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Crazy-cool vintage vacuum cleaners (pictures)

Back in the day, vacuum cleaners looked like everything from spaceships to wagons.

Leslie Gornstein
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1 of 16 Pretty. Quirky.

Vision in turquoise

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.

Looking for the best vacuums of 2015? Here you go!

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2 of 16 Pretty. Quirky.

Vintage tech

The Electrolux  still works and uses canister bags, which are increasingly hard to come by.

Read CNET's vacuum cleaner buying guide.

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3 of 16 Museum of Clean

Quite a collection

The Museum of Clean, in Pocatello, Idaho, houses quite a collection of vintage vacuums. These are only the beginning.

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4 of 16 Museum of Clean

Older than dirt

The world's first vacuum cleaner arrived at the turn of the 20th century, according to the Museum of Clean.

Read CNET's vacuum cleaner buying guide.

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5 of 16 Museum of Clean

Clean on wheels

Here's a 1915 vacuum on wheels. Weight: A lofty 100 pounds.

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6 of 16 Vacuum Cleaner Museum

All the rage

The Royal Standard debuted in 1914. It sold 1 million units ... even though only a few million American homes had electricity at the time. It's at the Vacuum Cleaner Museum in St. James, Mo.

Read CNET's vacuum cleaner buying guide.

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7 of 16 Pam Kueber/Retro Renovation

Hovercraft

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.

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8 of 16 Vacuum Cleaner Museum

Space craze

The Vacuum Cleaner Museum has its own Constellation, which was modeled specifically to feed America's space craze.

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9 of 16 Museum of Clean

Vacuum or car?

This vac of unknown vintage reminds us a little of a toy truck.

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10 of 16 Vacuum Cleaner Museum

Green machine

In the 1970s, this green color was so popular it showed up on everything from vacuum cleaners to muscle cars.

Read CNET's vacuum cleaner buying guide.

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11 of 16 Museum of Clean

The day the dirt stood still

Here's a retro-futuristic National Super Service Model M, circa 1965. It's part appliance, part post-Roswell spaceship.

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12 of 16 Museum of Clean

Dusty memories

The operators of the Museum of Clean found this 1911 pre-electric vacuum from a business owner across the street.

Read CNET's vacuum cleaner buying guide.

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13 of 16 Vacuum Cleaner Museum

Universal adaptor

In the 1950s, Hamilton Beach unveiled the "universal" motor, which could work on either AC or DC currents.

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14 of 16 Vacuum Cleaner Museum

Jazz-Age convenience

Think the Dustbuster was the first handheld? Nope. The Hoover Dustette arrived in the 1920s. It's so durable that some still run today, according to the Vacuum Cleaner Museum.

Read CNET's vacuum cleaner buying guide.

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15 of 16 Vacuum Cleaner Museum

Wind me up

This 1936 Singer featured a wind-up cord.

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16 of 16 Vacuum Cleaner Museum

The first Dyson

Dyson introduced the world's first bagless, dual cyclonic upright vac in 1984.

Read CNET's vacuum cleaner buying guide.

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