Historic Tools of North Castle

Vacuum Cleaner

This device at Smith’s Tavern was manufactured by the Guarantee Sales Company of Chicago, IL.  Markings on the canister portion of the device state that it was “Patented on Dec. 26, 1911”.  


It is a plunger vacuum, the most common type of non-electric vacuum cleaners that became commonplace after 1900.  They are normally long, slender cylinders that taper at the bottom of the machine with a nozzle connected at the end which contacts the floor.  A plunger handle at the top of the cleaner is drawn upward with one hand, while the other hand stabilizes the machine. This action develops suction as air is drawn into the nozzle when the plunger seal moves up through the cleaner’s body.  Dust was sucked into a small diameter tube where it entered the center of the body. After the dust fell to the side of the cleaner’s interior, it was trapped in the funnel shaped part of the machine. In addition, a cloth air filter, above the containment area, was incorporated into the design.  They were designed to pick up dust and light dirt on very thin carpeting, oil cloth, or bare floors.


Reference:  https://vachunter.com/non-electric-vacuums/plunger-vacuums

Catalog Items:

Item T115

Location:Floor in Front Window #2
Length: 18 cm
Width: 18 cm
Height: 129 cm
Weight: 2000 g