Western Electric Vacuum
The Western Electric Vacuum was made by the Western Electric Company, 195 Broadway, New York City and used172 watts with an operating cost of 1.7 cents an hour in 1920. We will take a look at some of the print ads that appeared in newspapers in the early 1900’s as well as some specs on this now vintage vacuum cleaner.
Construction – The Western Electric Vacuum Cleaner No. 12 is operated by a horizontal motor driving an eight bladed sheet steel fan on one end of shaft and a brass worm connecting with the brush mechanism on the other end. It is supported by two rear three and one-eighth inch rubber-tired wheels and aluminum nozzle shoe, acting as a skid supporting the forward weight. The nozzle and fan-housing are an aluminum casting, while motor barrel, rear and cap, wheels and belt guard are japanned sheet steel. The cleaning width is eleven inches, maximum clearing width thirteen inches, minimum clearance height required seven and a half inches. Its weight is fourteen and a half pounds. The length of cord furnished is twenty three and a half feet and is taken off from upper end of handle. A complete set of attachments, including six pieces, may be purchased and the machine connector fitted to either the suction side by removing the front plate in the nozzle casting or to the exhaust or blower side by removing the dust bag.
Special Features – The novel feature of this machine is the revolving sweeper brush in the nozzle, turning at much lower than motor speed. It seems well constructed and operates with a negligible amount of power. The brush is readily removable for cleaning if necessary in fifteen seconds time, and further, is adjustable for proper contact as brush wears shorter, should this be necessary. Running in oil-soaked wood bearings, no brush lubrication is needed. The brush may be thrown either in or out of gear by a simple throw of a lever at rear of motor frame, using care to shift the gear only when machine is stopped. The motor is cooled by the fan sucking through and over its windings, and this feature is very successful, the motor heating being only 81.2 degrees C. This is only a little more than half the temperature allowed by the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (50 degrees C.) The lint on the carpet was picked up with one operation when the revolving brush was working. Without the brush it was practically impossible to pick up the lint. The vacuum cleaner would not pull flour through the heavy rug used in the test.. When flour was sprinkled lightly on the rug the cleaner picked it up with one application. When it was thoroughly rubbed in it required, three movements of the nozzle over the carpet.
Ad text from above advertisement – THINK of it! You can get this standard Western Electric Vacuum Sweeper (that sells for absolutely FREE by doing in December what you plan to do in May,—by getting now this big powerful a Western Electric Power and Light outfit which is turning night into day and work into play on thousands of farms. You need it—not only next Spring when you are figuring on putting it in, but NOW. Light your farm for Christmas; there is no better present that you can give your family and yourself, for it will continue year after year to be a source of satisfaction, comfort and convenience. We are making an unprecedented offer. We will give you a Western Electric Vacuum Sweeper free if you buy a DC in December. Buy the outfit today; you can have 12 months to pay for it. The cost of Western Electric Power and Light is small compared with what it will do for you and yours. The outfit never before has been sold at so low a price, but remember that, while the price has been reduced 21%, the quality has not been lowered one whit. And remember, OUR OFFER IS GOOD ONLY IN DECEMBER!
Remember, back in these days, many homes and farms did not have electric service yet. What better way to gain a new customer then to offer one of these new electronic conveniences FREE.