I own six vacuum cleaners.
This is not because I'm a neat freak (I'm not), or because I live with three cats who shed a lot. It's because the blasted things will not die (hmm, zombie vacuum cleaners?).
It all began innocently enough. When my husband and I were married (35 years ago this month!), we were broke, so we bought a reconditioned Electrolux cannister model, because that's what my family always used. Guess what: it's still going.
When my grandmother died, somehow I inherited her vacuum. Now, she was a neat freak, but she lived in a studio apartment in New York, so it didn't see a lot of hard wear. Guess what: it's still going.
|Yes, that's the one|
When my mother passed on, I inherited both of her vacuum cleaners. Now I was up to four, all in working order. I nearly celebrated when a cord crumbled (from age, of course) on one model, and I could officially retire its predecessor to cannibalize the cord from that. The replacement was easy, and the decorded one is still around, having given its all to provide spare parts.
The other two are shop vacs. When we moved into our home in Pennsylvania, we knew that it would required a lot of renovation, and we needed something heavy duty, so we bought a hulking big model--a sixteen gallon wet-dry vac (Sears, but only because I don't think Electrolux makes one). Guess what: it's still working (although it makes a shriek like a dying dinosaur when you turn it on, and it lost a roller foot years ago so you have to drag it around). We ended up with a second one when my stepfather passed away a decade ago. It's still going too (also minus a roller--in sympathy?).
Six vacuums, and I can't seem to get rid of any of them. I'm haunted by undead vacuums. But there's something endearing about an appliance that is so well made that it simply will not stop working. Obviously the marketplace recognizes this, because vendors are happy to supply all and any parts. But even that must be a slow business, because apart from bags, I've bought a grand total of two replacement parts in forty years. Those things are indestructible, and I respect that.
But technology has changed, and I'll admit to coveting a Dyson with that cool and colorful ball and its own little tornado. The problem is, I don't need it. I'm stuck back in the technology that was born in the 19th century, because it still works. And in this era of throwaway appliances, that's something of a miracle.
What's your oldest working appliance?