Fruit Brute
Since 1983.
Forum » Retro Products » Superior Retro Tech/Appliances
EISXUOIS wrote :

vkimo wrote :
 Heck, your average car prior to the 70s only got about 100k miles then died!
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But you could fix the old cars yourself. They didn't put the whole engine behind the timing belt.. You could change your spark plugs easily. Now they are super long and you have to take half the engine apart because they are so brittle. As well as the crappy sensors that 90% of the time cause the problem. For furniture buy Amish. Still made of hardwood the old way. Yeah everything is meant to fail and be thrown out now.

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Yeah the computer sensors essentially force you to go back to the dealership to get your car serviced. 
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You would think I could give an easy yes/no to the replies in this thread. But as I see it, there's no clear cut blanket response to the idea that older consumer products are superior to their contemporaries.

I can tell you that older household gadgets cost a higher percentage of the average persons income, especially in the years prior to 1970. That price is reflected in the materials and labor to create those products. I wonder if the constraints of design of let's say a refrigerator from 1950 results in a product with a long operational life, almost as a by product rather than intentional reliability?

"Built-in obsolescence" could just be the demand to keep cost low.

Do you guys know the story of Electrolux? The Swedish appliance maker was famous around the world for building the best vacuum cleaner money could buy in the early 20th century. During the 1940's the US and Canadian branches of Electrolux offered financing so people could make time payments on a vacuum cleaners, especially as newer models became more expensive.  

My grandparents owned the legendary Electrolux Model XXX from 1937 to 1954. This was the cool looking streamline design model. It had the baked enamel coating on the exterior housing with chromed aluminium trim that said, "ELECTROLUX" in raised relief block letters. I remember being freaked out by this vacuum cleaner because it had the unique "snake skin" woven fabric hose. It really looked like a snake whenever grandma used it when I was visiting. 

She used to leave the canister out for me when I was 4 years old. I used to play with it like a spaceship. It had those cool stainless steel runners instead of wheels and the unique "saloon door" exhaust opening for the attachments like a sprayer/atomizer.

It was weird the way the filter end of the canister looked like a locomotive. Actually the whole vacuum cleaner looked strange but it's simple "pass through" design and durable motor made this vacuum cleaner almost indestructible. Many collectors find these vacuum cleaners in good operation condition even after all these decades. Broken units can be repaired with parts still widely available online.

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I don't recall any of my family owning the Electrolux, but one of my grandmothers had the old Kirby vacuum cleaner, and later on my stepmom owned one as well. They could suck the carpet off your floor.
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You love this signature.
I've heard of Kirby, it was a "commercial grade" vacuum cleaner available for home use., and they all look expensive! Upright vacuums are always more complex in design than simpler canister-type vacuum cleaners.

I wonder if it was my fascination with grandma's Electrolux that led to my grandparents giving away the vacuum to my parents? We used the Electrolux right up to 1968. It was still working when we gave it to my favorite uncle for a shop vac.
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