Hoover Model 543 – c.1926-29

Manufactured: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Motor: Single-speed, Hoover-built unit. Brass sleeve bearings requiring regular oiling.

Bag: Spreader-top, black Ronac material.

Chassis: Unpolished die-cast aluminium.

Handle: Wooden with ‘non-marring’ fibre handgrip and metal cap.

Brush-roll: Patented Hoover Agitator.

Sold Alongside: Model 700, Model 972.

When Hoover launched the revolutionary new Model 700 in 1926, Model 541 was demoted to the position of entry level upright, and renamed Model 543. For the first time, Hoover UK’s range now included a second, more affordable option for buyers who couldn’t quite stretch to ‘The Greater Hoover’ Model 700.

Model 543 featured Hoover’s latest carpet cleaning technology, the patented Agitator brush roll. It also featured a bag made of the new, more durable ‘Ronac’ material, supported at the top by a patented spreader device.

Model 543 was the last Hoover vacuum with motor bearings which needed regular manual oiling by the user. The same 1.9 amp motor used on Model 541, it lacked sufficient power to cope effectively with the weight of the new Agitator, and as a result was not a particularly efficient cleaner.

Model 543 sold at £13.13.0, tools costing £3.3.0 extra.

Hoover Model 575 – c.1929-32

Manufactured: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Motor: w, single-speed.

Chassis: Unpolished die-cast aluminium.

Brush-roll: Hoover Agitator.

Sold alongside: Model 725, Model 972, Minor Model 200, Dustette Model 100.

Following the pattern Hoover had started with Model 543, Model 575 was little more than Model 700 with a new bag graphic design and a black enamel-painted motor shell. Rated at 230w, the motor was a more powerful version of the sealed, ball-bearing unit used on Model 700. Its fan had 12 blades, compared to Model 700s 8.

Model 575 was the cheaper alternative to the deluxe Model 725. It was the last of the Hoover uprights to have a unpolished finish to its aluminium chassis. It was also the last to use the bag-spreader design.

Hoover Model 425 – c.1932-34

‘This is the greatest economy-Hoover ever built, offering Positive Agitation at a lower price than ever before. More efficient, lighter in weight, more attractive.’

Manufactured: Perivale, Greenford, Middlesex, West London.

Weight: 7.7kg

Motor: 210w single-speed.

Chassis: Die-cast aluminium.

Sold alongside: Model 750, Model 900, Minor Model 200B, Dustette Model 100.

Economy Model 425 was Hoover’s first all-new upright in over a decade. It was redesigned from the wheels upwards, with a new chassis, a new narrower, lighter Agitator, and a new centrally-mounted one-speed 210w (later 240w) motor, covered by a separate metal hood. These modifications made it lighter than any previous UK Hoover model – at 7.7kg, it weighed nearly a kilogram less than its more deluxe brother, Model 750.

In America, a ‘Hedlite’ lamp could be added as a $5 option.

For the first time, too, was Hoover’s use of a flat drivebelt. This feature wouldn’t be used again until the late 1960s. During repair visits, Hoover service engineers later converted many machines to use more readily available round belts.

The unique hose converter design means matching toolkits for Model 425 are fairly scarce now. The converters for Models 300, 450 and 475 aren’t compatible.

Hoover Model 450 – c.1934-36

Manufactured: Perivale, Greenford, Middlesex, West London.

Motor: 210w/240w, single-speed.

Chassis: Die-cast aluminium.

Sold alongside: Model 800, Model 925, Junior Model 370, Dustette Model 100.

Model 450 was essentially a restyled Model 425 with one main improvement – the addition of the new Dirt Finder headlamp. This shone out from under a motor cap styled with a streamlined Art Deco flourish. This styling touch brought it in line with the deluxe Model 800 and commercial Model 925.

Underneath the cleaner, the baseplate was smaller than that of Model 425, and the tool converter was modified to allow for the slightly lower locking-latch.

Hoover Model 475 – c.1936-38

‘The popular-price Hoover. With modern lines for modern homes.’

