Clarence G. Frantz
Ed Frantz met Jim Kirby in 1910 when he sold him one of the apartment houses that he and his brother Clarence were building on speculation and then selling on completion. Ed was so impressed with a new, innovative vacuum that Kirby had invented that he bought the rights and founded the Premier Vacuum Cleaner Company, which started production in 1911. The cleaner used a G.E. 3000 RPM motor and sold for $25.00. A Philadelphia jobber, L. D. Berger, purchased and marketed all the units the factory could produce. The first Premier motors were purchased from Fort Wayne Electric; however, a shortage in supply caused the Frantz Brothers to hire several engineers (Milton Spielman, Walter Posse) to make their own motors. In 1915, the company was purchased by the General Electric Company, which changed the name to the Electric Vacuum Cleaner Company. This was GE’s entry into the vacuum market. In 1912, Clarence and Walter formed the Apex Electric Manufacturing Company to make both vacuums and washing machines.
1994 Vacuum & Sewing Hall of Fame Inductee