Market Lavington Museum

A 1934 Vac-tric cylinder vacuum cleaner


Once removed from its wooden carrying case, we can see that this old vacuum cleaner had a long, flexible hose ending in a metal tube. Well, the hose would have been flexible, but the rubber has perished over time and no longer straightens out as it should.

Clipped inside the box lid are extension tubes and various brush attachments.

Unlike their modern equivalents, usually made of plastic, these brushes have their bristles fixed in wooden surrounds.

Once again, it is the rubber that has suffered over the years and has perished and stretched, no longer fitting snuggly around the edge of the brushes.

The electric cable was wrapped around a wooden spool to keep it tidy in the storage box. One end could be attached to a socket on the top of the machine, whilst the other end was plugged into the mains via a 13 amp bakelite plug with three round pins – live, neutral and earth.

There is a black on/off switch on top of the cleaner.

When in use, the vacuum cleaner would have been pulled along on its three metal wheels. One of these is no longer attached to the body of the machine.

The domed silver coloured end of the cleaner can be removed to allow access to the cloth bag containing the dust, which would need to be removed and binned from time to time.

This Vac-tric cleaner provides evidence of how little has changed in the design and function of cylinder vacuum cleaners over nearly ninety years, although the wooden attachments and the plug are clearly features of a bygne era.