Manufactured: Perivale, Greenford, Middlesex, West London.

Motor: 210w single-speed.

Chassis: Die-cast aluminium.

Price: £16.16.0d, and £3.03.0d for dusting tools.

Sold alongside: Model 825, Model 925, Junior Model 375, Dustette Model 100.

Model 475 differed from Model 450 only in terms of styling. The waterfall badge and streamlined motor cap were the work of Henry Dreyfuss, and mirrored those of deluxe Model 825. However, the motor cap lacked the light-up Hoover logo featured on the deluxe machine.

Hoover Model 875 – c.1938


Manufactured: Perivale, Greenford, Middlesex, West London.

Motor: 310w, single-speed.

Chassis: Die-cast aluminium, beige painted finish.

Sold alongside: Model 160 Cleaning Ensemble, Junior Model 375, Dustette Model 100.

Model 875 was only built for about 6 months before the introduction of its all-new replacement, Model 262. The 4-digit serial number suggests that very few were produced during the short production run.

It was introduced in 1938 at the start of Hoover’s first major revamp of their model ranges. Based on Model 825, it was actually used as a replacement for Popular-Priced Model 475 (Model 825’s deluxe replacement was the all-new Model 160 Cleaning Ensemble).

Model 875 retained the basic design of the 700/800 series machines, but also utilised the new aesthetic style of its successors: the bag design was derived from Model 160, and the beige painted finish matched that of Model 262.

Uniquely, Model 875s motor cap was of dark brown phenol plastic, rather than polished or painted aluminium.

Hoover Model 262 – c.1939 / 1945-49

Manufactured: Perivale, Greenford, Middlesex, West London.

Motor: 325w, single-speed.

Chassis: Die-cast aluminium, beige painted finish.

Price: £17.5.0 (plus purchase tax £4.6.3). Cleaning tools extra.

Sold alongside: Model 160 Cleaning Ensemble, Model 960, Junior Model 375, Dustette Model 100.

Based on US Model 26, Model 262 was designed by Henry Dreyfuss. As with the deluxe Model 160 Cleaning Ensemble, Model 262 brought in a totally new, modern form in vacuum cleaner design. Lighter in weight than Model 160, it was the mid-range model between Model 160 and the budget-priced Junior 375.

Streamlined and as simple as possible, it did away with any unnecessary design details. The motor cowl was phenolic resin, and came in two finishes – early machines had plain brown bakelite, while later examples had marbled brown Bakelite. Two different bag materials and trim colours were used during the 262’s production run, as well; early examples had plain brown bags and light brown trim, while later examples had the bag pictured above, and darker brown trim. Unfortunately, the beige wrinkle-finish paint had a tendancy to come away with time.

Relatively simple machines with a single-speed motor similar to the one used in Model 160, they ran at 325w, and were equipped with a headlamp which shone out through an opening in the motor cowl.

Rare examples of the 262 built in 1939 before WWII halted production have a full-wrap around motor band, while post-war models have a simpler ratings plate on the front of the motor cowl only. Final examples of the 262 were painted in gold hammerite, like Deluxe Model 612.

As with Model 160 Cleaning Ensemble, the 262 featured a vast improvement to the way that the toolkit fitted to the machine. Rather than the fiddly process involved with attaching the hose on older models, Henry Dreyfuss’ redesign meant that the tool convertor could be inserted into the side of the machine while the motor was running, taking a matter of seconds, not minutes. The user pressed down on the rear of the chassis as they inserted the convertor, lifting the brushroll off the carpet – the cleaner was then held in this position by the convertor – thus avoiding the brushroll over-brushing the carpet while the cleaner was stationary.

The toolkit included a hose, a large floorbrush, an upholstery brush, a dusting brush, a crevice tool, 2 extention tubes, and a blower port. They fitted together with a simple clip, again an improvement on the older-style fitting. The tools were supplied with a storage caddy to carry them around in – Hoover suggested the user hung this on the door of the room they were cleaning so the toolkit would be near at hand if needed.