Thread Number: 44444  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Eureka Box Tops - for Billy & Others
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Post# 462467   4/21/2023 at 11:14 (308 days old) by Paul (USA)        

Hi Billy,

For easier future reference I am answering your message on thread 44351 here.

How true that the Imperial name was used by a variety of companies in advertising and branding.

As for the box tops I believe they were 660 cubic inches (11.4 quarts) in capacity compared to the standard 560 cu. in. (9.7 quarts). I presume they benefited airflow, but I'll yield to others who have more insight. They were also likely designed to enhance the cleaners' appearance when they debuted with the Model 270 in 1968. I read & saw in other threads that they were factory-installed on the upper-end models and Wide Tracks from that time until their limited durability issues were discovered causing their disuse circa 1980.

In comparison, Hoover's bag jackets were 9-quart and 13.5-quart.

I was unable to locate a newspaper advertisement showing the Sanitaire Wide Track Model SC698-A from 1977 but did find one that referenced it without identification. That would have been the box top model. I'm not sure if that was also on the Model SC698-B, but a 1981 ad featuring the SC699 shows the standard pocketbook fold top style.

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Post# 462489 , Reply# 1   4/22/2023 at 02:53 (307 days old) by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        

Thanks for the info. Tomorrow I begin house sitting for some friends who have a Eureka Widepath 16" they bought new decades ago. They were going to trade it in for something new that had tools on board. I said this is a big house and this vacuum cleaner has kept these shags in great shape and never needed any repairs and runs as good as new. It will be there for you when the new machine breaks down.

So I'm going to run it during the week and write down the info on the service tag. It is avocado and white with 2 speeds, rocker switch on handle,F&G bag, and dial a nap. Not box top and no cord winder. I told them they basically have a Sanitaire in Eureka drag.

Post# 462500 , Reply# 2   4/22/2023 at 16:04 (306 days old) by Paul (USA)        

You're welcome, Billy.

Enjoy house-sitting and using your friends' Wide Track. Looking forward to seeing photo's of it sometime.

Drag comment - funny!

Post# 462527 , Reply# 3   4/23/2023 at 15:56 (305 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Should take pics. I won a green wide track eureka avocado green and white on ebay 2 years ago. They never shipped it so I got my money back.
You have to tell us how you like it.
I found a motor on Amazon that fits eureka and sanitaires that's 9.5 amp motor as opossed to 7 amp. I'd imagine it'd be a perfect motor for a widepath.
I'm adding link. I'm not trying to hijack the thread with its all about me me me. I like eurekas and sanitIre vacuums alot.
Just adding interesting info on this.


Post# 462530 , Reply# 4   4/23/2023 at 18:32 (305 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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I really think Eureka was aiming for better filtration with their first box-top bag on the Vanguard in 1968 (or was it 1967?). The TV commercial introducing the model focused on the triple filtration of the new model…something like “it’s a new fresh day for cleaning”…

The images in the commercial are all outdoor nature scenes evoking clean and fresh air.

Which makes a lot of sense since the company’s top fill F & G bags were designed to have the dirt fall away from the air flow so that you get better filtration at the top of the “fountain” where the dirty air is filtered and blown out at the top of the bag. Giving more room for the top of the bag to expand might allow better filtration, even when the bag is close to full.

The durability problem with Eureka’s box top bag was that the form was created with a cardboard insert at the top of the outer bag. If the cardboard ever got damaged (by shoving the vacuum into a cramped closet, or by squashing the cardboard in a move between homes) that was the end of the box top shape.

Post# 462603 , Reply# 5   4/24/2023 at 19:29 (304 days old) by Paul (USA)        

Brian and all,

I incorrectly stated that the Model 270 debuted in 1968; it was, indeed, late 1967 according to advertisements.

However, the "Vanguard" moniker was first used for the Model 2080-A update of the 270-A/-B with the Rugulator and Vibra-Groomer.

Post# 462613 , Reply# 6   4/25/2023 at 05:20 (304 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
Hi Paul,

In the TV commercial that introduced the Vanguard, you can see that they are showing the 270 without the Rugulator…see link below.

I think the Rugulator made its debut a few years after this commercial was made…maybe around 1970.

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Post# 462617 , Reply# 7   4/25/2023 at 08:38 (304 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa)        

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Yes, my grandparent's had the first-generation VanGuard (see video below) without the Rugulator. I remember the original bag was replaced a short time before this video.


Post# 462621 , Reply# 8   4/25/2023 at 09:24 (304 days old) by Paul (USA)        

@ Brian: That's interesting - thanks. All I can think of is that the commercial must have been made just prior to the release of the Model 2080 Vanguard in 1969.

Below are two advertisements that make no reference to the "Vanguard" moniker. The first is from 1967 featuring the Model 270-A, and the second was published in 1970 merchandising the Model 270-B (interesting to note that the regular price remained the same in that 3-year span). In addition, neither had the model name on their Cordaway casings like the Model 2080.

@ Kenny: That's so cool to see you using your GP's Vanguard as a little guy.

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Post# 462633 , Reply# 9   4/25/2023 at 17:10 (303 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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It would be interesting to add the following dates to the discusion: the year that Eureka introduced the box-top bag (1967), the year they introduced the Rugulator (1968?) and the year they introduced the Vibra Groomer brush roll (1969?). The Vanguard TV commercial referenced above indeed shows the first upright with the box-top bag, but you are correct: it shows Cordaway on the cord reel box and the old upright name "Twin Power" on the hose port cover. Even though the voiceover says it's a Vanguard, no where on the vac itself do we see that name. It's a mystery!

Post# 462641 , Reply# 10   4/26/2023 at 10:32 (303 days old) by Paul (USA)        


Here is some ephemera that will provide answers.

1) "Vanguard" Model 2080-A, October 1969 ad in BHG

2) "Vanguard" December 1969 ad in GH

3) 1969 "The New Eureka" pamphlet featuring the "Vanguard", courtesy of TheSpiritof76

4) "New Vibra-Groomer" - Model 2070-D, August 26, 1971, ad in THE DESERET NEWS

5) December 17, 1972, ad in READING EAGLE describing "New Vibra-Groomer"

6) December 17, 1972, close-up of Vibra-Groomer description

It's noteworthy to mention that Eureka's premium cleaners are not typically featured in newspaper advertisements (being merchandised in magazines instead), so the fact that I could only locate a newspaper ad in which the 2070-D showcased the new Vibra-Groomer illustrates that.

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Post# 462654 , Reply# 11   4/26/2023 at 18:18 (302 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Thanks Paul. It looks like Eureka often debuted new features and models at the summer housewares show in Chicago and started marketing the new designs in the late fall in time for Christmas. I think we can safely say that the box-top Vanguard made its debut in the summer of 1967, then two years later we saw the addition of the Rugulator in summer of 1969. Then finally, the Vibra Groomer brushroll was added to the Vanguard package in summer of 1971. Two summers later, in 1973, the Deluxe Vanguard sported a flatter hood and flatter headlight with the debut of the 20X2 series: 2082, 2072, 2042, etc.

The Vanguard evolution happened every two summers: 1967, 1969, 1971 and 1973. And in 1973, Eureka topped the Consumer Reports tests as Sweden’s Electrolux eyed the company as a potential take-over target - which happened in summer of 1974.

Post# 462658 , Reply# 12   4/27/2023 at 09:32 (302 days old) by Paul (USA)        

You're welcome, Brian.

I do think that it's accurate to state 1969 as the introduction of the Vanguard. The Cream & Lagoon Blue Model 266-A with the tapered hood also debuted in either 1966 or 1967 around the time of the Model 270-A debut and was never referred to as "Vanguard."

It's clear from the advertisements that the "Vanguard" moniker signaled the new technology of the Rugulator, not the styling of the boxtop bag or hood style.

Good observation on the timeline of Eureka's new models to the market. R & D was definitely robust in the Vietnam War era!

Post# 462661 , Reply# 13   4/27/2023 at 15:21 (301 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Hi Paul,

For me, I often like to use the name "Vanguard" to refer to the squarish shape motor hood and headlight that appeared on the 266 around 1966 (the number does seem to be on purpose to match the year 1966). It's the Vanguard style motor hood profile that has survived to the present day in the current line-up of traditional Sanitaire uprights. Too bad they got rid of the headlight!!!! :-(

Post# 462675 , Reply# 14   4/28/2023 at 10:21 (301 days old) by Paul (USA)        

Gotcha, Brian.

Yeah, I agree about the discontinuance of the headlight.

Post# 463416 , Reply# 15   5/28/2023 at 15:37 (270 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
Cool 1967 postcard showing new Eureka Twin-Speed Automatic upright with new box-top bag and “Vanguard” style motor hood. Still features top-side hose port for cleaning with tools! That disappears 2 years later with the arrival of the Rugulator height adjuster….

CLICK HERE TO GO TO eurekaprince's LINK on eBay

Post# 463433 , Reply# 16   5/29/2023 at 15:55 (269 days old) by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
Hi Paul & Brian

Interesting thread! Do you know if Eureka or any third party vendors offered replacement box top units? I would imagine during and for a while after the box top was produced for the upper tier models that you could get one fairly easy.

Did the Cordaway come standard on boxtop models? Aaannnd... if an owner of a standard Eureka wanted to upgrade their model to boxtop,is that fairly doable? So many questions, so little time I swear!

Our neighbor brought home the new Brandy Wine ESP 2-speed with boxtop and cordaway and anything else Eureka could throw at it. Very nice machine, the only thing I wasn't enamored with was the way the cord was mounted to the handle when retracted. I'm sure it was designed so that the user didn't have to reach down to pull the cord out, however you still had to reach down to plug the vacuum in to the wall so... Just me but I thought it looked a little janky on such an otherwise handsomely styled vacuum cleaner.

Post# 463435 , Reply# 17   5/29/2023 at 16:36 (269 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
Hi Kirbyklektor!

I would imagine that Eureka must have offered a repair kit to replace the cardboard insert inside the top of their box-top bags. Though pretty sturdy, the top could easily be crushed if squashed into a packed closet or during a rough and tumble move between homes.

It seems that those box-top bags were definitely limited to the top model of any Eureka upright line-up in the 1970’s. I’ve seen Eurekas with just a Cordaway, but never a box-top bag without a CordAway.

Any user could attach a new Eureka box-top bag to upgrade/enhance their cheaper Eureka….the bag neck and screw holes were the same all through the line-up.

Though slightly Spartan and functional, the metal CordAway control hardware at the top of the handle was quite sturdy and easy to use. My mom never had a problem with it in the 15 years we owned a fantastic deluxe 2083 Eureka from 1974. No bending at the vac required!!!! 😀

Post# 463445 , Reply# 18   5/29/2023 at 19:16 (269 days old) by Rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
Cord mounted at upper handle --

--also made it less likely to be stepped on or run over as with post WW2 singer.a feature that has been forgotten on newer vacs.

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