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Vintage Electrolux door knocker — Home of a Successful Electrolux Family

If you were a successful Electrolux salesman back in the day, you received lots of prizes when you met sales goals. Here’s one of my favorites: A special front door knocker engraved, “Home of a Successful Electrolux Family.” I picked this up a while back at the estate sale of a superstar Electrolux salesman — the basement was like a department store of unused, unopened Electrolux sales prizes. 

I have been sorting through my collections lately, trying to figure whether to let some stuff go. I’ll have a hard time letting this go. I feel like it’s part of the industrial history of my region. This prize was mailed to the salesman when he lived in nearby Springfield, Mass. Later he moved to Pittsfield, which is the town next to mine and where the estate sale was held.

Another treasure I found at the sale

I would put this door knocker up, but I have paned windows on my front door.

I also have a photo of the salesman and his wife receiving what surely was their biggest prize ever: A new Volkswagen Beetle. I also have a cartoon-like poster depicting an Electrolux convention at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. I’ll see if I can get that on the scanner some time soon.

  1. Carolyn says:

    Oh, Pam, I can empathize with your dilemma. The questions you need to ask yourself don’t always have a Yes or No answer. You would think it would be so easy to throw obviously broken items in the trash such as dinnerware and then you see someone’s joy when they pick it off the curb because they create mosaics.
    With this bonanza, are you a REAL Electrolux collector or more that you stumbled upon it and thought it looked cool for “someday”? Not having a solid connection to it might make it easier for you to allow another who really wants it to bring it into their life. The photo? It hurts me when I turn a corner at St. Vinnie’s to see a multi-photo picture frame with obvious family photos. How in the world was that donated – death, divorce, what? An estate sale worker assured my daughter and I that the family had copies of the original photos so the ones in frames at the sale were OK to go (yet no one had time to remove the pictures to sell the frame?!)
    It used to be a “thing” to collect old sepia photos for an “instant ancestor” grouping – ?!
    Some of us readers are at that stage in our lives where the grandparents have had to downsize, then our parents, and since the kids aren’t taking things, our own stuff needs to be let go of. Right now my dilemma is all the stuff we had for the vacation home (1959 Liberty travel trailer). I just know that within 5 years of me sending it on to someone else, a family member could use it! And Ma died 2 yrs ago – I have 3 grass girls/angels, probably from the 1980’s-90’s Ben Franklin dime store. They would look alright on a cream fireplace – which I don’t have. They creep out my daughters (they didn’t get the lady-head vases either.)
    You’re on social media – get your collection together and put out the word. Whoever thought Thermoses or black lunch pails would be collectible?! Could be Electrolux is too.

  2. Debbie in Portland says:

    I have an Electrolux canister vacuum that dates back to the early or mid 1950’s. My dad was a builder, so it’s vacuumed up a ton of sawdust in its lifetime. Way ahead of its time as it has canvas dust bags: you just shake them out and wash them occasionally, no need to buy replacements. It weighs a ton and when I turn it on there are cats scattering in all directions from the noise, but it still works like a charm. As my father used to say about a lot of things: “They don’t make ’em like THAT anymore!”

  3. Wendellyn Plummer says:

    My Mother had an Electrolux back in the day. That thing weighed a TON! No wonder women we so thin, after their workout with that sweeper. She also owned a Kirby. Now, that was a vacuum! It had all the bells and whistles. That thing could even hot steam strip wallpaper! I love my Dyson!!

  4. Jay says:

    Must have been one heck of a salesman, wearing out a lot of shoe leather. I think they were only sold door to door like Fuller brushes?

  5. Cissy says:

    I remember the Electrolux salesman coming to my parents home in the 1960’s in Enfield, Ct……could be the same man? Anyway, I loved using my mother’s electrolux to vacuum even as a child, that machine was sleek, worked very well and lasted well into the 2000’s! In all the years my mother had that machine, the only “new” replacement it needed was a new hose. They certainly don’t make products like that anymore!!!

  6. ChrisM says:

    We grew up with an Electrolux vaccuum and when I saw the headline and picture, I thought it was a family who vaccuumed a lot! Duh
    Love your trips down memory lane!

  7. Jamie says:

    I barely was able to get our family photos after my grandmother passed away, her husband decided to have an estate sale and sell their home but wouldn’t allow anyone to come in to take personal items or family heirlooms prior to the sale. The estate sale person not knowing any better threw away and sold most of our family heirlooms. My mom found out he was planning to sell her parents wedding album from the 50’s and she had to throw a fit to keep them from being sold. We no longer have a relationship with my grandmas husband someone who had been in our lives for the last 35 years. My husband and I have plans for an extensive will and I try to educate everyone I can now to not assume a spouse, particularly in a blended family will make the choices you would expect them to after you are gone.

  8. Jason says:

    I tried my hand at selling KIRBY vacuums in the late 90’s and found it very hard
    (I am NOT a natural salesman)

  9. Renee Stark says:

    After 10 years of marriage, 4 children, and pushing a Kirby vacuum cleaner around, my 5’ 100 lb mother was allowed to ge a new vacuum. This was about 1961. The Electrolux salesman put on numerous demonstrations for us and finally after many visits my dad ordered stripped down vacuum with the power attachment.

    Why had he bought a Kirby to begin with? Well, to spray paint the fence he installed to “keep the neighbors dogs out and the children in.”

    What did I buy when I set up housekeeping in 1973, an Electrolux. It still works and when the hose wore out I found a perfectly good one at an estate sale.

  10. Denise says:

    I picked up a turquoise Electrolux ‘Lightweight’ about 14 years ago with it’s accessories. It was outside of the donations door of Goodwill and I excitedly, but as calmly as possible, asked if someone would put a price on it so that I could buy it. They complied, and imagine my surprise and glee, it was priced for $8.

    In my search for an official model number, I have found a couple of sites that show a pictorial listing of the Electrolux vacuums but mine is not included. I have found an advertisement where the lady of the house is holding one with a pinky. Although it is Electrolux’s lightest weight one at 16 lbs., holding it with one’s pinky is a little far-fetched, especially for a delicate looking model in the ad.

    I found a guy in Illinois that refurbishes/restores them. He currently has a few that are sold, but photos are left up for viewers to appreciate their beauty, and some that are for sale. (theelectroluxman.com)

    I have used mine since finding it, but, it is having a couple of issues (accidentally sucked up hot ash, and then it was left at the camper where mice nested and now the metal hose end is stuck to the opening.) My SO never liked it and wants to scrap it. Horrors!! Even though it still works. I begrudgingly started using a new vacuum, and, as I am also cleaning out getting ready to move, I’m looking for someone that loves these machines that would want to restore it.

    It is a difficult task sometimes to get rid of vintage goodies that you adore, but also know that they are sitting being unused or displayed. Good luck in your clean out. I’m sure you will find someone that will treasure this door knocking piece of history.

  11. Scott says:

    I still have my Gran’s beautiful 1961 light turquoise Model G so anything Electrolux gives me the warm and fuzzies. That door knocker is right up there with Total Electric Gold Medallion Electric Home at the top of the cool scale.

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