Ardell R. “Handy” Hannover
Ardell Hannover founded Handy Way Products Company in 1976 specifically to manufacture the Sani-Clean vacuum cleaner. Ardell and his wife Grace had over 20 years experience as vacuum cleaner distributors and believed there was a market for a lightweight, compact and powerful canister vacuum like the Sani-Clean. Together, with a select group of dedicated officers, they purchased the basic design of the Sani-Clean from Orvis Schnars of Columbus, Ohio and set up manufacturing operations in Kankakee, Illinois.
Ardell brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to Handy Way. He knew the design and operation of a number of vacuum cleaner models from his years as a distributor. He was also keenly aware of the cleaning needs of the customer, as well as the business needs of the independent vacuum dealer. Finally, he possessed 37 years of manufacturing and production experience working for Roper Manufacturing. As senior buyer, Ardell worked closely with manufacturing, engineering and many other departments in the production process.
Along with his knowledge and experience, Ardell brought a company philosophy to manufacture a cleaning system unequaled in quality of design and construction, priced to be attractive to customers and profitable to the independent dealer. Handy Way Products Company achieved this with the Sani-Clean vacuum.
Ardell developed a national network of dealers devoted to quality and customer service. His dealers knew Handy Way products would be of the highest quality, have features attractive to the customer, and be priced most competitively. They also knew that Ardell was always there to help them with a problem, give advice or just listen. By the time he retired in 1987, Ardell had built a successful and thriving business.
Ardell was an original supporter of the Vacuum Dealers Trade Association. His smiling face was a fixture at the conventions. He will be remembered as a kind and generous man, always ready to help out a friend or acquaintance.
1995 Vacuum & Sewing Hall of Fame Inductee