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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.

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Vintage tech

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

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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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Older than dirt

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

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Clean on wheels

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

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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.

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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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Space craze

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

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Vacuum or car?

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

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Green machine

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

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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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Dusty memories

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

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Universal adaptor

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

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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.

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Wind me up

This 1936 Singer featured a wind-up cord.

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The first Dyson

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

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