Thread Number: 30234
Most insane collection of vacuums on the face of this earth!
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 458490   8/22/2010 at 16:17 (3,607 days old) by washernoob ()        



Just went to the "so-called-closed" odowds vacuum shop today. (the other odowds not the one I normally go to)

WOW! Aparently they are still open! I went in and checked the entire store out which I did not get to do the last time I was in there 6 months ago!

I toured the basement (pictures to follow) and the huge "other" room next to the main room, and its much bigger than the main room!
In the basement there were about 300 or so vacuums. Most were just pilled on top of each other. There was a corner with about 50 hoovers lined up laying against each other.

There was a section of wall that was knocked out to create a small crawl space. FILLED with kirby vacuums. I would say there were about 100 or more of them stacked on top of each other.

There were more hoover concept ones in there than I have seen in my life. I counted probably 40 of them. In the basement alone! 2 hoover concept twos as well!

A shelf was filled with hundreds and hundreds of brush rolls too.

In the "other" room things were less organized.

There is a crate in there that is about 50 feet long, 12 feet deep and 5 feet high.

Absolutely stuffed with vacuum cleaners. Probably between 300-400 I would imagine.

On one end there were just hoovers and airways. I found 6 SIX hoover constellations, including an original blue one and pink one. Probably 5-10 airways ranging from the round one to the 88 mark II.

Most impressive thing I have EVER seen. This is why I love omaha. No other store in the world has this many vacuums i think!


First pic, the kirby corner.

Post# 458491 , Reply# 1   8/22/2010 at 16:18 (3,607 days old) by washernoob ()        

Second pic,

Along side the kirby corner. Some broken hoovers and such.

There were hundreds of bags behind this wall just sitting there.

Post# 458492 , Reply# 2   8/22/2010 at 16:19 (3,607 days old) by washernoob ()        

Next, the center of the basement!

Sorry its so dark. I tried to lighten them a bit. Non of the florescent lights worked.

Post# 458493 , Reply# 3   8/22/2010 at 16:21 (3,607 days old) by washernoob ()        

Next, A little bit to the left from the last one.

There is one of the concept twos. I want it! It was not that bad looking!

Notice the stuff just thrown around! These are no longer used machines.

Post# 458494 , Reply# 4   8/22/2010 at 16:22 (3,607 days old) by washernoob ()        

Next, more to the right!

I ment to say more to the right in the last post.

Pretty blue concept sticking out of a post! :D

Post# 458495 , Reply# 5   8/22/2010 at 16:23 (3,607 days old) by washernoob ()        

Last. Just a random picture! WOW!

So much stuff.

Post# 458496 , Reply# 6   8/22/2010 at 16:24 (3,607 days old) by washernoob ()        

I have two videos on here but dont know how to put them on the internet without using youtube.

No pictures of the "other" room as I was kinda in a hurry. But some day. maybe tomorrow I will go back.

Post# 458510 , Reply# 7   8/22/2010 at 17:48 (3,607 days old) by washernoob ()        
Screen shots

My phone takes terrible video but I tried to take some screen shots of a few rare vacuums

Here is a rare kirby Super Sweeper commercial vacuum. This has an 18" bolt on nozzle.

Post# 458511 , Reply# 8   8/22/2010 at 17:50 (3,607 days old) by washernoob ()        

The yellowish one appears to be the same as mine.

That is a pink one on the left and is one of the very first models! Quite rare! And it was very very nice looking.

This was in "the other room" in the crate.

Again sorry for the poor quality. Maybe next time I will remember my nice camera.

Post# 458527 , Reply# 9   8/22/2010 at 19:01 (3,607 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

gansky1's profile picture
This is the O'Dowd's vacuum store on Radial Hwy? I'm not surprised it looks like this, they've been in business a long, long time.

Post# 458530 , Reply# 10   8/22/2010 at 19:05 (3,607 days old) by washernoob ()        

Byron on 13th street said they were closing long ago, but apparently his brother decided to keep it going.

So yep its still there. For like 40 years or so!

Its a bit dusty in there but hey its old, and so many dirty vacuums get put in there every day its hard to keep it clean.

