Thread Number: 44230
/ Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Eureka "Color-Pak" 1945-1995
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|Post# 460477   2/20/2023 at 14:11 by Paul (USA)  || |
I have begun a "Color-Pak" (think: "Tool-Pak") color chart of Eureka cleaners based on my observations of online photos and perusing some VL threads and am hoping that others will make its completion a team effort.
The only colors I have seen or been told are company-named in literature are: Lagoon Blue, Moss Green, Wild Moss, Queen Anne Gold, Fawn Beige, Frost White, Cinnamon, and Evergreen. The others I used to differentiate color tints, shades, and tones. These aren't meant to be definitive or a source of debate, but discussion is welcome. I'm hoping, though, that the main focus will be accuracy and completeness.
In addition, I came up with "t" terms for the canister shapes/types going off "tank" and "teardrop" (the term used in the Empress II's 1970 ad).
As there seems to be little color change in color before 1945 and because my overall focus is on the classic-style Eurekas, I went with the 50 year span; but expanding it is just fine.
Thanks, in advance, for your cooperation.
Eureka “Color-Pak”: 1945 — 1995
Eureka-Branded Upright Hoods, Tank Bodies, Canister Bodies, Polisher-Scrubber-Shampooer Hoods, Roto-Matic PN Covers/Trim Colors
- - - - - - -
Tank – Models W-64-A, W75-A/-B, 600, 700
Tub – 800 & 900 Series “Roto-Matics”; Models 550, 555, 560, 640, 3360
Teardrop (aka “canned hams”) – 1000, 1800, & 1280-1290 Series: Mobile-Aire, Empress, Empress II
Trapezoid – 700 “Prince”, “Princess”, “Cordaway”, 3300, & 3400 Series
Turtle – 500 & 3200 Series
Tire – 822 Series “Crown Princess”
Trunk – 1600 “Sweet Sixteen”, 1260-1270, 1700 (including unnamed, "Quiet Kleen", “Vactronic” & “Ironsides”), & 3700 Series
- - - - - - -
Uprights & Tank - Maroon
Uprights – 2-Tone Brown (Super Automatic - Model S-246), Dark Brown (Deluxe Automatic - Model D-360)
Tanks – Brown/White
Tank & Tub Canisters – Metallic Green
Upright – 2-Tone Brown
Tub Canisters & Uprights – Metallic Red/Silver Gray
Canisters – Tub, Teardrop & Uprights – White & Green/Gold
Tub & Turtle: Aqua Blue/Teal
Trapezoid: Sky Blue/Sea Blue, Olive Green/White/Woodgrain
Tank (Power Sweep): Gray/White
Uprights & Polisher-Scrubber-Shampooers: White & Lagoon Blue
Heavy Duty "Super Power" Uprights - Gray/White
Whisk: Sky Blue/Sea Blue
Lightweight: Sky Blue/Sea Blue, Olive Green/White
Tub & Turtle: Sky Blue/Sea Blue
Teardrop: White/Brown, Metallic Blue/White, 2-tone Misty Gold, Tea Green/White
Trapezoid: Olive Green/Wood Grain or Metallic Blue/White
White or White & Moss Green or White & Powder Blue, White & Navy Blue
Polisher-Scrubber-Shampooers – White/Lagoon Blue
Whisk – Sky Blue/Sea Blue
Lightweight – Sky Blue/Sea Blue, Olive/White
Tub & Turtle: Sea Blue/Sky Blue
Trapezoid: Sky Blue/Sea Blue, Olive/White/Woodgrain, Olive Green/White
Trunk & Teardrop: Amber/White, Orange/White, Tea Green/White; Sea Blue/Sky Blue
Uprights – White & Queen Anne Gold (TOL), White/Moss Green (MOL), Powder Blue (BOL), White/Orange (MOL), White/Yellow (MOL)
Whisk – Sea Blue/Sky Blue
Lightweight – Sea Blue/Sky Blue, Olive Green/White, Yellow/White
Turtle: Orange/White, Orange/Woodgrain, Royal Blue/White, Maroon/White
Trapezoid & Trunk: Orange/White, Scarlet/White, Amber/White; (Fall 1977)
Roto-Matics: Woodgrain/White (higher end), White or Scarlet (lower end)
White/Royal Blue (TOL), White/Scarlet (MOL), White/Amber (MOL), White/Powder Blue (BOL), Powder Blue (BOL), White/Navy Blue (BOL); Whisk: Scarlet/White; Lightweight: Scarlet/White, Amber/White, White/Brown (Bicentennial models)
Turtle: Brandywine/White, Yellow/White, Brown/White, Metallic Blue/White (PT), & Wild Moss Green (PT)
Trapezoid, Teardrop & Trunk: Brandywine/White, Yellow/White, Shadow/White, Cinnamon/Frost Beige
Brandywine/White, Yellow/White, Shadow/White, Cinnamon/Frost Beige, White/Navy Blue
Turtle, Trapezoid & Trunk: Brandywine/White, Fawn Beige/Brown, Cinnamon/Frost Beige, Navy Blue/White
Brandywine/White (TOL), Wild Moss Green (TOL), Fawn Beige/Brown (TOL), Cinnamon/Frost Beige (MOL), Navy Blue/White, Evergreen/White
|Post# 460479 , Reply# 1   2/20/2023 at 16:02 by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)  || |
Just wondering, with Eureka being under the stewardship of quite a few companies, is there a chance that as the list of models progresses, a notation could be added to show who was the captain of the ship? I've been curious many times and wondered if a new model was introduced, or changes made or a model was retired from the line up, who's decision (company) was responsible. If a particular model survived say three different owners of Eureka, who improved the model or ran it in to the ground.
