Vacuum Cleaner Museum Opens

August 17, 2009

ST. JAMES, MO — Historic Route 66 is the perfect location for its newest roadside attraction — a vacuum cleaner museum. This Mother Road is known for entertaining and educational venues and the new museum will deliver both in great fashion. The Vacuum Cleaner Museum will celebrate its grand opening on Thursday, August 27th with a ribbon cutting ceremony and ice cream social. The celebration begins at 1:30 pm. The museum is located at Tacony Manufacturing, home of Riccar and Simplicity vacuum production. 

This extensive collection includes 500 vacuums spanning a century of progress. The museum displays vacuums from the 1910’s to modern times in decade-themed vignettes complete with period furniture and memorabilia from that era. Visitors will discover a glimpse of Americana through the evolution of the vacuum and accompanying newspaper and magazine advertising displayed in each decade. 

Tom Gasko, Museum Curator and National Authority on Vacuums, donated his collection to museum, which includes many from Stan Kann, legendary organist for the Fox Theater, St. Louis, MO. A collector since childhood, Gasko’s passion has allowed the former Festus vacuum retailer to appear in USA Today, the HBO’s documentary This Is America, and other national media. He has also served as president of the National Vacuum Cleaners Club. 

“Tom is perfect at blending entertainment with education”, says Joy Petty, Director of Marketing for Tacony Corporation’s Floor Care division. “He has such an extensive knowledge of about how the vacuum cleaner has evolved, and how each was directly related to changes in America. You have no idea how exciting vacuums can be until you visit Tom at the museum”. 

There are also a few “celebrity” vacuums on display including the official vacuum cleaner of Air Force One and the childhood vacuum of Emmy nominated actor, James Earl Jones. 

The Vacuum Cleaner Museum and factory outlet are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with free admission. The museum is located just off of Hwy. 44 at exit 195, at #3 Industrial Drive, St. James, MO. For more information, visit

Tacony Corporation brought production of Simplicity and Riccar upright vacuums to the United States in 1997. At the time Tacony Manufacturing opened its doors, the entire vacuum factory consisted of only five employees. Almost a decade later, in 2006, the 120 employees of Tacony Manufacturing proudly watched as the first 1 millionth vacuum rolled off the production line. 

Headquartered in St. Louis and found in 1946 by Nick Tacony, Tacony Corp. is a privately held manufacturing and distribution company operating in four strategic business units: household vacuum cleaners, commercial floor care products, home sewing products and ceiling fans. With more than 650 associates in 12 offices around the world, Tacony’s mission is to create long-lasting relationships that are based on trust and feel like family. For more information, visit 

Editor’s Notes: Electronic copy of this press release plus relating images can be found on