The basement is understandably dirty. Not finished, and very very very old brick walls crumbling. Its just been too long unattended that its kinda falling apart. Its also quite low ceilinged in there so its a paint to get around and do stuff.

He has collected so much that he has NO room for more. Eventually he will HAVE to part with some.

Greg, if you have never been, nows the time! Its really something for sure!

Post# 458738 , Reply# 11   8/23/2010 at 18:02 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        

I went back today with a friend, a local kirby nut.

We were going there with intentions on finally getting him to part with the old stuff.

So we start in the basement, John pulled out all the kirbys. Didn't find anything older than a 1950 510 though.
I found 4-5 hoover 28s, and a model 61. Some original and some rebuilt.


NOW for the fun part!


Holy crap... my dreams completely realized. There is an entire and much larger basement to the store that we did not know about.

way more vacuums.... and one thing that I still think was a dream.... On the far side of the one room in the basement, behind some rubble and car fenders, sits a PILE Of well over 100 very antique, very rare vacuums!

Some of the rarities which we dug up-

1920s Kirby model C
1920S Scotts and fetzer sanitation system
Kirby 510 with original parts.
2 hoover 541s
hoover 102, 103, 105.
Hoover 700, (x4-5) (725 (x3) hoover 800 (x2)

SIX... 6 hoover model 25s!!!! Holy crap. One of my most sought after hoovers! Six of them in mostly original and some quite mint condition!!
2 Hoover model 150s.

3-4 GEs and premiers.

This was literally just the tip top of the two massive piles almost as tall as me and 15 feet deep.

First pic- The "other room" mentioned above. Showing the vast bin of vacuums.

Post# 458739 , Reply# 12   8/23/2010 at 18:03 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        

Some of the constellations. I found 8 in this bin. Ron said he had about 20 or so of them.

Post# 458740 , Reply# 13   8/23/2010 at 18:04 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        

This is more to the left of the bin.

I am holding the camera at chest height to give you an idea how tall this thing is.

THis is the low side, and really the only side that you can see above machines.

Post# 458741 , Reply# 14   8/23/2010 at 18:05 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        

Looking from the low side to the high side of the bin.

Whoa its like a tidal wave of vacuums!

Post# 458742 , Reply# 15   8/23/2010 at 18:06 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        

Next. A bit more to the left. Its getting taller and taller!

Post# 458743 , Reply# 16   8/23/2010 at 18:07 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        

This is to give you an idea of the size of the bin.

Post# 458745 , Reply# 17   8/23/2010 at 18:08 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        


This is a random pic of the middle of the basement. Most of these are stripped of their parts.

Post# 458746 , Reply# 18   8/23/2010 at 18:09 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        

More junk. lol

But wait! Whats that I see?!?! A pink model 65!?! Yes it is!

Post# 458747 , Reply# 19   8/23/2010 at 18:11 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        
The other basement!

Down in the !!!!--2nd basement!!!

Can you believe there is more to this madness? Yes this is a very small picture of a section of a corner of one of the 2 large rooms in the basement.

Post# 458748 , Reply# 20   8/23/2010 at 18:12 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        

Now we are talking!

New old stock hoover hoods

Eureka from the 1920s straight suction
mid 50s eureka upright
Kirby 510
Hoover 300

And this is just the top of the pile!

Post# 458749 , Reply# 21   8/23/2010 at 18:13 (3,606 days old) by austinado16 ()        

That's just insane!!

Post# 458750 , Reply# 22   8/23/2010 at 18:15 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        
More of the goodies

More of the antique mound.

On top we have-

Hoover 541
Hoover 725
X2 hoover 700s
Hoover 425

ONE OF 6 hoover 25 uprights.

Again just the top of one of the piles.

Post# 458751 , Reply# 23   8/23/2010 at 18:17 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        

Your telling me!

The pictures dont tell half the story! There is so much more than what is photographable.

Even more very rare hoovers and stuff

Hoover 25 (another one) one more is just to the bottom of the pic but itwasn't in any pic I took.

Hoover 150
another 725,
another junior I think

Post# 458752 , Reply# 24   8/23/2010 at 18:20 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        

Of course this is a never ending tale. Once I start getting into the mounds, I will take more pictures of what is available.

