Thread Number: 8919
Dear Charles Richard
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Post# 98708   5/20/2010 at 19:46 (3,898 days old) by caligula (Benton, Pa)        

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I was just reading your history of Electrolux and Kirby. Both are excellent. I was so pleased that you took the basic info I wrote back in 1981 and reworked it. You added facts I never knew and really punched it up. Great job buddy!

As for the history of Kirby. You have the first two machines made by James B. Kirby as 'unnamed' here I can help. The first was indeed 1906, and called 'the Domestic Cyclone'. This machine used a pan of water instead of conventional dust bag to "trap the dust" a slogan that would be used in the 1930's by Rexair.

In 1907 Jim Kirby decided to 'improve' this vacuum cleaner. He added an electric motor, and as he knew water and electricty don't mix, he went with the cloth bag instead of a water pan. This became the 'new and improved electric Domestic Cyclone'.

As I go through all my paperwork I will gladly share with you all the things I have on Kirby.

When it comes to vacuum cleaner history you have taken the things I gave you, and researched it with very carefully going into extreme detail.

Thanks for all you did over the past years to get this club going.

With deep respect,

Alex Taber

Post# 98710 , Reply# 1   5/20/2010 at 19:57 (3,898 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Thanks for the info Alex, although I will say, my Electrolux was not a "reworking" of your project, comprehensive though it was, but an all-new documentation project. I was very fortunate to receive a big box of old Electrolux printed material from a retired Electrolux man where much of the information came from, along with some early historical information on the various Electrolux web sites - notably Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S.

As for Kirby, I had actually started a Kirby model chronology many years ago on my own -- when I was in high school! I still have the sheaf of notebook paper I scribbled stuff down on. I finally sat down and went through it all, streamlining it into my web site. As I continue to get bits of information to fill it in, I do so. I'll keep a note of your information here to add. I also have information about the R series, and some other bits and pieces, that I want to incorporate into the site.


Post# 98723 , Reply# 2   5/20/2010 at 22:06 (3,898 days old) by caligula (Benton, Pa)        
Electrolux History

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My dear Charles Richard:

If you read the article I wrote in the Electrolux issue we did together (I believe Winter 94/95), a great deal of the basic information is my research and writing. If you also recall, I gave you full permission to use and rework this material. However, my research of the history of Electrolux was taken from my patent books and the publication "Electrolux the first 50 years" If you also recall, I loaned those to you along with my patent books on Kirby and Hoover when you first began as editor for the Vacuum Cleaner Collector's club when we met in Naperville.

So please do not think that I'm asking for a byline here, what I offer is praise. You took a few pages of basic facts and added to them and have turned out a remarkable account of Electrolux history, You have said it far better than I ever could.

Again I say, great job my friend.


Post# 98727 , Reply# 3   5/20/2010 at 22:37 (3,898 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Oh Alex, I wasn't thinking you were fishing for a byline. I certainly am the first to give credit where it's due.

While your comprehensive Electrolux history and our "joint effort" for the VCCC newsletter certainly inspired my web site, I did "create it from scratch" from Electrolux company materials and resources as noted on the site. I now have my own copy of "Electrolux: The First 50 Years" as well as a whole box of other materials including a number of issues of "Electrolux News."

Your Electrolux history was very thorough and had some things in it that literally made my eyes pop out the first time I saw them, like the pages and pages of fascinating patents. But when I made my web site, I did not refer to that document nor, for that fact, to the newsletter Electrolux feature. I took a completely different approach and went into great detail on the earliest days of pre-U.S. Electrolux, and then traced the evolution and development of the American arm of that company.

Post# 98729 , Reply# 4   5/20/2010 at 23:40 (3,898 days old) by caligula (Benton, Pa)        
Easy there Charles Richard!

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The last thing I want here is to do battle.

When I read the article you wrote in the History of Electrolux I smiled, got all warm and fuzzy thinking of how hard we worked to do the Winter 94/95 newsletter. I recalled my original writing back in September of 81, long before there ever was a Vacuum Cleaner Collector's Club. when I wrote about Wenner-Gren on vacation in Vienna, I thought to myself that my beloved Maria Von Trapp would have been there at the same time. Since then I've done extensive research of Electrolux and had written at least two newsletters on the subject, including one around 89 on Electrolux canister machines. Likewise I wrote several articles on the history of Kirby, which I worked for at the time.

