Thread Number: 8415
An Electrolux Polisher so grotty even I don't want to bid on it!
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Post# 93525   3/15/2010 at 11:57 (3,500 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

I had bookmarked this listing [see link] because this is the earliest version of the
"Air-Powered Electrolux Polisher and Scrubber" -- pretty hard to find. There are
a few differences in the earliest version, such as the fact that both sets of
polishing and scrubbing brushes were made of black bristles. At some point, the
polishing brushes were made of brown bristles which are softer.

The very first models had polished metal housings instead of hammertone paint.
When these are buffed out, they are stunningly beautiful! However, the sparkly
finish does not last very long; apparently Electrolux soon realized this as they
started finishing them with hammertone paint (first gray, then, later, blue) very
early on. I've only ever seen one of the original versions.

Another significant difference is the carton, which is made of chipboard and not
sturdy enough for the weight of the polisher. So you hardly ever find these
cartons because they just didn't hold up. Too bad, because the graphics and
typesetting match the other Electrolux cartons from that era.

Not long after the polisher was introduced in 1949, Electrolux changed the
packaging to stiffer corrugated cardboard which is more practical, and the
graphics remained the same through the run of the polisher until it was replaced
in 1957 with the "Turb-O-Tool" device.

Anyway, I was going to keep my eye on this auction just to get the box until I
noticed a couple of things. First off, the top lid is missing. Then I saw what
appeared to be cigarette butts on the hearth of the very dusty fireplace. Then I
read in the listing that the seller is a smoker and has pets. Well, if s/he is so
slovenly that the fireplace serves as the ash tray, can you imagine what that
house smells like .... and what everything that comes from it smells like... UGH. No-thanky.

(By the way, speaking of bristles, the bristles for the polisher, the bare floor
brushes and the dusting brushes were for many years made for Electrolux by
Fuller Brush. I am not sure when that relationship ended, but I think it was when
the Super J came out. If you compare the bristles in the Super J floor brush with
earlier ones, you can see there is a marked difference.)

The first polisher carton

Another view

And another

One more

Last example

The later polisher carton

Another view

And another

Just for fun, the XXX "Beauty Shot" which I came across looking through my folder of polisher photos!

I love the brochure, with its over-the-top enthusiasm!

"It's EASY and FUN to use the Electrolux polisher and scrubber!" Here, here!! I quite agree!!!

The first polisher with highly polished housing that almost looks like chrome!
(n.b., I have always wanted to take one to an auto body shop and have it
chrome-plated but never got around to it.)

CLICK HERE TO GO TO electrolux~137's LINK on eBay

Post# 93535 , Reply# 1   3/15/2010 at 15:36 (3,500 days old) by ohio_tuec ()        

Yes, Charles, I don't blame you. How a person keeps their home says alot. At first blush, that polisher doesn't look bad, but I can only imagine what it might smell like. The first "paper bag" Kirby I ever bought was a Heritage II I purchased secondhand in 1993. I saw it advertised locally for $50.00. The lady was the original owner and had all the paperwork, attachments and shampooer from 1987. The owner had pets and smoked like a chimney. To this day, that cleaner still has the faint odor of cigarette when it runs. Thanks for posting all those photos.

- Karl

Post# 93536 , Reply# 2   3/15/2010 at 16:00 (3,500 days old) by vintagehoover ()        
Doesn't look too bad to me, just dusty...

If I'd followed that rationale, I'd never have bid on this...

Post# 93537 , Reply# 3   3/15/2010 at 16:01 (3,500 days old) by vintagehoover ()        

...and I wouldn't have ended up (after a session with a duster!) with this!

Post# 93542 , Reply# 4   3/15/2010 at 16:31 (3,500 days old) by hooverbaby (Dalton in Furness, UK)        
I remember that one Jack!

hooverbaby's profile picture
I remember seeing that 541 listed on Ebay Jack and can't be sue now why I didn't bid on it (at least I don't remember doing so). Possibly it was because money was tight that week. Anyway I'm glad that you got it...and also glad with the one I've got off Jamey, which we think has the wrong (961) handle on it!!


