another 80 or 90 something years later when Shark and Dyson "invented" them. Same with a vacuum that could convert from a upright to a hand vac or hose mode with a swivel dial. As well as its lightness too. It weighs next to nothing at all.

Post# 442055 , Reply# 11   5/21/2021 at 09:20 by dysonman1 (the county)        

The 1933 invention of the Air-Way Chief model was fifty years ahead of its time. How many twin motor uprights with bare floor friendly brush shut off switch were available at that time? Throw in those wonderful Air-Way 7 layer cellulose disposable bags, and it was a machine for the ages - way ahead of its time.

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