Somehow we are getting or sending mixed signals. What was intended as praise and deep gratitude is being taken as a cry for recognition which I neither seek nor desire. I know that every writer takes source material from wherever he can. When it comes to vacuum cleaner research I'm constantly gathering facts. I never said or implied that you lifted anything. My historical information is there for anybody to use. I was merely telling you that you reworded several paragraphs and improved them. As for my writing, it's all published in our newsletters. The basic fact is that the introduction of Axel L. Wenner-Gren and how he founded his vacuum cleaner company was published in the Elextrolux issue that we did back in 94, which came from the afore mentioned material I wrote in 81.

So please take this as it was intended, to praise and compliment you on a job well done.

As always, your friend,

Alex Taber

Post# 98732 , Reply# 5   5/21/2010 at 01:16 (3,898 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Alex my old friend, I am not at all trying to "do battle" with you, nor am I implying that you're making a "cry for recognition."

I'm just trying to keep clear the distinction between your research and your documentation, and my research and my documentation.

While both of us have devoted many, many hours of research and work on Electrolux, my Electrolux web site really has very little relation to either my previous research or to yours.

My web project truly started from scratch. Since it's the same company that has been the subject of our research, it's natural that there would be a sharing of facts and "cross pollination" of information between these various endeavors.

But the fact is that all of my information on Axel Wenner-Gren came from the Internet, and all of the other information on the early days of Electrolux came from Electrolux company literature and not from anywhere else.

I want to provide you with just a FEW of the many (hundreds of) links where I found information on Wenner-Gren. There are some wonderful web sites with fascinating information on the man and how he founded the Electrolux Company. I know you will greatly enjoy these web sites:

I can't provide, at present, a list of the printed materials I used for my web site that came from Electrolux, because all my vacuum cleaner archives are still packed in boxes. Suffice it to be said that I received an absolute mother lode of documentation from a retired Electrolux "big wig" and mined it thoroughly for my web site.

Finally, while the model chronology does have its roots in the "Electrolux Issue," it has been set forth on my web site in tremendously expanded form, in terms of detail, accuracy, and photographs and illustrations.

So again .... please know .... I am not "doing battle." I just need to make it clear that my web site has no bearing on other research projects [neither mine nor yours], other than in a very peripheral and general way.

Post# 98755 , Reply# 6   5/21/2010 at 13:13 (3,898 days old) by caligula (Benton, Pa)        
Lets Agree to disagree!

caligula's profile picture
I know what I wrote, I have it in various newsletters and there ARE entire blocks of dialogue that are mine! Again as I gave this to you I gave up all rights, but if you want to make a federal case out of this, I can share the document I wrote in the late 80's.

Somehow a compliment has turned into a hissy fit, not my intention. All you had to say when I first sent this was Thank You.

Post# 98763 , Reply# 7   5/21/2010 at 14:34 (3,898 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Alex, there is nothing to "agree to disagree" about, and no one is turning this into a "hissy fit."

You are over-reacting to -- and misinterpreting -- my very clear, calm and polite remarks of explanation for some reason, perhaps a long-simmering resentment is finally coming to the surface; I don't know what's going on.

I have responded politely and clearly in each of my posts, yet you keep responding with inflammatory words such as "going to battle", "hissy fit" and so on.

I have simply stated how, where and when I wrote my Electrolux history site, making the point that it has no bearing on any previous works, yet you keep insisting that that is the case.

Whether or not I "had your permission to rewrite and expand your information" for the VCCC newsletter has absolutely nothing to do with my web site. I provided the reference sources for my site trying to make that point. I was not "having a hissy fit." I wasn't even the slightest bit agitated, and still am not. But I =am= wondering what this really is all about.

My Electrolux web site has been on line for several years. I'm sure you have seen it before. Why are you coming here -- out of the blue -- to "thank me for my work," and, oh, by the way, "it's my material that you used as the basis for your site" unless you're trying to make an issue of a [non-existent] use of your material?

Regardless, I'm not going to say any more on this. It's already come to the point of "beating a dead horse" and I'm just going to leave this poor horse alone. If you need to believe that your work provided the framework for my site, then you may go ahead and believe that --- despite the documentation I've provided to show otherwise.

I do thank you for your glowing compliments. I appreciate and cherish your praise and commendations. I'm honored that you think so highly of my web site.

