Rainbow History

Since 1936

Rexair LLC, based in Troy, Michigan, has manufactured the Rainbow Cleaning System for more than 80 years. Its legendary, water-based filtration system has made the Rainbow known the world over. Today, the Rainbow Cleaning System is sold and enjoyed in over 80 countries around the world.
In the Beginning
The original idea for a bagless vacuum cleaner was born in the 1920s. John W. Newcombe invented the “separator” — a device that was designed to separate dust and particulates from the air. Leslie H. Green saw true potential in this invention and joined forces with Newcombe to develop the “Newcombe Bagless.”
In 1929, Green formed a new corporation named Rexair, meaning “King of the Air.” While the nation was in the throes of the Great Depression, the Rexair Company began producing, refining and marketing the Rexair Cleaner.
Interest in the Rexair Grows
In 1936, T. Russ Hill joined Rexair. Inspired by street cleaners in Kentucky, Hill came up with the idea of incorporating water into the Rexair design, trapping dust and dirt. This innovation made the Rexair a unique and exclusive product. Rexair developed a new slogan: “Wet Dust Can’t Fly!™”
By the late 1930s, the Rexair was being hailed as more than just a vacuum cleaner. The Rexair’s ability to eliminate airborne dust in the home made life easier for allergy and hay fever sufferers, and soon medical professionals recognized it as a breakthrough product.
The War Years
As America entered World War II, Rexair had grown considerably. In 1941, Rexair merged with the Martin-Parry Corporation of Toledo, Ohio, providing Rexair with greatly expanded manufacturing capabilities.
During the war, Rexair and Martin-Parry were instrumental in supporting the war effort in the production of radar cases, rocket launchers and ship partitions and linings.
When the war ended, Rexair was in a perfect position for the post-war economic boom. The company was solidly established, and soon Rexair would become a household word.
Opportunity Flourishes
In 1948, sales of the Rexair Cleaner were beginning to skyrocket. This was partly due to a young salesman from Owensboro, Kentucky. J.V. Sanders — better known as “Sandy” — saw a demonstration of the Rexair and came to Detroit, Michigan determined to become “the best salesman the company ever had.”
He became that and more, helping Rexair to grow and prosper. “Sandy” epitomized the opportunity that Rexair provided, and in 1953 became one of five Regional Managers in Rexair’s newly aligned national sales organization.
The Birth of the Rainbow
1955 brought about a dramatically improved Rexair Cleaner. With a sleek, streamlined design and a motor twice as powerful as its predecessor, Rexair executives decided to rechristen it the “Rainbow.”
Rexair’s growth was enormous, the result of a great product, the hard work and commitment of its dealers and Regional Managers and the dedication and vision provided by its executive staff.
Rexair Realigns for the Future
The February 1959 issue of Rexevents magazine announced the news — “BIG DREAMS COME TRUE — Sanders and Associates Purchase Rexair.” J.V. Sanders was now in control of Rexair, and his first order of business was to fully develop the “Rainbow Opportunity.”
Rainbow’s Distributors now had the opportunity to be independent business owners, and Rainbow Dealers, Managers and Distributors could more directly reach personal goals of success, security and financial reward.
Commitment to Continuous Improvement
In 1969, Rexair unveiled its new 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Cadillac, Michigan. As a result of Rexair’s commitment to continuous product improvement, the Rainbow evolved, and an array of sophisticated product enhancements were designed – new attachments, the Power Nozzle and AquaMate, among others.
The new Rainbow D3 was launched in 1980, the first major model change in twenty years. With a new, cooler-running motor, the D3 was the first Rainbow approved for “wet pick-up.”
Rainbows Around the World
As far back as 1947, Rexair had branch locations in Canada, Cuba and Mexico. But it wasn’t until the 1980s that International Rainbow sales really took off. Rexair developed an international sales and distribution network, and the Rainbow was modified to meet the specific demands of countries around the world.
In 1986, Rexair celebrated its Golden Anniversary by launching its newest Rainbow, the D4. The result of five years of planning, engineering and testing, the new Rainbow was considered by J.V. Sanders to be “the best Cleaning System on the face of the earth.”
Leading the Way into a New Millennium
In 2001, Paul Vidovich took charge of Rexair, as it’s Chairman, President and CEO. Paul began his career in the direct selling business in 1971, and over the years, became one of Rexair’s largest and most successful independent distributors. His outstanding leadership skills and knowledge have led Rexair to exceptionally high levels of achievement in the U.S. and many International Markets.
The Latest Evolution of a Truly Revolutionary Product
In 2019, Rexair announced the launch of the all-new Rainbow SRX model. The result of more than three years of intensive research, development and testing, the SRX offers significant performance improvements over its predecessors, as well as considerable advancements relative to competitors’ offerings.
Boasting more than 20 new features and improvements, including a newly redesigned four-speed high performance motor, enhanced air cleaning capabilities, and 30% improved airflow over preceding models, the SRX is the most advanced home cleaning system ever produced, and continues to be the only home cleaning system certified as an air cleaner by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.
Poised for Future Success
Today, Rexair LLC is stronger than ever. In 2019, Rexair Chairman Paul Vidovich named Momir Popovic Rexair’s new President & CEO — the fifth CEO in company history. As an innovator and market leader, Rexair provides customers with an unparalleled product that is consistently at the forefront of technical innovation. In that tradition, the Rainbow SRX is without a doubt the biggest breakthrough in premium home cleaning systems to date, and will continue to give Rexair an edge as the industry leader for many years to come.