Remember folks, these vacuums are for sale now! Yes! For the first time in 40 years odowds is parting with these very rare machines!

Maybe someday I can get a lineup of these mounds and take group pictures. Sitting on top of each other doesn't help much!

MY DREAM vacuum!

Hoover 800, there were 2
Another 725
another junior

and a bunch of stuff that I cant id by pictures.

Remember there are no lights down here!

Post# 458754 , Reply# 25   8/23/2010 at 18:22 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        

A rebuilt hoover 150 which I love!

A hoover 102/105.

and a bunch of other stuff.

There were more hoover 575 original bags in there than I have seen in my life.

Post# 458755 , Reply# 26   8/23/2010 at 18:24 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        
More of course!

Hoover model 725- another one! What is that now... 5?

Hoover 575

Lewyt (spelling?)

VERY early looking electrolux... A model V maybe?


Post# 458756 , Reply# 27   8/23/2010 at 18:26 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        
The other other other room

The other room of the OTHER basement consisted of mainly newer 80s and 90s junk.

Sorry it was so dark. Again no light down there!.

Probably about 400 vacuums in this room.

Post# 458757 , Reply# 28   8/23/2010 at 18:27 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        
and some solo pictures

These are the vacuums besides the kirby/american lincoln super sweeper that John took home.

First a very rare kirby scotts and fetzer sanitation system, aka a vacuette.

Original like bag I think. (looks like a 505 bag?)

Post# 458758 , Reply# 29   8/23/2010 at 18:28 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        
One more!

Model C?

it has the handle, cord, and all except the front plate and bag.

Post# 458759 , Reply# 30   8/23/2010 at 18:30 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        
th-th-th-thatsss all folks!

Well my journey is done for the day!

More pics when I return to dig out that mound of antique vacuums!

Remember.... these ARE for sale!

Post# 458763 , Reply# 31   8/23/2010 at 18:44 (3,606 days old) by amyswasher ()        
WOW! Has the kid in Michigan heard about this?

I'm sure the people in VacumeLand are abuzz about this. There Scott & Fetzer witch I thought were not around anymore. Wow, even the Eureka my parents has when I was a child.

Post# 458764 , Reply# 32   8/23/2010 at 18:46 (3,606 days old) by amyswasher ()        

Road trip!!!

Post# 458767 , Reply# 33   8/23/2010 at 19:00 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        

Dont count on it. The brothers dont like collectors actually. They try and low ball them on prices and point out faults and such. You can only imagine since it took me a year to convince him to take me around the store! :)

But still. He will let collectors browse through on occasion.

He is a pain in your side to negotiate with so bring a thinking cap because you will have to do some serious working to get him to take you to see the rest of the shop!

The second basement is extremely difficult to get down to and kinda dangerous.

You have to go down a cut out in the floor onto a wooden ladder and hold the large door up at the same time. You have to place your footings right or the ladder will tip. Then squeeze between 2 water line pipes and bring your other foot up and over from the ladder top. then climb down! A work out for sure!

Post# 458768 , Reply# 34   8/23/2010 at 19:03 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        


Someone, could you PLEASE post the link to this on vacuumland! I want to share it! But I am not a member over there. Post it in the vintage section.

Much appreciated. :)

Post# 458769 , Reply# 35   8/23/2010 at 19:05 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        

Why I ask is because people over there thought I was lying when I spoke of this store! Well here is your proof! Odowds is alive and really kicking!

But... Me taking a hoover 150, 25 (or two!) 800, and a model O if I find one (surely there has to be one around here!)

We were digging around and I said. "man if I keep digging I will find a model O"

Well he said that he thinks he saw one once and doesn't remember if he had it or his brother does.


Post# 458789 , Reply# 36   8/23/2010 at 21:11 (3,606 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

turquoisedude's profile picture
You've found the sacred burial grounds!! This place looks like the 'Aberdeen Farm' of vacuums!! Depsite appearances, I would be willing to bet a good number of those machines could be restored. What a cool find!! Hmmmm.... wonder if they have any spare hoses (I have a blue Hoover Convertible that I would love to find the hose and attachment kit for). This place will be a treat for any vacuum collector!!!

