Thread Number: 9907
The ever-elusive Green G.E. Canister
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Post# 107890   9/7/2010 at 13:51 (3,559 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Speaking of LADY LUCK being presented to you on eBay and not jumping at the opportunity.......

Some of y'all may recall the very funny story I wrote a few years ago about how when I was around 10 years old, I broke into a friend's house to see his Mama's new G.E. canister vacuum cleaner. If anyone wants to read it, I can re-post it.

Anyway, I have been looking for one of these machines for many years, ever since I started collecting vacuum cleaners, but never found the exact same model. A couple of years ago I found one that's very similar but it's not the exact same one.

Then last week, one came up on eBay and I shouted "GLORY BE!" It was exactly the one I remembered seeing at my friend's house!!

The machine on eBay was in really lovely condition. There were a couple of "issues" with it, such as the rug/floor tool missing a set of bristles. But that could fairly easily be found, I think.

Then a biggie, the hose had been replaced with a coiled white fit-all hose -- but it just so happens that I have a mint condition, perfect hose for this machine! Quite a few years ago I found it at a thrift shop and got it, thinking the day may come when I'd find the machine and need a good hose for it.

And the cord was replaced, but that's not such a big deal to me since the original cord did not have the G.E. logo on it. Besides, replacing the cord on that machine is a huge pain in the butt, so if someone went to the trouble to do that, then fine.

Anyway, I bookmarked the auction and kept an eye one it. For the duration of the auction there was only one bidder. However, there were a lot of people watching it -- the page counter was near 250 views. I figured there would surely be a flurry of last-second snipe bidding so, not wanting to get disappointed over not getting it, I didn't bid.

Well lo and behold, the darn thing closed with ONE bid. $39.-- Talk about having something dangled before your eyes and then snatched away.

Oh well. I don't have anywhere to put it anyway.

I =do= have a miniature version of the machine - it's a little sewing kit. G.E. made these for quite a few years in different models. I used to have more of them but that's another sob story. I do have this one and it's really lovely.

(P.S.: I was told that this model was from the late 1950s - 1957 I believe he said. That's kinda odd, since I was 10 or 11 when my friend's mom got hers, and that would have been in 1966 or 1967. But I am sure it's that model, and I clearly remember being over there and seeing a sealed carton in their living room that indicated it was a G.E. vacuum cleaner. Could be that someone didn't need it and sent it as a gift, or maybe they bought it from a newspaper want-ad or whatever. But I am absolutely certain it was that model.)

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

Post# 107919 , Reply# 1   9/7/2010 at 18:22 (3,559 days old) by arh1953 ( River Park, in Port St. Lucie, Florida)        

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They made that machine from late 1957 through the very early 1970s I believe, in greens and other colors. I thought mine was from about 1960, but it's either the mid or late '60s. I love those sewing kits, I always wanted the Constelation tape measure, but am staying out of eBay at the moment.

Post# 107936 , Reply# 2   9/7/2010 at 20:12 (3,559 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Oh cool, then the one my mom's friend got could have been new (current model) at that time. I don't remember where she bought it, but this was a very small town where the nearest appliance stores were a good hour's drive away. Therefore, many people ordered from mail-order catalogs.

I wonder which catalogs sold G.E. machines at that time -- Spiegel maybe? Sears had their own branded line, as did J.C.Penney; and didn't Montgomery Ward also have their own line? I know I recall seeing G.E. vacuum cleaners in catalogs that we got at home but I don't remember which one/s. Gold Bond stamps perhaps?

Gosh, speaking of stamps, my mom was a savings stamp fanatic! She collected Gold Bond, S&H Green Stamps, and Colonial Stores grocers also offered stamps. Once every so often she'd pull out her shoe box of page after page of stamps, and we'd all sit around the kitchen table having a stamp-sticking party, using a sponge immersed in a bowl of water. It was fun, and then even more fun to go to the redemption center to get loot!

I remember one time in particular, she got a Sunbeam mixer. This would have been around 1966. It was a chrome Model 12 and we all thought it was so beautiful. She only got the mixer set, none of the other attachments.

