15 Aug 2013 15:39 UTCThu 15 Aug 2013 - 3:39 pm UTC
I don't know if you can help me or lead me in the right direction. I'm from Baltimore, MD. I think it was Sears but it could have been a different retailer that had a display in their window of a seal blowing a ball in the air. The ball would actually go up in the air. I'm not sure if this was an ad for a vacuum cleaner for some reason that is sticking in my head. Anyway does this ring a bell?
Thank you for any help you can provide.
15 Aug 2013 21:21 UTCThu 15 Aug 2013 - 9:21 pm UTC
I think you are probably correct that this was an ad for a vacuum cleaner. The jet of air that comes out of the vacuum cleaner exhaust can lift a ball into a position where it will not fall (because the venturi effect causes a high-pressure "wall" around the ball and a low-pressure area above it).
Here's a YouTube video of a vacuum cleaner being used in this way. Do you think this is the type of effect you saw? Assuming, of course, that the vacuum cleaner exhaust air was fed to the seal's nose through a hose, or that the entire vacuum cleaner was placed inside a seal shape.
YouTube - "Vacuum Cleaner & Ball Magic"
The same trick can be done with a leaf blower:
YouTube - "Cool trick with air blower and ball"
So far I haven't found details of any Sears promotion with a seal and a ball, but please let us know whether these videos show the same effect that you saw.
18 Aug 2013 19:50 UTCSun 18 Aug 2013 - 7:50 pm UTC
Unfortunately I have not been able to find any further details about the seal that you saw. Your question remains open in case any other researcher can contribute, and if not answered will be automatically closed and refunded 14 days after you posted it.
I think the easiest way to get a seal such as the one you saw will be to have one custom made from a resin or plastic seal, a vacuum cleaner and a plastic tube.
18 Aug 2013 22:06 UTCSun 18 Aug 2013 - 10:06 pm UTC
Roger's suggestion (above) is a good one. Companies like this:
can make a custom-designed seal for you with (I'm sure) a hole for a vacuum cleaner hose. I have no idea of the cost, however.
Let us know how things go.
19 Aug 2013 11:53 UTCMon 19 Aug 2013 - 11:53 am UTC
Was it something like this?
It comes up in an image search and is indexed by Google Images as 'Banzai Mega Cyclone Ball from Sears'. However, when you carry out a 'similar image search' it comes up with the following description: Banzai Bobblin' Ball Water Sprinkler - Seal.
I'm not sure if it is still available through Sears. Here's one on Amazon, although the review is not good. There are also some on Ebay.
The photograph is not very reliable as it appears to have digitally altered.
Let me know if I am on the right track and this is the item you wanted.