World’s Oldest Vacuum Cleaner Still Sucks


Rescued for a garbage heap by Harry Cox, the old vacuum cleaner surprised everyone when it worked the first time it was kicked into gear. The 108-year-old machine is one of the first vacuum cleaners to hit the market and the old fashioned design is completely user unfriendly, but it still totally rocks the world of old fashion.

Old Vacuum Cleaner

The vacuum was tossed out when the paper mill that Harry works at was cleaned out. The archaic cleaner was made in 1904 and came with many original parts that included blowing nozzles and huge brushes. The machine is pretty big and was clearly not built for smaller homes. The fact that it was found in the saw mill was no coincidence. The old vacuum cleaner model was made for the cleaning of hotel floors, clubs, churches and large homes.

Before Harry found the old vacuum several others held the titles of the world’s oldest vacuum cleaners. Archie Cameron of Scotland showed off his old vacuum cleaner to the world in 2007. His 71 year old machine sat on top of the list for a few years. In 2010 Archie’s vacuum’s position as oldest was usurped by Bill Whitman’s old vacuum cleaner of 81 years. It seriously must’ve sucked for Whitman’s machine to lose out to a 108 year old vacuum cleaner.

Now that all the oldies are coming out the woodwork, people will be holding onto their vacuum cleaners manufactured before 1990 as an investment. Several vacuum cleaner museums have opened but the world’s first vacuum cleaner museum on Route 66 in the United States is the coolest one by far. With over 600 working vacuum cleaners in their collection, Harry’s old vacuum cleaner would fit right in.

Tom Gasko, founder and curator of the museum donated the vast majority of vacuum cleaners to the museum. The vacuum enthusiast was given his collection by late great and legendary organist, Stan Kann. The collection starts with some greats from the early 1900’s which is about the same time as Harry’s old vacuum cleaner. If you’re wondering whether the collection of the early 1900’s would make Harry’s vacuum look brand new, the answer is “no.” The oldest vacuum cleaner on show at the museum is from 1910. That means Harry and his old vacuum cleaner still hold the title. From the looks of things he’s going to be holding the title forever.

Vida Denning is a freelance writer who hates carpet cleaning but can appreciate what goes into making a carpet cleaner that lasts.

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