Post# 93543 , Reply# 5   3/15/2010 at 16:36 (3,500 days old) by hooverbaby (Dalton in Furness, UK)        
oh BTW

hooverbaby's profile picture
By the way I believe that I have one of those air-powered polishers still in the box somewhere (don't think it's the chrome one) ...but I've never used it. I might do one day if I have good reason to and find something strong enough to drive it.

I believe that Charles has the polisher attachment for the model 700 Hoover. That's something I'd be pleased to find..


Post# 93552 , Reply# 6   3/15/2010 at 17:57 (3,500 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        
Hoover polisher attachment

Yes, I do have one -- see link.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO electrolux~137's LINK

Post# 93553 , Reply# 7   3/15/2010 at 18:16 (3,500 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        
Bringing home the smell

I've won enough other cigarette-smelly things on eBay that I'm very wary about that now. It's literally impossible to completely eliminate the stench of stale cigarettes. While the metal housing won't smell, the box, the brushes, the buffing pad and the paper brochure will.

People younger than mid-20s aren't likely to run into many people who smoke in their homes anymore, now that more people have become enlightened to the health and safety hazards associated with smoking. So they're also not likely to have come into a home where a chain-smoker lives. The suffocating odor of years of cigarette smoke clings to the draperies, carpeting, wall paper, clothing, even the person's hair, fingers and skin ... and anything else that's been in the home for any period of time. I can always tell when I've gotten something from eBay that came from a smoker's home.

Not meaning to rag on smokers ... I used to smoke myself (quit nearly 20 years ago) and have friends who smoke. But they don't smoke inside anymore, and the days of a friend stopping by and lighting up a cigarette in my living room have long passed.

It's funny when you really stop to think about how much that has changed. Not all that long ago, people smoked everywhere, even in restaurants, banks, offices and hospitals. Ash trays were ubiquitous -- hospitable hosts always had ash trays and lighters on hand for the use of their guests. I even had a family doctor who smoked; he had ash trays in all his examining rooms.

Whether you smoke or not, there's no denying the fact that smoking inside one's home stinks the place up, a stink that's virtually impossible to eradicate.

Post# 93554 , Reply# 8   3/15/2010 at 18:20 (3,500 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

aeoliandave's profile picture
Thanks for the generous heads-up, Charles.

Fair warning to all, I will be bidding.


Post# 93630 , Reply# 9   3/16/2010 at 01:14 (3,500 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I have purchased older Kirbys and drapes from folks that smoked-I also knew a good freind-the guy and his wife are great freinds-but BOTH of them smoked like incinerators.I would come home from a visit at their house-and even I could smell the burnt tobacco residue-at one time they replaced the wallpaper in their living room-What a diffrence!On to the Kirby-this came from a diffrent household-it was so bad had to replace the bag and wash the fan,fan housings,and Sani Emptor.Later I gave the vacuum to someone else that needed one-I was just starting to collect then.The drapes-many years ago-bought them from a Hotel surplus store to use at my apartment-the price was very low-and found out why-they were SATURATED with tobacco residue from smokers.All of the washing in the world would not get them clean-sadly,I threw them out and bought new.Learned a lesson-don't buy from Hotel surplus stores.Was in the Wash DC area back in the 70's.

Post# 93665 , Reply# 10   3/16/2010 at 11:57 (3,499 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

When I first joined eBay way back in the day, I found a beautiful Electrolux E-Automatic with the original hose and all the original attachments including polisher (in the box), and the cord winder with the original Belden plug. It looked minty-mint in the seller's photos. The hose looked kinda greenish, but the original AE woven vinyl hoses do tend to turn a greenish color over time, so I didn't think anything of it.

