The original, and most iconic manufacturer of wet-dry vacuums was established in 1953 as an offshoot of the Craft Tool Company. They originally manufactured all of their products in the United States, with a headquarters in Williamsport, PA. Over time, they outsourced the manufacturing of most of their components to manufacturers in China, but still did castings and final assembly of at least most of their products in US factories.
The privately held Shop-Vac Company, imploded and went out of business on September 15, 2020. The chief executive, Jonathan Miller, 72, whose father founded the company in 1953, left the headquarters in Williamsport, PA without a word and moved to California. His daughter, Felice Miller, 41, who was named president and COO the year before, also left town.
There was an initial attempt to sell the company, but that fell through. Shop-Vac retained Hilco Global, a Chicago-based liquidation company, to sell off all company assets, including intellectual property, real estate, inventory, machinery, and equipment. The company and brand was then purchased in December 2020 by GreatStar Tools USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Chinese company Hangzhou GreatStar Industrial Co., Ltd. After this purchase, and initial promises to keep manufacturing in the US, manufacturing was moved to China. By 2023, all Shop-Vac brand vacuums are manufactured by this Chinese company–sometimes under the name of "GUANGDONG SHOPVAC ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES CO.,LTD."
Shop-Vac products have always had two identifiers–a model number and an item number. Under the new ownership, the same item numbers are being used, but the model numbers have been changed. So, for example, the model number of item number 2036000 was changed from MACM-250 to SV2021018. The new model numbers seem to just be "SV" followed by the year they started producing them ("2021") followed by a sequential number (022, 023, 024, etc.).