Her old mixer was a white Model 10. I don't know what ever became of it, but she probably threw it out. I remember when she used it toward the end of its life, it made a funny smell -- a sort of "sweet burning smell" if that makes sense, and sometimes it would sputter and hesitate. Hence the new Model 12.

Post# 107939 , Reply# 3   9/7/2010 at 20:19 (3,559 days old) by kenkart ()        
Catalogues and GE!

Charles, I know the Green Stamp and Family Stamp stores both carried GE as did Spiegels, Blue Bell Inc ,Where my Mom worked for 22 years,would let there employees order from a catalogue called John Plain Co, and they carried some GE as well as Universal,Hoover and Eureka, it was my job as a kid to lick the Green Stamps and Family Stamps and put them in the books!, The Green Stamp store is where our 67 GE canister came from, The Family Stamp Store is Where or 69 Dial a Matic came from. Hans

Post# 261357 , Reply# 4   12/31/2013 at 17:39 (2,348 days old) by super-sweeper (KSSRC Refurbishment Center)        

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"Some of y'all may recall the very funny story I wrote a few years ago about how when I was around 10 years old, I broke into a friend's house to see his Mama's new G.E. canister vacuum cleaner. If anyone wants to read it, I can re-post it."



Go ahead and do so below: Laughing

Post# 261360 , Reply# 5   12/31/2013 at 17:59 (2,348 days old) by electrolux137 (Land O Plenty USA)        

Well, this is a bit belatedly, but here goes.

(btw I'm still looking for a bare-floor tool, dusting brush and crevice tool for this machine.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

One time I nearly got into BIG trouble for "breaking into" the home of one of my chums to see his mom's new vacuum cleaner. I had been over there one day playing with my friend when I saw a large carton in the living room, "General Electric Canister Vacuum Cleaner." The box was still sealed -- it had just been delivered. I made some broad hints that it would be "neat" to see it but his mom wasn't in the mood. She said she was too busy and didn't have time to "fuss with the vacuum cleaner."

A couple of days later, I rode by their house on my bicycle and saw that no one was home. The very bad idea crossed my mind that I could sneak into the house just to get a peek at the new sweeper!

So I rode my bicycle around to the back of their house. I walked up the steps to their back porch. I peered in through the glass jalousie windows and couldn't see anything as it was dark inside.

I very timidly opened the porch door. A blast of hot air trapped inside the glassed-in porch hit me in the face. I went on into the enclosed porch, tip-toed across the terrazzo floor, and peered into the door leading into the kitchen. It was dark inside because all the blinds and shades were drawn. Clearly, no one was home.

I opened the kitchen door a crack and peered in. (This was in a simpler time, in a simpler place when and where, yes, people would go off for days at a time and leave their houses unlocked.)


I opened the kitchen door wider and stuck my head in, calling out in a cracked, tentative voice -- "H-hello?" -- just to make sure no one was there!

No response.

I went on into the house that was blanketed in dusk-like semi-darkness. I made my way through the kitchen and into the long hallway that was very dark. I peeked in the hall closet where I figured the vacuum cleaner would be. Not there!

I went back into the kitchen and looked into the pantry. No vacuum to be found!! Puzzled, I went back into the hallway and walked down to the end where the bedrooms were.

The parents' bedroom door was opened a few inches. I peeked in, and ... there it was! Sitting in the far corner in front of a window, bathed in a rippled glow of sunlight gleaming in through the window-blinds, was the G.E. box! I could see, to my great elation, that the box had been opened. The wands and woven hose (green with white tracing) were sticking up from the top.

I pushed the bedroom door open and ran over to the corner. I moved aside the hose and pulled the canister out from the box. I gasped in awe when I saw the gleaming chrome and dark green body! It was so beautiful!! My mind was suddenly and singly focused on that sweeper, and I wanted to see it in all its radiant glory.

I set the canister on the floor. I pulled out the hose, wands, and large rug attachment. I put it all together and started "pretend vacuuming" with it, making "vrrrrrrrm" sounds as I did.


