Today, we take lightweight handhelds and self-sufficient robot vacuums for granted. But vacuum cleaners weren't always so sleek or intuitive.
The owner of this gorgeous early-1960s Electrolux canister vac paid less than $20 for it at an estate sale.
The Electrolux still works and uses canister bags, which are increasingly hard to come by.
The Museum of Clean, in Pocatello, Idaho, houses quite a collection of vintage vacuums. These are only the beginning.
Here's a 1915 vacuum on wheels. Weight: A lofty 100 pounds.
Pam Kueber owns this 1955 Constellation vacuum by Hoover. It's built to float on its own exhaust ... kind of like Luke Skywalker's landspeeder.
The Vacuum Cleaner Museum has its own Constellation, which was modeled specifically to feed America's space craze.
This vac of unknown vintage reminds us a little of a toy truck.
In the 1970s, this green color was so popular it showed up on everything from vacuum cleaners to muscle cars.
Here's a retro-futuristic National Super Service Model M, circa 1965. It's part appliance, part post-Roswell spaceship.
In the 1950s, Hamilton Beach unveiled the "universal" motor, which could work on either AC or DC currents.
This 1936 Singer featured a wind-up cord.