Post# 98770 , Reply# 8   5/21/2010 at 16:33 (3,897 days old) by hooveurroy ()        
Good Grief Charles !!!!!!!!!`

Why on earth do you constantly have to have some kind of unkind and unwanted "hissy fit" here in this group?????????? You are just not happy unless you are throwing fits with your unwanted writings and comments. Get a life. Someone in charge needs to stop this nonsense and stop it now !!!!!!!

Post# 98779 , Reply# 9   5/21/2010 at 18:11 (3,897 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Could someone please tell me what part of what I wrote in this thread could possibly be construed as a "hissy fit?" I'm really anxious to know because, frankly, I haven't a clue.

I was just trying, as clearly as I knew how to, to discuss the sources of my Electrolux History web site.

I truly regret having upset anyone; accusations to the contrary, it certainly wasn't intentional.

I'm sorry to hear that I'm unwanted. That makes me pretty sad.

Post# 98783 , Reply# 10   5/21/2010 at 19:08 (3,897 days old) by sireluxomatic ()        
Charles Richard:

If it makes any difference whatsoever, I like having you around here and reading your posts and stories. I don't see anything you wrote in this thread that was inflammatory or offensive.


Post# 98789 , Reply# 11   5/21/2010 at 19:57 (3,897 days old) by portable (Corvallis, OR)        
I fail to see a hissy-fit -

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- you made it sound, Alex, like Charles used some of your stuff to craft his own histories. I happen to know that he spent YEARS researching the various Model XXX variations that were made. So...just my opinion - I think you may have misinterpreted what Charles said. You both are valuable historians of Kirby and Electrolux, and over the years, have each contributed unique and wonderful things to the vacuum collectors and enthusiasts of the world. JAL

Post# 98798 , Reply# 12   5/21/2010 at 22:16 (3,897 days old) by bisonian (Where the buffalo roamed! (Ocala, FL))        
Gentlemen, Please

Alex and Charles-Richard,

I have never met either of you, but I have nothing but the utmost respect for both of you. Many of us here admire and respect the invaluable contributions you both have made to the VCCC and to this site. (and for what it's worth, I'm NOT a VCCC member). I for one would hate to see either of you leave the site or the club because of this situation and take your vast knowledge with you. The rest of us appreciate your years of hard work compiling information that's valuable to us all. I urge you not to let this spoil what appears to be a long-time friendship between the two of you. Here's hoping the two of you can work this out peacefully -- maybe more amicably offline?


Rick C.

Post# 98801 , Reply# 13   5/21/2010 at 23:12 (3,897 days old) by caligula (Benton, Pa)        
All I wanted to do was praise a friend.

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Charles was our first outside editor. I appointed him to do the newsletter because of his skill. I need to stress that he is one of the dearest people in my life.

All I wanted to do was praise him for his wonderful history of Electrolux. What I was talking about was an article I wrote back in 89. I shared that with Charles, gave him full permission to use it, and he did. He turned a few notes into a work of art.

There is no anger here, I was merely praising him on a job well done.

Charles and I have far too strong a friendship for me to get upset.

Alex Taber

Post# 98803 , Reply# 14   5/21/2010 at 23:45 (3,897 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

I also am not angry and don't plan to leave the forum. I was very sad that someone said (anonymously - their profile is blank so I don't know who it is) that I am unwelcome in this forum, but I wrote that off as just one of my detractors. There are many, and I am well aware of that. All I can say is, I try my best to keep my side of the street clean and it is up to others to do the same, or to let the s#!t pile up, as they prefer.

Thanks John and Rick.

Post# 98819 , Reply# 15   5/22/2010 at 05:03 (3,897 days old) by arh1953 ( River Park, in Port St. Lucie, Florida)        

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I wish I had paid closer attention to that profile, he had a name, I have a feeling it was somebody who re registered, I remember a 1943 birth year, and a February 2010 date he joined, so this individual was age 67, from Shelby, Ohio, like the last remnant of hooveurroy's profile says.

"Many detractors". That's their problem. I'm coming up on three years of continuous membership, I still give Charles~Richard credit for my having found this club, his site was the first one I came across. I hope I survive long enough to see more activity, preferrably positive, and less infighting. By the way, I don't think Alex and Charles are at each others throats, I didn't see any hissy fits either.

Post# 98824 , Reply# 16   5/22/2010 at 07:53 (3,897 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        
Blow up that Advertisement page, please!

aeoliandave's profile picture
"Lift No More, My Lady!"

