The Vacuum Cleaner Museum – Portland, Oregon - Atlas Obscura

The Vacuum Cleaner Museum

These machines have been collecting dust for decades. 


Tucked away in a not-so-dusty corner of Stark’s Vacuum Cleaner Sales & Service in downtown Portland is a collection that would make any prop master, house wife, or history buff slobber with excitement. Stark’s is home to a small but very comprehensive Vacuum Cleaner Museum. The walls of the rear showroom are lined with over 300 different models of vacuums, from their oldest - a two-person hand-pumped wood and steel number - to “futuristic” dustbusters from the 1960s, and even a few upright wands that look like they were meant to smoke out bees, not suck up dirt.

The collection has been slowly building over the years. Many of the early inductees were traded in or donated. Once the popularity of the museum spread, later units arrived in droves from sentimental owners.

Exquisite machines of wood, steel, and plastic, all having dutifully served their masters, are here immortalized for their ingenuity - a quality that future generations of vacuum cleaners must aspire to.

Know Before You Go

A short walk from public transportation, and an easy drive or cycle from most locations in Portland. Open from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Saturday. 

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May 13, 2010

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