Surely you recall all those gadget commercials of the 70s. One such entity was a handy device called the Record Vacuum. Place your prized albums into the slot and watch as all the dust is magically removed, making it just like new! At least that’s what the commercials proclaimed. The reality, as is the case with most gadgets, didn’t quite live up to the expectations.
The Record Vacuum was created by gadget guru, Ron Popiel, the same man who gave us such technological marvels as the Pocket Fisherman and Mr. Microphone (hey good looking, we’ll be back to pick you up later!).
The concept was that the device would “vacuum” that damaging dust right off of your records. The problem was, there was no vacuum, only felt pads that would gather the dust in great amounts. Run another record through without cleaning those pads and you were likely to do more damage than good.
A number of imitators released similar products, but it was the Ronco version that received the most exposure, thanks to a series of memorable commercials that ran in regular rotation on television.
At least until word started spreading about their destructive qualities. Once people realized the potential of ruining their prized collection, the Ronco Record Vacuum disappeared just about as quickly as it arrived. It mattered little to Ron Popiel who had plenty of new gadgets waiting to be unleashed on an unsuspecting populace.
Were you the proud owner of a Ronco Record Vacuum in the 70s. Did you ever damage one of your LPs by using one of these machines? I’d love to hear all your Record Vacuum stories in our comments section below.