Sometimes a TOL model is demoted to MOL with a new model taking it's place. I don't know, I just think it would make a good reference for comparison. Thoughts? Billy
|Post# 460481 , Reply# 2   2/20/2023 at 16:41 by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)  || |
Well done, Paul! That’s a lot of homework!
Kirbyklekter - though I really have no idea of the transitions made in Eureka’s design department over the years, I think it’s safe to say that the team in Bloomington, Illinois was very much in charge up to the mid 1980’s. Even though Sweden’s Electrolux bought National Union Electric in 1974, I can’t really see a European influence in Eureka’s vacuums until maybe 1983. When you started to see silver hoses on Eurekas, this was an innovation brought over from Europe by Electrolux. With the arrival of the lightweight Mighty Mite and the sleek Express canister and Ultra upright, you started to see some European design influence.
The real change happened in the 1990’s when Electrolux started to send over Swedish Volta canisters for rebranding as Eureka, and started to bring Eureka uprights over to Europe to rebrand them as Electrolux.
In general, it just seems to me that the Electrolux people started having more design influence at Eureka only after the mid 1980’s.
|Post# 460504 , Reply# 3   2/21/2023 at 13:03 by Paul (USA)  || |
That's a good point about the redesignation of trim levels. Would they have changed during the time spans that I listed (eg. 1960-68)? If so, I could do something like (TOL/MOL).
Here's a list of Eureka Company owners:
1945-1972 — Merged with Williams Oil-O-Matic Heating Corporation
1953 — Henney Motor Company (liquidated in 1955)
1960 — National Union Electric Corporation (liquidated in 1993)
1974 — AB Electrolux (purchased National Union)
2016 - Midea Group
I suspect that Eureka had several independent design teams with their own executives due to the random use of model numbers and model names. Also given the fact C. Russell Feldmann board chairman of Henney & later National Union, passed away in 1973 at age 75 (while still in that role), and Harold W. Schaefer, the president of Eureka from 1962 to 1980, the discontinuity was still evident throughout their tenures.
The McLean County (Illinois) Museum of History has a collection of Eureka scrapbooks that may include the names and tenures of other executives, but I am unaware of any online source.
Thanks, Brian; that means a lot coming from you!
|Post# 460505 , Reply# 4   2/21/2023 at 13:05 by Paul (USA)  || |
Excerpt from the Feb. 23, 1989 edition of THE WASHINGTON POST:
Another well-received design of the past decade has been Eureka's Mighty Mite-a lightweight, compact canister vacuum targeted toward people living in apartments or smaller houses with bare floors and area rugs. The Mighty Mite, which now comes in several versions and in colors from coral to lemon yellow, was selected by Time magazine as one of the best-designed objects of 1982.
|Post# 460506 , Reply# 5   2/21/2023 at 13:35 by Paul (USA)  || |
Here's a Dec. 8, 1991, excerpt from a PANTAGRAPH article on the retirement of two long-time Eureka employees that sheds some light on later product development.
"Lyle Raper and Bill Hart have collectively spent 76 years building and servicing a better mousetrap, whether it cleans carpets, warms buildings or challenges the enemy.