Post# 458791 , Reply# 37   8/23/2010 at 21:22 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        

Oh boy do they. If there was ever a hose to be found, it would be there!

He said he almost never threw out hoses. So when a canny rolled in, the hoses went up!

Hundreds, and possibly thousands of them. In the main basement, there is a very long rack piled 4-5 deep and probably 20 feet long of hoses. Its incredible!

Many old and newer hoses. I am sure there are just dozens of hoover convertible hoses for sure!

What shall we call this place?

The Odowds vacuum cemetery
Odowds sea of suction?
The heaven for vacuum collectors, and the heck for the non.

Ok Im getting carried away! :)

Post# 458792 , Reply# 38   8/23/2010 at 21:24 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        

Please do note, Despite the mess, most vacuums really are fully salvageable and some are in just mint condition!

Take that concept two, or those hoover 25s. Not many scuffs or even scratches on them.

Some of those canisters are probably pretty dinged up since I can imagine many were just tossed in there.

He said that the rare machines were never tossed, like the constellations or airways, though.

Post# 458794 , Reply# 39   8/23/2010 at 21:26 (3,606 days old) by washernoob ()        

Take note of the 4th picture from the top.

See on the top right? That is the main hose rack. There are 3 other hose racks throughout the store.

Post# 458857 , Reply# 40   8/24/2010 at 07:46 (3,605 days old) by bellalaundry (Hamilton, Canada)        
Hey Brandon,

bellalaundry's profile picture
I've posted a link over on Vacuumland.


Post# 458906 , Reply# 41   8/24/2010 at 12:48 (3,605 days old) by frontaloadotmy (the cool gay realm)        
What a Blast for You

Be careful of vacuum avalanche!!!!

Post# 458907 , Reply# 42   8/24/2010 at 12:57 (3,605 days old) by iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
What a find,

iheartmaytag's profile picture
It makes one wonder. Is this a store or a Vacuum grave yard?

Post# 458934 , Reply# 43   8/24/2010 at 15:57 (3,605 days old) by washernoob ()        

The actual work space/floor space that he uses for the store is quite small. The front room can hold about 50 vacuums, and the workshop is a bit smaller. As you can see he has used all his space just to put these old machines somewhere!

Post# 458961 , Reply# 44   8/24/2010 at 19:47 (3,605 days old) by washernoob ()        


I, as well as 1-2 other local collectors will be doing business with him. He is NOT listed, has NO phone number, so its not possible to really get ahold of him.

The kirbys and all the old NOS parts (trims and handles and belt lifters) are going to a local collector. He is trying to get every model of kirby, so he is buying most of them, if not all of them.

The hoovers. Considering there is such a vast amount of them, there will be some after I go through them. I know what machines I will take, and what ones some other local collectors will want.

Dont count on getting to see this, because I am almost positive he wont take anyone else down there. It took me a year to go see it, and he does not like taking people down to see it.

He is looking for his money, so expect to pay around $50 for any machine, or more if its rare. No low bargains here.

Post# 459081 , Reply# 45   8/25/2010 at 09:55 (3,604 days old) by amyswasher ()        

Thanks for posting the last one. This will save time and headaches

Post# 459106 , Reply# 46   8/25/2010 at 11:30 (3,604 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

turquoisedude's profile picture
Brandon, I am really serious about getting the hose for my Hoover Convertible. Would you be willing/able to get one on my behalf?? I will reimburse you for all expenses you incur plus the price of the hose.
Let me know if you need the model number of the vacuum.

Post# 459167 , Reply# 47   8/25/2010 at 16:13 (3,604 days old) by washernoob ()        
I sure will find out!

I am in the process of getting a constellation hose from him, so when he is able to dig one out, I will ask for a convertible hose.

Cant imagine it will cost much. I know he has them.

I presume its the style that you stick into the back of the machine under the bag?

Post# 459172 , Reply# 48   8/25/2010 at 16:35 (3,604 days old) by Crevicetool (Snellville Ga.)        

crevicetool's profile picture
He has collected so much that he has NO room for more. Eventually he will HAVE to part with some.