Well, a couple of weeks later I got home and there was a Big Box on my front porch. As I approached it, I detected the faint but unmistakable odor of stale cigarettes. I brought the box inside and began unpacking the machine. When I lifted the box flaps, I was hit with a blast of old cigarette stench. It was just awful. The odor was so strong that Arlee, who was down the hall in his bedroom, could smell it all the way back there -- he came into the living room holding his nose and saying, "What the HELL is that SMELL?"

I took the box back outside to unpack the machine. The seller had used wads of newspaper for padding and actually did a very nice job -- crumpling up the newspapers and packing them in very tightly and densely. The machine arrived in perfect condition, and, yes, it looked like it had hardly ever been used.

But OMG the contents of that box just stank to high heavens -- all that newspaper smelled vile and nasty, and the Electrolux also reeked. The entire machine was covered with a yellow film --- many years' worth of nicotine accumulation. The metal body and trim parts cleaned up okay with a strong solution of Pine-Sol and a soft scrubbing brush, but the plastic stuff was hell. The dusting brush and plastic parts of the floor tool had been permanently turned into a greenish-yellow color and the yellow nicotine film simply would not come off, and the hairs of the dusting brush still stank after being soaked in a Pine-Sol bath.

The biggest heartbreak was the hose -- it was in absolutely perfect condition but, as the seller's photo had shown, it had an awful, sickly green cast to it -- again, layer upon layer of sickly yellow nicotine from having been in the user's home for decades -- the home of a chain-smoker.

I called Boulevard Vacuum and talked to my friend the owner there, asking him if he had any suggestions to clean the nicotine film off the hose. There was some product he recommended; I don't recall the name of it now. It was a bottled liquid that I got from a professional janitorial supply house. It could be used in a variety of ways, including spraying a solution of it onto walls to clean wallpaper, or using it in a water bath. I also got a big 20-gallon plastic drum from the supply house.

I made a solution of water and the nicotine cleaner stuff and soaked the hose for an entire day. Then I scrubbed it with a plastic-bristle scrubbing brush. That procedure helped somewhat, but the nicotine film would not completely come off. It was permanently discolored.

The other problem was that the inside of the machine also stank -- they had used a cloth bag in it, and it was just absolutely saturated with old cigarette odor. And ... get this ... there was still a filter in it! The filter also revealed that the machine had not been used very often as it was very clean, probably the filter that had been originally been put in the machine. But it too reeked of old cigarettes so I just threw it out. I cleaned and disinfected as much of the inside of the machine as I could. But whenever I turn the machine on, to this day it still emanates a faint odor of stale cigarettes. (I still have it - it is in such beautiful condition that I haven't the heart to throw Ol' Stinky out.)

Then there was the Kirby 519 with a beautiful original bag -- another eBay treasure ....... that came from the home of a very smelly dog ....... and the bag was FULL of dog hair and dander. It was so full of clumped-up hair that I had to dump it out by removing the metal bag collar and emptying the back out from the top. Truly a stomach-churning delight.

Post# 93748 , Reply# 11   3/17/2010 at 01:21 (3,499 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

The air powered floor polishers by Electrolux and the version from Compact-Polishaire-sound intriguing and intersting-just need to find some out my way to add to my collection.Didn't Electrolux make an air powered set of tools for their machines-a drill and a small circular saw.somewhat like Kirbys newer air powered Handi Butler.
Because of the problems of abating odors-I no longer like to deal with things from smoker households-its impossible to get the tobacco residue out-and I live in the area where most tobacco is grown-coming upon time for its spring planting.Stinky dog-oh stinky dog-I got a Dyson as a trade in to Kirby from a smelly dog household-the dog smell can be worse than the tobacco smells.I had to wash out the Dyson and replace its filter.Now its much better.The roller brush in it was so wrapped with stinky dog hair it looked like some sort of weird buffing wheel!Since the brushroll isn't readly removable-had to use knife and scissors to cut out the dog hair.

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