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Vacuum Cleaner

Decorative Arts

On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
In the period between the world wars, American manufacturers often hired freelance industrial designers to enhance the images of their products. Electrolux hired Lurelle Guild to redesign their vacuum cleaner. He produced an iconic design that embodies the era's fascination with speed and efficiency and incorporated new materials such as rubber and chrome to make Electrolux appear more innovative. This design, with variations such as the substitution of wheels for the gliders, remained in production for over twenty years.
MANUFACTURER Electrolux Corporation
MEDIUM Chromed, polished and enameled steel; cast aluminum; vinyl; rubber
  • Place Manufactured: Dover, Delaware, United States
  • DATES ca. 1937
    DIMENSIONS 8 1/2 x 23 x 7 3/4 in. (21.6 x 58.4 x 19.7 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Pressed into metal band on top: "K75892R". Opposite , on under side of bass: "MODEL XXX D. C. TO 60 CYCLES A.C. 115 VOLTS-535 WATTS". Molded into underside of blue canister: "UL" Both sides of canister with band with raised letters: "ELECTROLUX"
    SIGNATURE no signature
    INSCRIPTIONS no inscriptions
    COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Fifty/50
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Lurelle Guild (American, 1898-1985). Vacuum Cleaner, ca. 1937. Chromed, polished and enameled steel; cast aluminum; vinyl; rubber, 8 1/2 x 23 x 7 3/4 in. (21.6 x 58.4 x 19.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Fifty/50, 86.15a-f. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 86.15a-f_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Canister-type vacuum cleaner with blue body (vinyl-covered on top, enameled on bottom), raised on a pair of polished steel runners; one end of canister chromed steel, the other cast aluminum. Rubber handle. Model 30. Parts are sub lettered as follows: (a) body; (b) hose; (c) upper chrome tube; (d) chrome tube with brush attachment; (e) brush attachment; (f) electrical cord. CONDITION: Worn from use with scratching, pitting, and minor dents to all surfaces.
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