Thread Number: 8329
Another UK swivel top
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Post# 92564   3/1/2010 at 17:46 (3,643 days old) by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London)        

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As we have been talking about the MR cleaner I wondered if anyone could shed some light on another swivel top cleaner I have. It is branded National Utilities, who for years re-badged Vactric 202/404 cleaners - I suspect this is early 1960s after Vactric went out of business. I suspect its design at least was of American origin, as so many of our cleaners - once again there is no indication of who actually manufactured it. I have never seen any other cleaner like it, although the hose connector (which, incidentally I have never been able to get off) had a resemblence to a recent POD. The metal lever on the front is the On/Off switch by the way. The carpet nozzle design, which is much more of the style of European rather than UK cleaners, is rather a pecularity of National Utilities cleaners - even the Vactrics used the same style although Vacric themselves used a more conventional style on theior machines

Post# 92565 , Reply# 1   3/1/2010 at 17:57 (3,643 days old) by kirbymodel2c (Nottingham, England)        

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I think my friend was after a pic of one of those.
Its a nice looking machine!!

Where did u get it from?


Post# 92568 , Reply# 2   3/1/2010 at 18:03 (3,643 days old) by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London)        

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was the source as it has been for most of my cleaners. I date it to early 1960s, the colours being influences by Hoover cleaners and Lux 65. Like I say, I have never seen any other like it, anywhere

Post# 92573 , Reply# 3   3/1/2010 at 19:06 (3,643 days old) by collector2 (Moose Jaw, Sk)        

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Hi Al:

While I've never seen that particular machine the flor nozzle on it is the same as the later Vactrics and Some Vactrics had similar rug nozzles (See picture - not sure where I got the pic from - I suspect it was ebay). The hose end is the same as the ones found on some of my President models (which were made by byloc) and those found on the Apex machines in the US. As we had discussed some time ago there seems to have been some type of connection or licencing agreement between Vactric, Byloc and Apex. I would say this was an offshoot of their products just as the Presidents here and in the US were (They were the house brand for State Vacuum Stores)

Post# 92588 , Reply# 4   3/1/2010 at 23:25 (3,642 days old) by joe22 ()        

wow what a nice vac !!!

Post# 92599 , Reply# 5   3/2/2010 at 06:45 (3,642 days old) by kenkart ()        

IS FABULOUS, I just love anything different from the ordinary stuff you see here!!

Post# 92618 , Reply# 6   3/2/2010 at 10:24 (3,642 days old) by akabent (LEFT Coast)        
Doug, if any one would know...

It seems there MUST have been a (close) link beteen Vactric and Electrolux. That (gorgeous) machine pictured above SCREAMS "Model XII" with elements of the earlier model XI as well. CUTE little wheels, btw. The machine's, not yours.
Rick :)

Post# 92633 , Reply# 7   3/2/2010 at 15:13 (3,642 days old) by hooverbaby (Dalton in Furness, UK)        

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James, that's the machine that I was talking about, which I thought Al had and which is similar to the one of mine which is buried in the depths of my garage.

The green cylinder machine is a Vactric Silent Q and was made in the UK just before WWII. I own a couple of them, one of which is missing its hose.

Doug, on the subject of hoses, thanks for mentioning the similarity of fittings between some of the National, Vactric and Apex models. It might help me when it comes to finding or organising hoses to fit my National & Vactric machines.


Post# 92634 , Reply# 8   3/2/2010 at 15:16 (3,642 days old) by hooverbaby (Dalton in Furness, UK)        
Just noticed

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Al, the machine just below the National with the wooden handgrip interests me; is it a Premier Duplex by any chance?


Post# 92655 , Reply# 9   3/2/2010 at 17:27 (3,642 days old) by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London)        
Rounding up ....

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I believe the Silent Q belongs to Rob (Turbopower1984 I think) who posted pictures of a purchase he made before Christmas.

Although superficially the nozzle may appear to be similar to the National it is quite different in that the connection swivels from side to side in the comventional manner, whilst that of the National swivels up and down - as I said earlier this was a common arrangement in Europe, not in the UK.

We discussed (privatly)a few years ago about President models being manufacutured by Bylock which I think they were, what I did not know at that time was that they were, initially at least, based on Apex designs. Bylock only started manufacturing vacuum cleaners after WW2 (previously they manufactured hair dryers) the Silent Q predates the Bylocks by at least 10 years, and even that had been around in various forms for about 10 years or so before that. It is co-incidental that Vactric sold a couple of Apex models (design at least and possibly manufactured in US as well) as their TOL models - the Apex with the swivel pivot at the end of the handle - Jack has footage of using one of these when he attended the convention in North Canton in 2008. I am not aware of any other connection between Bylock and Vactric apart from this co-incidence, and these models were not (apparently) sold after WW2 in the UK.

Rick, again I am not aware of any connection between Vactric and Electrolux, indeed if anything it has a closer resemblence to Goblin models than anything else - although of course these both would have been influenced by the Lux designs - where Lux cannisters were almost marketed as heavily as Hoover uprights. It was not long after Hoover produced their Junior 370 that both Vactric and Goblin brought out similar concept machines. The Vactric model hardly changed through its 22 odd years of production, the Goblin evolved rather like the Junior did - I am firmly of the belief that once Hoover brought out a new model Goblin took it apart to produce a new model as close as they could without infringing Hoovers patents.

The hose attachments for the Bylocks, particularly the early ones are quite different from those of the Vactric - for example Bylock couplings were always plastic whilst Vactric were metal.

Stephen, the wooden handled machine could be a Premier, indeed it could even be yours as the picture was taken at the get together in 2007 which you attended.


Post# 92657 , Reply# 10   3/2/2010 at 17:36 (3,642 days old) by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London)        
I may have been somewhat mistaken

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On checking back through my pictures I may have been mistaken in my comments about teh Silent Q nozzle shown above, sorry everyone. I think what let me to be mistaken was that it was supplied with a small angle connection (rather like Luxes) which is connected between the wand and the floor nozzle shown in Robs pic. Here is some more stuff on the silent Q

Post# 92658 , Reply# 11   3/2/2010 at 17:37 (3,642 days old) by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London)        
The other side

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Post# 92659 , Reply# 12   3/2/2010 at 17:39 (3,642 days old) by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London)        
Back where we started

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This is the picture off ebay of my own cleaner. I had thought this might have been Vactric too as the National Utilities machines where badged Vactrics but as Vactric went out of business in early 1960 I dont think it can be.

Post# 92682 , Reply# 13   3/2/2010 at 19:12 (3,642 days old) by collector2 (Moose Jaw, Sk)        

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Hi Al:

All the parts with your machine appear the same as the Vactric. I'm wondering if the parts might have been made by a 3rd party for Vactric who later kept on making them for who ever made this machine. Either that or possibly another company purchased the rights / molds for them when Vactric closed.

Would be interesting to find out more about this one.


Post# 92741 , Reply# 14   3/3/2010 at 06:57 (3,641 days old) by kenkart ()        
whatever it is....

It sure is great looking!!

Post# 93020 , Reply# 15   3/7/2010 at 09:01 (3,637 days old) by hooverbaby (Dalton in Furness, UK)        
Al, where's the badge?

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Al, it looks as though the plastic National badge is missing from your machine; I'm sure that mine has it...but it could be a while before it sees light of day again , since it's buried deep in the garage!

That Premier could well be my Premier Junior - I know that my Duplex has that style of wooden handgrip but I'd forgotten whether the junior one was similar.

I certainly enjoyed attending your convention back in 2007 and indeed the 2008 one; perhaps there will be another one day..

I'd even invite you all up here, especially if I got my own house in a nicer neighbourhood..but I'm not so sure about my cooking being up to your standards!


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