August 12, 2004

A few words about ... vacuums!

Last week I got out of bed and into my car to shop for a vacuum cleaner in a semi-robotic, automatic, beam-me-up kind of way. Without first forming a central system for comparison, or reading any review, rating, records or consumer report to gauge the best machines, whether commercial, industrial, bagless, cordless, hepa, wet-dry, or for simplicity of repair, I chose a Bissell vacuum cleaner off the back of a truck from among a pool of Dirt Devil, Dyson, Electrolux, Eureka, Fantom, Hoover, Kenmore, Kirby, Miele, Oreck, Panasonic, Rainbow, Roomba, Royal, Shark, Sharp, and Tristar titles and packaging.

Stranger things have happened. I didn't know what to make of the vacuum guy's cover. He was parked, motor running, on a leaf-strewn lawn by an above ground swimming pool and had some robot-like female pumping pond stuff through hose and tube into a variety of canister, chamber, and storage bags. The whole contraption, topped by a rotary vane, he claimed was some kind of Gast pump coating machine, a sealer and sweeper for the pool-side tile. But of his assistant coater who wore only a bra, he said nothing.

Bissell Bissell in the Wild
Manufacturer's Mug-Shot.        Bissell in Natural Habitat

But I was happy to get the vacuum cleaner nevertheless. And I did it all without touching a browser. A marvelous feat.

Interesting, though, to study the shifting sands of modern language (and vacuum manufacturer fortune) by examining what people in search of information about vacuums, in all their guises, entered into browsers the last two months:

Searches done in June 2004 Searches done in July 2004
Count Search Term Count Search Term
67412 vacuum 66853 vacuum
45458 vacuum cleaner 47365 vacuum cleaner
11000 kirby vacuum 11512 kirby vacuum
9764 vacuum pump 11032 vacuum pump
9695 rainbow vacuum 10613 rainbow vacuum
9123 dyson vacuum 9480 vacuum motor
8510 miele vacuum cleaner 9112 dyson vacuum
6438 hoover vacuum 6825 hoover vacuum
5840 central vacuum 6490 miele vacuum cleaner
5539 pool vacuum 5618 eureka vacuum
4998 eureka vacuum 5593 central vacuum
4954 vacuum cleaner bag 5072 vacuum cleaner bag
4666 vacuum tube 4700 vacuum tube
4195 shark vacuum 4644 pool vacuum
3693 vacuum bag 4373 shark vacuum
3549 central vacuum system 4142 central vacuum system
3462 coater vacuum 3776 vacuum bag
3165 vacuum forming machine 3570 hoover vacuum cleaners
3053 oreck vacuum 3308 kirby vacuum cleaners
3036 kirby vacuum cleaners 3105 oreck vacuum
2960 female vacuum pumping 3044 female vacuum pumping
2924 hoover vacuum cleaners 2906 vacuum forming machine
2688 rainbow vacuum cleaners 2872 vacuum repair
2662 dyson vacuum cleaners 2836 consumer report vacuum cleaners
2556 vacuum repair 2815 dyson vacuum cleaners
2462 vacuum cleaner rating 2799 coater vacuum
2426 vacuum cleaner review 2797 vacuum cleaner review
2315 eureka vacuum cleaners 2760 vacuum cleaner rating
2269 dyson vacuum cleaner 2561 rainbow vacuum cleaners
2227 consumer report vacuum cleaners 2462 eureka vacuum cleaners
2074 miele vacuum 2257 vacuum sealer
1993 vacuum sealer 2254 miele vacuum
1948 rainbow vacuum cleaner 2218 dyson vacuum cleaner
1903 coating machine vacuum 2091 electrolux vacuum
1879 shop vacuum 2073 rainbow vacuum cleaner
1813 electrolux vacuum 2032 vacuum cleaner part
1799 vacuum cleaner part 1967 vacuum forming
1795 vacuum forming 1863 vacuum review
1572 kirby vacuum cleaner 1768 dirt devil vacuum
1535 commercial vacuum cleaner 1742 kirby vacuum cleaner
1534 automatic vacuum 1717 vacuum system
1519 vacuum gauge 1650 vacuum gauge
1513 vacuum review 1613 consumer report vacuum
1471 vacuum system 1593 vacuum part
1467 hepa vacuum 1566 fantom vacuum
1463 dirt devil vacuum 1513 canister vacuum
1458 vacuum truck 1511 coating machine vacuum
1416 vacuum part 1470 best vacuum cleaners
1401 hoover vacuum part 1452 hoover vacuum part
1398 leaf vacuum 1445 hepa vacuum
1379 canister vacuum 1435 best vacuum cleaner
1322 fantom vacuum 1412 vacuum cleaner repair
1317 vacuum sealers 1412 vacuum sealers
1304 best vacuum cleaners 1385 oreck vacuum cleaners
1286 kirby vacuum bag 1354 best vacuum
1272 best vacuum cleaner 1350 panasonic vacuum
1265 cordless vacuum 1340 cordless vacuum
1230 panasonic vacuum 1314 kirby vacuum bag
1227 vacuum 1299 shop vacuum
1224 best vacuum 1298 leaf vacuum
1211 swimming pool vacuum 1272 vacuum truck
1186 vacuum rating 1250 cleaners title vacuum
1162 oreck vacuum cleaners 1228 hoover vacuum cleaner
1136 vacuum cleaner repair 1199 vacuum rating
1126 industrial vacuum 1181 vacuum
1121 pond vacuum 1143 royal vacuum
1092 automatic pool vacuum 1134 robot vacuum
1087 vacuum storage bag 1102 rotary vane vacuum pump
1060 hoover vacuum cleaner 1082 kenmore vacuum
1047 vacuum bra 1068 roomba vacuum
1038 consumer report vacuum 1063 commercial vacuum cleaner
1038 wet dry vacuum 1060 vacuum storage bag
1036 electrolux vacuum cleaners 1052 vacuum cleaner comparison
1022 commercial vacuum cleaners 1042 electrolux vacuum cleaners
1019 robot vacuum 992 commercial vacuum cleaners
1004 beam vacuum 974 panasonic vacuum cleaners
998 eureka vacuum cleaner 971 swimming pool vacuum
974 tristar vacuum 964 eureka vacuum cleaner
936 bagless vacuum 961 vacuum hose
927 cleaner tile vacuum 957 vacuum cleaner cover
927 vacuum hose 951 vacuum chamber
918 robotic vacuum 940 sharp vacuum
899 lawn vacuum 937 tristar vacuum
879 car vacuum 922 simplicity vacuum
875 eureka vacuum bag 916 beam vacuum
873 royal vacuum 911 wet dry vacuum
868 vacuum chamber 908 commercial vacuum
857 roomba vacuum 906 bissell vacuum
838 panasonic vacuum cleaners 898 eureka vacuum bag
817 above ground pool vacuum 854 industrial vacuum cleaner
815 kenmore vacuum 852 car vacuum
806 simplicity vacuum 822 pond vacuum
794 beam central vacuum 822 vacuum pumping
789 vacuum cleaner comparison 812 industrial vacuum
788 eureka vacuum part 806 robotic vacuum
785 vacuum packaging 800 vacuum packaging
782 industrial vacuum cleaners 800 vacuum sweeper
767 vacuum sweeper 796 vacuum bed
763 bissell vacuum 792 shark vacuum cleaner
757 gast vacuum pump 788 vacuum cleaners rating

You can draw your own conclusions, but I confess to being somewhat flattered and sucked in by the rise of "bissell vacuum" from next-to-last.

