'Success' vacuum cleaner, manually-operated, circa 1909-1918. Although it was advertised for sale in Australia from at least 1912, the donor believed it was imported from America and it may have belonged to miner called Robinson who built house in Mount Martha, Victoria, early in 1900s. This 'sea home' was occupied at some stage by Mrs Tom Hay, who also used the vacuum cleaner.

Physical Description

Hand pumped vacuum cleaner, featuring a cylindrical leather bellow with wooden ribs that is moved up and down two guide rails. Two circular wooden valves on top of the bellow close as the bellow is drawn up and air sucked into narrow "foot". A metal dust chamber below the bellow has a wingnut on each side for emptying. Entire base of cleaner is removed in this process, revealing dust bag over a narrow opening, 16.5cm L, 4.5cm W, with small metal wheel on each side for ease of movement over carpet. The guide rails form main handle of vacuum, and were originally coated with fine silver-type plating, now almost wholly disintegrated. The bellows, have severely deteriorated.

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