A cottage industry was created during World War II when American manufacturers, even those producing innocuous household appliances like vacuum cleaners, devoted their factory floors and assembly lines to the war effort. The demand for vacuum cleaners was satisfied during wartime and for several years after with used and often locally remanufactured pre war product until factories retooled for normal production.
For a generation that lived through the Great Depression and years of wartime rationing and shortages, the habit of finding value in the old, worn and discarded came natural. In those days to a make a deal on a new vacuum cleaner, a salesman would often gladly offer a trade-in allowance for an old unit. After a decade in sales with The Hoover Co, Ruben Ramirez knew there was a demand for a reasonably priced alternative to an expensive new machine and that vacuum cleaner repair was a service every homeowner needed. Like a few others, he saw an opportunity and a new industry began to gain traction.
Before he founded A1 Vacuum Service in 1970, Ruben learned how to tear down, repair, and refinish a vacuum cleaner at the component level from the best at Hoover and Electrolux. In fact, for many years he held a contract to refurbish Electrolux vacuums for Electrolux to distribute nationwide through their door to door sales network. The attention to detail required to make these refurbished units indistinguishable from new was a standard Ruben sought to impress upon every employee and achieve with every vacuum cleaner that left his shop. Although many of the skills he acquired and passed on are said to have been made obsolete by modern manufacturing and technology, it continues to amaze how often they are requested each day, cheerfully performed, and gratefully accepted.
As one of the original handful of professionals devoted exclusively to servicing vacuum cleaners in the Chicagoland area, Ruben was successful in building a strong, lasting business based on prompt, professional service and attention to detail. Once new vacuum cleaners were offered, it only took a few years to outgrow the original location at 3456 Dempster St and A1 Vacuum Service relocated to the present location in 1980. The new location was originally split in two stores and by 1987 more room for the growing business was needed so the entire ground floor was occupied. Even the second floor apartment has since been occupied for additional storage.
Over the years as the business grew, other family members joined the staff including Ruben’s wife Betty, his brother Charlie, and his nephews Bob and Bill. The family tradition continues with Ruben’s son Richard as president since 1992. Not only did Richard grow up in the store, he is the family built-in vacuum expert who is as skilled at installing a modern central vacuum system as he is repairing your 1905 vintage Spencer Turbine with four foot bag house and steel pipe.
A1 Vacuum Service Co has been serving Chicagoland with prompt, professional service on all makes of vacuums for nearly forty years. Repairs are done on premises with parts in stock and loaners for you to take home when they aren’t. We always have a selection of the latest models for you to try while your vacuum is being repaired. With one of the largest selections of new vacuums anywhere, we can help you select a cleaner that best suits your needs. A1 Vacuum has been recognized by the manufacturers for outstanding customer service and sales achievement. Why take a chance on something in a box off the shelf when you can try it before you buy it? Let our experts help you choose the best product for your needs the first time.