"The two Eureka Co. executives have had major positions with the Bloomington-based manufacturer since before it switched to solely vacuum cleaner production, and were involved in development of parts for oil-burning furnaces, and military weapons and equipment.
"Raper, instrumental in Eureka thermo-batteries being used in TOW (Tube-Launch Optically Tracked Wire Guided) and Polaris missile systems, later directed the buildup of Eureka's vacuum cleaner service centers. Hart, who directed research and development of cathode ray tubes used in aerial photography, leading to the discovery of the Soviet missile installations in Cuba in 1962, more recently oversaw development of successful vacuums, such as the Mighty Mite canister and Boss upright.
"But as Eureka - based at 1201 E. Bell St., Bloomington - enters another phase of its history, responding more aggressively to increasing foreign and domestic vacuum competition, the two 65-year-olds have decided it's time to leave the battle and retire Dec. 31."
"There are a lot of things in Eureka's future that require dramatic changes and I figured it was time to move on and let a younger person move in," said Raper, the draftsman who went on to direct Eureka's military projects and eventually became vacuum cleaner national service manager.
"When Raper started with Eureka "we had one major (vacuum) competitor and one secondary competitor," he said, referring to Hoover and Sears-Kenmore. "Today, the marketplace is changing. We have a number of competitors and a lot of 'em from offshore.
"'Eureka is changing to meet the competition but it's not going to be easy. Old ways of doing things will have to be replaced.'
"Eureka, which already offers 135 different models of vacuums, must become even more aggressive in developing innovative products and the time from conceiving an idea to putting it on the market must be cut, Raper said.
"'When you really come down to it, there are not many ways you can make a vacuum different," he said. "You must have air movement that moves dirt into a container and that hasn't changed since 1908." But slight changes in weight, size, design, color and price are among factors that make a difference in a tight market and those are among areas in which Eureka continues to work,' he said."
"'What makes you feel good is when you develop a good product and get it on the market and the public accepts it,' Hart said, mentioning the popular and award-wining Mighty Mite canister vacuum introduced in the early '80s, and the reliable and popular Boss upright introduced a few years ago.
"'I would say our engineering and industrial design is as good if not better than our competitors, but they're improving and we need to keep up,' Hart said. 'There's not an awful lot you can do with a dirt-sucker but we have to change to keep up with the increasing competition.
"Like Raper, Hart would like to quicken Eureka's product development time - now about three years from conception to market - to two years. Eureka could cut that by two to three months by using less hard steel on certain vacuum parts and replacing it with aluminum which is easier to shape, Hart said.
"Other changes could only cut hours or a few days from development time, but that savings could add up.
"In the last couple years, Eureka has developed vacuums by using teams of employees - such as designers, engineers, marketing people and service representatives - working together. Hart said "fine-tuning the team concept" by giving team members more authority and freeing them from other responsibilities to concentrate on the team's product could assist product development and save time.
"Both Raper and Hart said Eureka Co. has been good to them and they in turn tried to contribute what they could. "I didn't come up with a cure for cancer or invent the atomic bomb," Hart said, "but I tried to develop a work environment where people can come to work without gritting their teeth and be creative."
"Both men are on Eureka's Vision Strategy Team which is working to develop a vision for the company and strategies to reach that vision.
"'We're trying to get input from everybody in the company regarding what Eureka Co. should be doing and should stand for in the community and industry," Hart said. "We have a lot of work to do but Eureka Co. will be in the vacuum cleaner business for many years to come.'"
|Post# 460912 , Reply# 6   3/3/2023 at 16:54 by Paul (USA)  || |
From the NEVADA DAILY MAIL newspaper:
So what's the difference among Tangerine, Pumpkin, & Big Bad Orange?
View Full Size
|Post# 460967 , Reply# 7   3/5/2023 at 07:13 by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)  || |
Thank you so much Paul for these great articles. It’s so valuable for me to finally have some names for the people who worked in the design and development departments of Eureka. The company’s staff must have been ecstatic when Time Magazine includes their Mighty Mite in their list of well designed products 1983.
|Post# 461277 , Reply# 8   3/14/2023 at 11:30 by Paul (USA)  || |
You're welcome, Brian! I wish I could find a list of all the color names, but at least we have a few. The article shows that Eureka was indeed trying to accomodate its customers' color preference trends rather than just changing them for the sake of change.
Funny thing is, I stumbled upon the article; I wasn't even looking for "Eureka vacuum cleaner colors", so maybe I'll give that a go and find more!