The magical spell was broken when I heard the crunch of gravel outside, telling me that someone was pulling up into the driveway! I heard the squeal of brakes ... a car door opening and slamming shut ... loud clompy footsteps crossing the floor of the front porch. I could tell from the heavy footsteps that it was my friend's Dad.

Ohhhh ... NO!!! (I did not know any swear words yet, or I surely would have used them!)

I totally panicked, not knowing whether to run for the back door, or to hide. I frantically looked left and right, to and fro -- considered crawling under the bed. But the sound of footsteps in the house told me there was no time. So I just ducked behind the bedroom door and hid in the space between the door and the wall behind it.

I heard the man walking through the house drawing the blinds and curtains and opening windows. He came down the hallway ... when he got to the opened door of the bedroom, he stopped in his tracks when he saw the new vacuum cleaner all set up and sitting in the room just by the doorway.

"What th..." he muttered, and came into the room. When he did, I coughed or made some other little noise. He whirled around and jerked the door back.

Shocked, I stared up into his bugged eyes and SCREAMED at the top of my lungs!

Even more shocked, he also SCREAMED at the top of HIS lungs!!

At first, he jumped back like he had been shot! Then he leaned over, roughly grabbed me by my shirt and yelled, What the heck are you doing in here, boy?"

I started crying and stammering that I just wanted to see their new sweeper."

"WHAT??" he exclaimed!" What kind of story is that? Why on earth would YOU want to see a SWEEPER?"

Crying and blubbering even more, I said, "I dunno ... I just wanted to see it."

He stood there, scratching his head, trying to figure out if I was lying or just out of my mind!

He looked at the vacuum cleaner ... looked at me ... looked at the vacuum cleaner again ... and it dawned on him that I was telling the truth as he realized it was all set up and ready to go.

He said, "Well, this is about the dumbest thing I ever heard of. Now you know you're going to have to be punished for this." He thought for a minute and said, "I know ... as your punishment, you have to use the sweeper in the entire house -- from front to back. You are not to stop until you have cleaned every room."

Well ....... he may not have realized at that moment that this was about the most wonderful "punishment" he could have dished out. But when he saw me RUN to the vacuum, excitedly carry it out to the living room and begin my chore, taking great care to use every single attachment including the crevice tool, he did figure out the folly of his decision!

In a little while, after I had gotten as far as the kitchen, his wife came in carrying a bag of groceries. When she saw me using her sweeper she became VERY annoyed. She asked her husband, "What is he doing with my new vacuum?"

Her husband looked at me, gave me a sly "wink-wink" and said, "Well, he had come by looking for some odd jobs to earn a little money, and the only thing I could think of was to let him run the sweeper."

She gave both of us a strange look, like, "Whaaaat????" but then just said to me very sternly, "Well, you be VERY careful with it! It's brand-new and I don't want you to ruin it!" (I wonder if maybe she had ever seen Mama's battered old Electrolux and feared her machine would suffer the same fate!")

The best part ... as I was leaving to go home, the man tossed a silver dollar in the air to me to "pay" me for my work!!

Some 25 years later, I returned to my old home town to give a music concert at Daddy's former church. Afterward, who should come to greet me in the reception line but my friend's dad! He told me his wife was visiting a shut-in relative, and that his son - my friend - had gotten married and was living elsewhere. Then he asked me, "Are you still breaking into people's houses to see their vacuum sweepers?!"

I turned beet-red and said, "I really did appreciate you 'covering for me' with your wife."

He replied, "Well, I knew if your folks found out about it, you'd get a mighty good pants-warmin' -- didn't want to see that happen. But I'll have you know that =I= got in a heap of trouble with my wife for letting you use her new vacuum before she had had a chance to use it even once!"

Post# 261367 , Reply# 6   12/31/2013 at 19:57 (2,348 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
Oh Charles! Great story, but I think I would have wet myself when he walked in.Speaking of locking the doors on the house, the new house we bought in 62 did not even have locks.

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