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The Electrolux Model XXX is one of Electrolux’s more famous vacuum cleaners. Its design is based upon the Zephyr steam trains of the era. Lurelle Van Arsdale Guild was contracted by Electrolux to design it, as he had become very famous and well known for being able to incorporate popular themes in his designs. He was so well known that his name and photo was even used to advertise the product.

The two end parts of the vacuum cleaner are heavy aluminium castings. The weight makes the vacuum cleaner feel sturdier, but the two aluminium runners on the bottom mean that it can still be moved easily. The main body of the Model XXX was covered in leatherette at the top and bottom, which was, as far as I can tell, purely for decorative purposes. The handle was made of rubber. Rubber was used so that the friction allowed people to get a good grip on it.

By the 1950’s it was quite common for there to be a vacuum cleaner in the home, and so some kind of innovation was needed to make new models sell. The Electrolux boasted the strongest powered suction available at the time, but the manufacturers didn’t believe that this was enough to make their product stand out. To add something extra to the Model XXX, they enabled it to be configured to blow out air, as well as suck it in. Extra purchases could then be made to take advantage of this feature. Some examples are tire inflators, paint sprayers, floor polishers, etc. All these were to try and give Electrolux an extended grip on not only the vacuum cleaner market, but the home appliances market in general. It was obviously a successful venture, as the Model XXX is the longest manufactured model of vacuum cleaner, from 1937 to 1954.

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