Hoover Model 900 – c.1932-34

‘Frankly, it’s a better cleaner than most homes require. Built for constant, hard use and to resist abuse. Finest of all cleaners. For large homes, hotels, institutions and public buildings.’

Sold in the US as ‘The Gold Chevron Hoover’, Model 900 was Hoover’s 3rd UK machine intended specifically for the commercial market. It was Hoover’s first ‘standard size’ commercial machine, with a 12″ cleaning path.

Using Model 750 as a starting point, the 900 had extra-durable metal wheels with bearings and rubber tyres, a more durable rear axle, a larger bag, and a centrally-mounted height adjustment system which passed right through the dust-outlet, rather than being mounted on the side of the chassis as with domestic models. The snap-action handle bail was also operated by spring systems on both sides of the chassis. The fan chamber was lined with rubber, for quiet operation, and with steel plates, to prevent hard pieces of debris being shot through the side of the chassis if accidently vacuumed up! These modifications made the 900 (9.4kg) a little heavier than the 750 (8.6kg), and therefore a little clumsier to use. It retained the 2-speed 275w motor from the 750.

Stylistically, the 900 differed from the 750 in that the chassis was adorned with engraved filligrees reminicent of wings either side of the Hoover badge, and the motor band was black, rather than orange.

In America, 7,654 examples of Model 900 were made.

Hoover Model 925 – c.1934-39

Model 925 was introduced in 1933 to replace Model 900. The chassis was identical to that of its predessessor, but utilised the new 360w 2-speed motor of the domestic Model 800. Sharing its Art Deco styling cues with this model, it also incorporated most of the heavy-duty characteristics of the commercial machine it replaced, although it used standard wheels, not the metal/rubber versions seen on the 900. As with its domestic siblings – Models 800 and 450 – it included a built-in ‘Dirt Finder’ headlamp as standard, Hoover’s first UK model range to do so. Another new feature was an extra-long power cord, and this was stored on 2 sets of cord hooks either side of the handle.

Priced at £26.05.0d, plus £3.03.0d for dusting tools, a complete 925 ensemble would cost £1,330 in today’s money.

In America, 8,935 examples of Model 925 were made.

The American version of ‘Sentinel’ Model 925 represented one of many ‘firsts’ for Hoover, and for vacuum cleaners in general; it was the first cleaner to be fitted with a capacitor, or ‘Radio Interference Eliminator’. This feature was not included on the British version, but by the late 1950s, capacitors would be commonplace on most vacuum cleaners:


Hoover Model 960 c.1939 / 1946-49

Manufactured: Perivale, Greenford, Middlesex, West London.

Motor: 325w, two-speed Hoover-built unit.

Motor rpm: 9,000.

Chassis: Die-cast aluminium, painted light grey finish. Black Bakelite motor hood.

Agitator rpm: 3,000.

Introduced in 1939, before production was interrupted by WWII, Model 960 Cleaning Ensemble was Hoover’s commercial version of their flagship Model 160. Almost identical to its domestic sister, it featured a bigger dustbag – the extra capacity meaning it was better suited for filtering large amounts of office or hotel dirt. The fan chamber was lined to protect it from damage, and Hoover did away with the rectractable bag-cord system, using instead a much simpler and more durable external spring. The spring had already been in use on the Juniors 370 and 375, and the Model 262 – it was soon to become standard throughout Hoover’s upright model range.

21,941 of these machines were built over the two year post-war production run, from January 1947 to July 1948. This particular machine dates from March/April 1947. The number of machines – if any – made before the war is unknown. Back-stock of Model 960 was still available for purchase in 1949.

Complete with tools, and allowing for purchase tax, Model 960 sold for £32.16.3 – the equivalent to roughly £1,166 in modern currency.

The 960 was replaced in 1949 by the 912, a new and highly-durable machine, variations of which would continue to be sold until the early 1980’s.

The image above comes from the Illustrated London News; caption reads: ‘Gifts of sumptuous utililty: Electric cleaning machines presented to the Princess by the Directors and Employees of Messrs. Hoover, Ltd.’ A Hoover 960 Cleaning Ensemble, and a Hoover 402 with polished aluminium end-pieces, were given to Princess Elizabeth as wedding presents when she married Prince Philip on 20th November 1947.

Hoover Model 912 – c.1949-

Manufactured: Perivale, Greenford, Middlesex, West London.

Weight: 11.9kg.

Motor: 330w, single-speed Hoover-built unit.

Motor rpm (on carpet): 8,000.

Chassis: Die-cast aluminium, painted light and dark grey finish.

Agitator rpm (on carpet): 2,900.

Production of Model 912 was initiated in July 1949, but it wasn’t on sale until February 1950. The earliest examples of this model were built for export. An altogether more solid and durable machine than the model it replaced, it was also one of Hoover’s heaviest cleaners at 15kg.

Styled by Henry Dreyfuss, it shared a similar look to domestic model 612. The motor was a slightly more durable version of the one from the 612. Rated at 400w, it ran with a slow, quiet purr.

Versions of this machine were made until the early 1990s, in the guises of replacement model 912A and U7008. 912A was very similar to the 912, but had a different bag material and a more modern hand grip. It also lost the darker coloured motor hood, being silver hammertone all over. The handle release pedal was black, as opposed to maroon.

U7008, which replaced the 912A, had a chassis-mounted carpet-height indicator, and lacked a headlamp. The whole of the chassis was covered by a large, rounded furniture guard.