Greg, if you have never been, nows the time! Its really something for sure!

Remember.... these ARE for sale!

Dont count on it. The brothers dont like collectors actually. They try and low ball them on prices and point out faults and such. You can only imagine since it took me a year to convince him to take me around the store! :)

But still. He will let collectors browse through on occasion.

I, as well as 1-2 other local collectors will be doing business with him. He is NOT listed, has NO phone number, so its not possible to really get ahold of him.

He is looking for his money, so expect to pay around $50 for any machine, or more if its rare. No low bargains here.

Brandon - you can bet I'm watching this thread with bated breath! It started out looking as if the vacuum collector's Holy Grail has been unearthed! Unfortunately, there in the middle, it's grown a little disappointing. No one will ever be able to get their hands on any of the goods! Well, luckily you have won the heart of the store owner, and he is going to work with you! YAY!! But then toward the end of your looks as if the gentleman may be once again ready to deal. Maybe???? We can only hope!

Keep us posted! Perhaps you'll catch him on a good day, and he will once again let collectors peruse the treasures!



Post# 459179 , Reply# 49   8/25/2010 at 16:58 (3,604 days old) by washernoob ()        

Lemme, tell you, and I am sure other omaha collectors could too... The O'Dowds brothers are certainly different enthusiasts!

Dont loose hope! He wants to start getting into online type sales. He says he wants the 60s-80s hoovers in the basement gone, as thats what he has the most of. He will piece together all the Concepts and build good machines out of them.
I found out last time that that wall in the back (near the top of photo list) with all the hoovers lined up, are all concepts. So there are dozens and dozens of them.

The vintage stuff is what is making you and I scratch our heads. He is attached to them, but not enough to never sell them.

He backed out of selling the S&F sanitation system to John because it was missing the front wheels. Apparently he wont sell it until the front wheels are located. Interesting attachment to these machines! If they are not complete, he wont sell them I guess.

I just got a call from him on the constellation hose. I did ask about a convertible hose and he said he will look for one. He said he has a very nice constellation stretch hose but it had the coupling cut off! :O So he has to go find that now.

Post# 459188 , Reply# 50   8/25/2010 at 17:26 (3,604 days old) by defoedude (Ferguson, MO)        

defoedude's profile picture
1. Has the basement ever flooded?
2. Do they have a wide variety of Kenmore canisters?
3. Why do I get the feeling this O'Dowd guy is a jerk if he's not willing to wheel and deal? These machines have been down there for god knows how long and they're not worth $50 in filthy as-is condition IMHO. Most of these look like probably $5 and $10 trade in value machines, so if he's asking $50 for them, he's reaming our wallets.

Post# 459199 , Reply# 51   8/25/2010 at 17:56 (3,604 days old) by washernoob ()        

No the basement has never flooded, nor is it even damp. Its quite amazing that it has never had a moisture issue.

He does have a few kenmores. Mostly newer 80s and 90s machines. I saw a few whispertone canisters in the canister bin.

No he is not a jerk at all. He is just a tough negotiator. Yes some of the machines are over priced we can all agree. But he is a vacuum shop and needs to make money somehow.

After being taken off the phone lines and out of the phone book buisness for him has significantly dropped.

But I have bought parts from him that I can not find anywhere else, new, and at incredible deals.

His brother restored my commercial convertible model 344 for $25 and its got a brand new outer NOS bag, and a new motor. Even sanded it down!

That kirby in my profile pic was restored by the same guy. $70. Heck of a deal in my opinin.

His brother has all of the kirby models. He will not sell his vintage machines though. He has a room full of early hoovers, and no matter how hard I bug him, he doesn't let anyone go into it, nor will never part with them.


Part of the reason they are so wary is that he used to have a brand new in Box 1920s Kirby Vacuette electric. A "collector borrowed it" and never again was it returned. Also a company making a hoover commercial borrowed some of their rare old 20s and 30s hoover, including a hoover 800, and 900, and they never returned the machines either.

Its understandable why they dont like dealing too much. Also the one store is in kind of a financial slow down, and thats why he doesn't negotiate.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy