Thread Number: 44351  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Eureka Imperials - 1970s & 1990s
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Post# 461670   3/23/2023 at 11:36 (337 days old) by Paul (USA)        

Eureka continued its majestic theme of some model names for awhile after introducing "Princess", "Prince", "Empress", and "Emperor" in the 1960s with its "Imperial" model name in the 1970s. Then, in typical fashion, it reused the "Imperial" term in the 1990s.

I'm unaware of the 1970s uprights bearing the name used in advertising; although the bag covers of the 1990s models 2122 & 2124 uprights were silkscreened with it.

Interestingly, the Bicentennial Model 1414 in some advertisements was identified as "Imperial".

Btw, the name was used by other manufacturing companies. Those that apeared on my search results were: Frigidaire dishwashers, Whirlpool washers, Admiral refrigerator/freezers, an electric organ, and bicycles.

Following are all the "Eureka Imperial" ads I could find on an online newspaper database.


1. 1971 May 28 SPOKESMAN-REVIEW - Models 2010-RY, 2020-RR, 2044-RG
2. 1973 Feb. 4 LAKELAND LEDGER - Hoover Deluxe & Eureka Imperial uprights
3. 1973 Sep. 14 LAKELAND LEDGER - Eureka Imperial upright
4. 1974 Apr. 4 READING EAGLE - Eureka Deluxe 6-way D-A-N & Imperial Heavy Duty w-VG
5. 1975 June 21 ST. PETERSBURG TIMES - Eureka Imperial upright
6. 1976 Mar. 3 PITTSBURG PRESS - Eureka Imperial upright
7. 1976 May 2 TUSCALOOSA NEWS - Eureka Imperial Model 1414
8. 1977 May 7 BALTIMORE AFR0-AMERICAN - Eureka Imperial upright & Roto-Matic Powerteam
9. 1990 Dec. 7 DESERET NEWS - Models 1432, 1923 Hot Shot, 3110 MM, 2122 Imperial
10. 1994 Jan. 30 ROBESONIAN - Imperial World Vac Model 9824
11. 1996 Feb. 20 READING EAGLE - Imperial Mighty Mite II Model 3624

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Post# 461685 , Reply# 1   3/23/2023 at 18:32 (336 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
One difference I noticed in the 1990 series of Imperial Eurekas is that they all prominantly displayed the motor power in watts instead of the usual amps. I can only think that this was a marketing strategy by Sweden's Electrolux as all vacuums in Europe use wattage as a measure of motor power. When you adjusted the motor speed on a European canister, the settings were always given in watts.

The maximum amperage allowed for North American vacuums is 12 amps. So 12 amps times 120 volts gives you 1440 watts, which is probably what was on the label for the 12 amp World Vac upright.

Post# 461686 , Reply# 2   3/23/2023 at 18:37 (336 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
Sorry...I just noticed the ad for the World Vac Bravo says 1200 watts. So to get the amperage, you would divide 1200 by 120.

Maybe Electrolux thought that by using big wattage numbers the Eureka vacs would appear to be more powerful? Or maybe this was Eureka's response to Hoover's complicated "performance rating" which was always higher than the motor amperage?

Post# 461689 , Reply# 3   3/24/2023 at 10:55 (336 days old) by Paul (USA)        

Keen observation, Brian. I hadn't considered Eureka's use of "Imperial" in the 1970s denoted form and in the '90s emphasized function.

It may be that Eureka was aiming to impress customers with the large wattages printed on the nozzles of the Models 2122—"780" rather than "6.5-amps" & 2124—"840" instead of "7.0-amps" (unsure about the World Vac & Mighty Mite). The fluidity of such advertising terms used by Eureka and other companies brings to mind a high school class in which I learned about types of propaganda used in advertising. Applying that knowledge, I would categorize "Imperial" in this case as a "glittering generality"; although the 1977 ad in my initial post is more definitive than propagandist.

The possibility also exists that Eureka was considering its "target audience" in highlighting wattages—another advertising concept I learned from that class. Are commercial vacs usually rated in wattages to assist in avoiding circuit overloads? If so, the '90s Imperials could have been targeted for that market.

Post# 461699 , Reply# 4   3/24/2023 at 14:18 (336 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that Eureka starting promoting the wattages as a response to Hoover’s bizarre “Cleaning Effectiveness per Amp” labelling that started around the same time. How Hoover came up with these numbers, I don’t know. But consumers who saw a Hoover upright labelled 18 for Cleaning Effectiveness per Amp, thought the cleaner was more powerful. So maybe Eureka responded with the wattage labelling to see if it made their vacs appear more powerful too. 1000 watts looks more powerful than 10 amps, I guess.

Post# 461701 , Reply# 5   3/24/2023 at 14:32 (336 days old) by Paul (USA)        

Sounds logical. I'm unfamiliar with Hoover's "cleaning effectiveness per amp" theory. I have heard that more amps increases the speed of the motor.

Post# 461707 , Reply# 6   3/24/2023 at 19:53 (335 days old) by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
1992 I believe

was the year that I noticed the amperage rating increasing from the usual 5-6amps to 7. Then it was game on with a lot of the companies bumping up at an amp a year, all ending up at the 12 amp ceiling. They did this gradually though, so it took a few years to top out. Once they had milked that for all they could, they started looking for other ways to entice shoppers, to stand out.

I believe that's when they started with "cleaning power per amp" labeling or rating the motor by hp. Definitely a marketing strategy they all used to gradually add an amp per year. None of them made the leap from 6 to 12 amp in one model year. Just my thoughts. I know Kirby didn't partake in this and I don't think Electrolux did either.

Post# 461912 , Reply# 7   3/31/2023 at 11:44 (329 days old) by Paul (USA)        


It's interesting that floor & surface care companies underscore the fact that strong airflow is the most effective criterion for vacuum cleaning along with stating that amp's don't clean; yet they always tout amperage and wattage ratings — they talk out of both corners of their mouths!


Here's another "Imperial" ad I just found from 1969 featuring the Model 500-RV. I'm guessing that in the '60s & '70s it had to do with rallye gold or another gold enamel color that was used for special promotions, because both the 500 & 2010 (shown in the initial post of this thread) were also enameled in other color combinations.

From the 1969 Nov. 8 WAYCROSS JOURNAL-HERALD - Model 500-RV "Imperial"

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Post# 462368 , Reply# 8   4/17/2023 at 10:08 (312 days old) by Paul (USA)        
1976 Ad

From the July 21 edition of LUDINGTON DAILY NEWS, Model 2364:

  View Full Size
Post# 462460 , Reply# 9   4/21/2023 at 03:34 (308 days old) by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        

There were a lot of companies that had an Imperial in their lineup as you mentioned. Chrysler Imperial and when I was about 8yrs. old Duncan Imperial yoyos were the one to own. We can't leave out the heavily advertised Imperial margarine spread because "it's not nice to fool Mother Nature!"

Can you tell me anything you know about the box top bag set-up that Eureka and others used at one time. I know nothing about said and was wondering if having one provided a performance boost on filtering or were they just larger for collecting more dust and debris? I think they were only on TOL models. The only box top model I've seen in person was a fully optioned Brandy Wine ESP that also had the cord winder.

I saw in an ad a blue line Sanitaire with box top, but I don't know which model that was. Anyway.just curious because I don't see much talk about them in the threads,maybe there's not much to say,lol.

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