Here's what they have to say about the product I bought:

BISSELL'S New Lift-Off® Deluxe Two-In-One Vacuum Adds Comfort and Convenience to Multipurpose Cleaning

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., March 20, 2004 -- Can comfort, convenience and class be used to describe a vacuum? According to BISSELL Homecare, Inc., the new Lift-Off Deluxe vacuum offers all three and more. It's a two-in-one bagless vacuum with a fully functional detachable canister and features like a canister shoulder strap for truly comfortable and convenient multipurpose cleaning.

The latest in BISSELL's Lift-Off® vacuum line, the Lift-Off Deluxe is a 12 amp upright vacuum with a detachable canister that "lifts off" from the base and functions as a separate vacuum without any loss of power. The machine includes standard Lift-Off features such as an Easy Empty™ Dirt Container and a 30-foot power cord, as well as five new features: on-board storage for the Turbobrush® tool; a filter clean/change indicator; a canister shoulder strap for added portable convenience; an upgraded bare floor tool; and an additional filter pack.

"The versatility of the sharply-designed Lift-Off Deluxe allows consumers to go from one cleaning job to another without switching vacuums," said Jim Krzeminski, BISSELL's senior vice president of product development, sales and marketing. "The feature enhancements add to the ease-of-use of this two-in-one solution for multipurpose vacuuming."

The upright vacuum portion of the Lift-Off Deluxe includes BISSELL's extra wide cleaning path with dual edge cleaning and an Ultra Soft™ Bumper to protect furniture and baseboards. Cleaning tools, including an on-board TurboBrush, a telescoping wand, deluxe stretch hose and a combination dusting brush/upholstery tool, allow for maximum cleaning reach when using either the upright vacuum or canister portion of the machine.

The machine includes a HEPA media filter that captures 99.9 percent of dust mites, pollen and ragweed. The vacuum's rotating brushes lift out dirt from carpet and upholstery and can be turned off for bare floor cleaning.

The suggested retail price of the Lift-Off Deluxe is $229.99. It will be available at retailers nationwide in October 2004.

A 128-year-old company, Grand Rapids-based BISSELL Homecare, Inc. -- pioneer of America's early carpet sweeper -- is an international manufacturer of home cleaning products, including sweepers, vacuums, deep cleaning machines and cleaning formulas sold at retail locations nationwide. The company, in its fourth generation of family leadership, is the seventh largest privately held company in the United States.

To tell the truth, I prefer to buy from a privately held company. At least a privately held company is not legally precluded from deciding to "do the right thing," as are publicly held companies serving abstracted "shareholders" and "the market."

For pure vacuum obsession, see Charlie Lester's incredible "Things that go vrrrrrrooo in the Night" at

Vacuum Cleaner Obsession
Cyberspace Vacuum Cleaner Museum
The Linnell Collection
The Galaasen Vacuum Cleaner Collection

How Much Is Aunt Tillie's Old Sweeper Worth?
Home for Wayward Vacuum Cleaners
Stan Kann

History of the Kirby 500 Series

The History of American Electrolux
Electrolux's First: The Model V
Electrolux's Second Cleaner: The Model XI
Electrolux LX Extravaganza
Electrolux Model AF Restoration
Electrolux Model R

Home for Wayward Vacuum Cleaners
The Airway 88 Mark-II
Charlie Gets a Wilfa
The Fairfax
The Eatonia
The Compact Model 1
A Pair of "Retro" Floor Polishers

The Great American Garage Clean-up!
The Great American Garage Clean-up - Part Two!

Some people just really don't know how to Giggle at Google.

Did I say my new Bissell vacuum cleaner really sucks up dog and pet hair?

On the other hand, why bother?

Posted by Raoul

Why Bother

All Hail Freedonia!
Google Giggles
Literacy and Its Discontents
Old and In the Way
On the Road
Pretty Vacant Video
Readers Notes
The Climate Suits My Clothes
The Net Takes You Nowhere
Time Keeps On Ticking
Weapons of Mass Distraction
Why indeed?


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