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Kirby History

The Kirby Company became a direct-selling organization in the 1920’s, pioneering the use of in-home demonstrations to introduce the Kirby home care system to consumers who are given the opportunity to see and try the system in their own home before they make a purchase. Follow this board as Kirby takes you through its rich history and journey to allow millions of satisfied customers to enjoy cleaner homes with less effort.

REAL SIMPLE Reminds Us How Mom Cleaned the House...

The Kerr family from Australia sent us back their great grandmother's 1928 Vacuette Guarantee in a nice frame for our archives. We hope the machine brought her many years of great service!

Here's a cool photo of Kirby workers testing motors in the motor test room in 1935.

Pretty, shiny Kirby … I’m in love with you! (Sung to the tune of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.”) Check it out and listen to the song yourself!

Here’s a fun ad from the late 1980’s promoting the Split Second – a hand held vacuum to compliment the main Kirby system. #history

Amazing Double Action Cleaner! This pamphlet for the Non Electric Vac-u-ette in 1914 promotes that it has “no wires, plugs or switches to bother with – no current to pay for.” #history

This 24+ Club card was presented to salesmen who sold 24 or more vacuums in a single month. It was signed by founder Carl Scott. Salesmen who make 24 or more sales in a month today are awarded a special pin to recognize their achievement. #history

In the early 1980’s, The Kirby Company offered a line of vacuums designed for commercial use called ComVac.#history

Here’s a photo of an independent Kirby Distributor office in Charleston, West Virginia from 1949. Need help finding your local distributor? Visit our site!

The 1975 Sani-Pocket allowed owners to scrape excess dirt from the filter bag into the Sani-Emtor without touching the dirt. This was before Kirby vacuums had disposable filter bags.

This great photo from the 1930’s shows a group of Kirby salespeople in South Bend, Indiana. #history

Polishing a silver platter with the optional Handi-Butler attachment and the Kirby Heritage vacuum model in the early 1980s.

We love this cute vacuum cartoon on the front of the Model 505 Owner Manual.

This 1975 photo shows the Kirby Crystalator attachment in use. It was used to “de-moth” closets and garment bags.

A photo of the 1921 Second Annual Convention of Vacuette Salesmen. Nice hats :)

Carl Fetzer, one of The Kirby Company’s founding fathers, joined forces with entrepreneur George H. Scott in 1914 to form the Scott and Fetzer Machine Company producing automotive parts. The precision of their tools and dies prompted Jim Kirby to turn to them to produce his vacuum cleaner.

The Kirby Story

This photo of the production line was taken at the Kirby Cleveland factory in the late 1940s.

An Kirby vacuum ad for the Dual Sanitronic in 1967

Remember the Shag King from 1979? Follow us on Pinterest for more information on Kirby history and vacuum cleaners!

  • Lacey C.

    OMG! My mom had this one! Cost her almost $700 WAY back then!!

Great Kirby ad from the 1979 People Magazine showcasing Kirby distributors who won a 1980 Cadillac.

The Kirby 516 vacuum cleaner was produced from 1956-1957.

One of the unique features of a Kirby home care system is the portable sprayer - or "Suds-O-Gun" as it was called in 1950. Follow The Kirby Company on Pinterest to learn more about our history, vacuums and cleaning products!

The Kirby 510 model vacuum cleaner portable mode included a shoulder strap for easy carrying. This model was produced in 1950.

Here's a fun magazine ad from 1949 for the Kirby vacuum salesman. Follow us on Pinterest for more history and product information!