Robert B. Booth
Robert B. Booth (Bob) was born in the heart of the Mesabi Iron Ore Range of northern Minnesota in 1934. He credits his work ethic to his parents and his older brother Don.
After having served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the early 1950s, he returned home, married and worked in an area furniture store. He later became acquainted with the Hoover representative who called on the store. In February of 1957 he started as a direct salesman for Hoover in Duluth, MN, where he knocked on thousands of doors and learned the value of giving good service. Bob was promoted to Dealer Supervisor, transferred to St. Paul and called on many retail stores in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
He moved to Rochester, MN, where he opened his first vacuum sales and service store in 1960. He later opened his second store in 1966 in Mankato, where he diversified, selling Electro-Hygiene, Hamilton Beach, Sunbeam, and Eureka, along with Hoover.
Although Bob enjoyed the personal direct contact with customers, he decided to again become employed with a large company. Bob had the support of his wife, Shirley and now with five children, they chose to join the Electrolux Company in 1969. Bob enjoyed the direct selling and helping others learn the business. Very soon he was appointed to Field Manager and then to Branch Manager. Bob and his family transferred to St. Cloud, where he expanded his knowledge to others, teaching them the business, again as Branch Manager. Bob and Shirley’s three daughters had other talents and desires; however their eldest son Bill started learning service and repair at age 11. Three years later, their other son Don, also at age 11, joined in doing service and repair.
Bob accepted the challenge of opening another Electrolux Branch Office in Brainerd, MN, where he hired and trained many more people in the business.
Although he stayed with Electrolux, he helped his sons open Minnesota Vacuum & Sewing Center, again serving a wide area. That company has since been sold, as his sons have decided to put their ambitions and desires into helping people in another field.
Bob dealt with open heart, quadruple by-pass surgery and also a stroke in 2001; however, he continues to serve the public, working part-time with the recently formed Aerus Lux.
During his 50 years in the vacuum and sewing business, Bob has won many awards, including a brand new automobile and trips to the Waldorf Astoria in New York, Acapulco, San Francisco, Vancouver, B.C., Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and others.
Bob has truly enjoyed those awards, and he also very much enjoys helping others who are less fortunate by having given vacuums and sewing machines to persons who have lost theirs in flooding, tornadoes, and fires.
Bob is widely known in central and northern Minnesota as “Mr. Electrolux” and “Mr. Vacuum.”
2007 Vacuum & Sewing Hall of Fame Inductee