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Nature Abhors a Vacuum


We have all heard the commercials about the Oreck Vacuum Cleaner. It supposedly works better than the larger commercial vacuums. It is light and easy to use. The Company was successful beyond most people’s imaginations. It is one of the true American Success stories.

David Oreck started out with an interest in flying and all things mechanical which flew. He fell in love with airplanes as a young boy and then joined the Army Air Force. He was a pilot, navigator and bombardier flying the big B-29s! He left the Army after the war and discovered he had to make a living. He went to work for RCA and was in charge of marketing several new items the public had never seen or heard of. Those items included televisions, washing machines and ultimately microwave ovens. He was instrumental in helping develop the federal standards for a new device called a color television. He started a couple of companies that he ran on the side. One was a charter aircraft service (which was the early idea for such companies as fed ex and UPS) and the other was a business that would wire apartment complexes so that they could use a central antennae. This idea of his ultimately led to something called cable television.

David started the Oreck Corporation to sell standard vacuums primarily by mail. However, he would go door to door in Chicago to demonstrate his product. It is very cold in Chicago. He got a call in the middle of one of his sales “walks” asking if he would come back to RCA in the New Orleans area because they were not doing well. He flew down to talk to them. He stepped off the plane in New Orleans in his Chicago clothing. He was hot. He decided he was missing some great weather, and moved his company to New Orleans. In the meantime, he had purchased a design for a lightweight vacuum from Whirlpool. His competitors made fun of the machine as it could not possibly be as durable as their heavy machines. He could not compete with their advertising. He refocused his marketing efforts to hotels knowing that the lightweight feature would be a huge plus and that making fun of the machine would not matter to a hotel owner. His machine is now the standard in the hotel industry. He then expanded the sales to direct marketing to consumers who loved the light weight machines. Later, he invented the first air purifier.

As he got older, he sold his company to investors. Apparently nature does abhor a vacuum. The company changed the direction they were going. Unfortunately, that change was not positive and the company was soon plunged into bankruptcy. Oreck has filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is looking for buyers.

Interestingly, there are now reports that the Oreck family may step up and buy the company back. So often, this sort of thing happens. Bankruptcy appears to be the end of the line for a company. Yet, sometimes that is just because many do not understand the real purpose of bankruptcy. True, there are bankruptcy cases that are filed to end a company. Hostess filed that one for that purpose. However, even the hostess name and the products are going to survive. The Oreck name, should the family purchase the company may continue as a family run business that is able to get back to its roots and correct the mistakes of the investor company that ran it.

Bankruptcy can work that way for individuals as well. We ALL make mistakes in our investments, debts and lives. Bankruptcy very often lets us get back on our feet without shutting down everything we have built. If you have made mistakes or even if life has taken directions that cannot be predicted, talk to a qualified bankruptcy attorney. At Bailey & Galyen, we care about the situation you are in and will try very hard to help you out. Will bankruptcy work for everyone? Absolutely not. That is why we offer a free, no-obligation appointment. We will go over the facts of your individual case and let you know what options are available. We will give you non bankruptcy options as well.