Plastic – the antique of tomorrow and a rocket from the 60s

Since the beginnings of the remeltable (thermoplastic) plastic, it has been commonly referred to as just “plastic”, this is still in use today, especially in colloquial language. A word that is almost the same in German, English and Romance languages, Plastik – plastic – pastique – plastica – plástico, and which can also be an adjective for “deformable”. I have a lot to do with plastic for professional reasons, which is probably why, in combination with my weakness for objects from the 40s to 70s, it turned out that I like horny plastic products. It is interesting that in the languages mentioned above there is only one more noble word for this matter and it is in German: “Kunststoff”.  In French, for example, it would be “matière artificielle” which is hardly used for what is meant by “plastique”.

The above-mentioned objects are often still cheap, and indeed, originally plastic was primarily used to make a product cheaper. This is probably the reason why there are so many problems with the pollution of the oceans. Every year 8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans, which corresponds to a cube with 204 metres of side length, based on polypropylene with a density of 946 kilos per cubic metre. This results in 615 billion of the left thicker plastic bag (13 grams) and almost double the right thinner, the usual size in Swiss supermarkets, which until about a year ago were for free and then cost 5 centimes a piece.

It is not possible to predict how trends will develop. Who knows, perhaps in fifty years the prices of today’s antiques (100 and more years old) will fall and Midcentury prices will rise, why not also for daily consumer goods. Therefore, if you have interesting objects made of plastic you should take care of them. I know, I have on my web page also things from this area, which are hardly to be taken seriously. With the use of plastic the number of pieces produced has increased, but also much more is trown away much faster. In addition, plastic is subject to aging, which often results in greater fragility. Due to these factors articles like my Hooverette below have become extremely rare, especially if they are in undamaged and complete condition.

My recently purchased Hooverette 2944B in the 70s color par excellence: orange!

Of course some accessories are missing as shown in the pictures below or through the links below. Hoover, a remarkable brand. Founded in 1908 in the USA, the company expanded to England after the First World War and in 1927 became a court supplier for vacuum cleaners at the royal house, by royal decree. Here is the breathtaking Hoover Building in Art Deco Style in Perivale, West London, now home to apartments and a supermarket.

In 1995 the European branch was taken over by the Italian group Candy and in 2007 the American business was bought by the Chinese group Techtronic Industries. The importance of this company on the market is also demonstrated by the fact that the English “to hoover” appears in dictionaries under “to vacuum up”. The brand has thus become a synonym for the activity carried out by these devices.

The device, launched in 1962, captivates with a design typical for the 60s, today known under the term Space Age, the Hooverette was also available in other colour variations. I assume that orange was the last introduced colour.

The device can also be used as a hand vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner was in Great Britain and on the mainland more successful than in America, there it was replaced by a similar, probably more efficient device, which was by far not so beautiful. I could not find out the price from then, the costs today depend on the distributor, mine at the charity shop of the Salvation Army was CHF 11.90, depending on the fever of the salesman the scale is open to the top – more about the topic “Floorcare for people who care” – the slogan of Hoover from 1962 – can be found on youtube:

Vintage 2944 Hooverette Vacuum Cleaner Unboxing & First Look

Vintage Hooverette Stick Vacuum Cleaner Demonstration & Review

Hooverette Service Manual

Dust bags are available here. Those who like to be below the price of the vacuum cleaner with the price of the bag can also modify a product by Elektrolux.

In that sense, take care of your “plastic” jewels.