Oh! That's a Roll-Easy advert I've not seen before, Alan! It shows the third version with the concave barrel body, plain aluminum anodized wands and the new Double Action hard floor/carpet nozzle. The living room furniture & wallpaper decoration has changed from late 50's modern to a quasi-Colonial Americana coziness.
Where did you find it - do you have the actual page or is it a web pic?
Any chance there is a copyright or magazine publishing date on that?
And most important, if you reduced the picture to post it could you re-post it at full size, or at least double, for printing and framing purposes? or email to me the full size scan? :-)

And, in keeping with this thread, there is no better 'one-stop' research source equaled than Charles Richard's section on the Roll-Easys, or for that matter, the broad selection of vacuums he has chosen to feature. I have learned a great deal from these comprehensive overviews and it is from websites like his - and others' oral recollections - that interested folks are spurred to discover and add even more trivia tidbits to the general knowledge base.

Alex too, has a bottomless wealth of information to share now that he has retrieved his Archives and I look forward to his sharing of it in the months and years ahead.

Thank you both for your generosity and humour. And everyone else here who almost daily casually drops a pearly nugget that perks up my twingle.

Such as the 1960s Roll-Easy ad that Alan has posted...


This is the front cover of the late and final iteration of the R-1.

Post# 98825 , Reply# 17   5/22/2010 at 08:07 (3,897 days old) by arh1953 ( River Park, in Port St. Lucie, Florida)        
Dear Dave,

arh1953's profile picture
I swiped it off Flickr, credit goes to "saltycotton" for the post. I hadn't seen it either. I regret I don't possess the magazine from whence it came. Here's the link to the picture:

Post# 98826 , Reply# 18   5/22/2010 at 08:08 (3,897 days old) by arh1953 ( River Park, in Port St. Lucie, Florida)        
HERE'S the link dammit!

arh1953's profile picture
Post# 98839 , Reply# 19   5/22/2010 at 12:03 (3,897 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Ohhhhh, that IS a wonderful ad, and I've never seen it either. I'm going to have to add it to my Roll-Easy pages!

I downloaded the largest size from the flickr page and cleaned it up in Photoshop. Whoever scanned it didn't use the "descreen" option.

Check out the 'repaired' version:

Post# 98845 , Reply# 20   5/22/2010 at 13:51 (3,897 days old) by compactelectra (Palm Springs)        
Love Those Red Glasses

compactelectra's profile picture
That match the dress!


Post# 98846 , Reply# 21   5/22/2010 at 14:11 (3,897 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Fred, you want this image for the POD? I saved the original 300dpi scan. I can email it to you.

Post# 98850 , Reply# 22   5/22/2010 at 14:36 (3,897 days old) by arh1953 ( River Park, in Port St. Lucie, Florida)        
Thanks Charles~Richard

arh1953's profile picture
Like I say, I found it on Flickr, there's an ad for the lavender Frigidaire washer like the one Robert puts up in the washer site on saltycotton's photo site. I thought the model was wearing glasses.

Post# 98866 , Reply# 23   5/22/2010 at 18:43 (3,896 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

aeoliandave's profile picture
The Forum at its best!
What a thrill to come home from work to this. Thank you, Charles, and Alan for the link. I couldn't get to the printer fast enough. :-) But I did and printed both ads on 8.5 x 11 matte photo paper to frame and mount as side wings to my Roll-Easy Triplets and clover planter shelf display.

The flicker page title for this ad says "The Saturday Evening Post" May 18, 1957. Does that seem correct for this 3rd version Roll-Easy? You say the Roll-Easy was produced into the mid-1960s, so I am curious if maybe it is not an early 1960s ad...

I mean, this ad page I have - and have scanned - is 1955, also The Saturday Evening Post. Oh look, essentially the same Colonial furniture in a knotty pine setting. LOL

Ok guys, get out there and rescue old Saturday Evening Posts...
I'd really like the early Roll-easy ads in the modern furniture shown in Charles' Roll-Easy pages.

I do not know that Roll-Easys were made and sold in Canada - I have yet to see or find one up here...


Post# 98867 , Reply# 24   5/22/2010 at 19:13 (3,896 days old) by arh1953 ( River Park, in Port St. Lucie, Florida)        
This is the third time I've tried to answer this

arh1953's profile picture
Damn Internet!!

Made my day too, I don't recall seeing any ads in my 1956 Posts, just Lewyt and Hoover. I'll check again tonight when the cats leave me alone. I love those triplet ads, so '50s and stylish, it's still my favorite era.

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