Thread Number: 24146
Prototype Kirbys - Did At Least One of Them Exist?
[Down to Last]

Vacuumland's exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 269989   3/2/2014 at 17:26 (1,546 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture
Reading those Kirby instruction books has me thinking... did at least one of these prototype Kirby vacuums - as seen in the instruction books - ever exist?

For example: on page 5 of the Kirby Classic (1CR, 1970-73) instruction book, we can see the arm-type speed switch that was officially used on the Classic Omega, Classic III and Tradition. That is prototypical proof right there, because that speed switch didn't actually exist until the Classic Omega (elsewhere in the instructions we can still see the actual "L"-shaped, two-button speed switch). The front wheels in that same picture did, however, make it past the prototype stage.

The front wheels on most pages in the Classic instruction book are prototype. In addition, the "Miracle Head" is called a "fluffer-polisher" according to the belt lifter label (see pages 8 and 18).


Post# 269994 , Reply# 1   3/2/2014 at 18:26 (1,546 days old) by sonnyndad (Gardendale, AL)        

sonnyndad's profile picture
I believe there was a prototype from around 1988 or so when Kirby was trying to get the G3 right. It looked like a Heritage II G3 blend. There should be a picture of it somewhere on Vacuumland.

Post# 269997 , Reply# 2   3/2/2014 at 18:46 (1,546 days old) by super-sweeper (KSSRC Refurbishment Center)        
The first of the Self-Propelled cleaners,

super-sweeper's profile picture

That was a Legend II, Some members here have prototype Kirbys. Photos of them would likely be frowned upon by Kirby.

HOWEVER, Could this below be a prototype Generation Series machine? This is from the poorly-photoshop-ed "Warehouse" of Jim Keeler, the man behind that terrible Kirby bagless conversion kit (Why on earth would you want a bagless kirby? especially one that forces dirt straight into the filter?).



Post# 269998 , Reply# 3   3/2/2014 at 18:48 (1,546 days old) by super-sweeper (KSSRC Refurbishment Center)        
Closer up-

super-sweeper's profile picture

$99 for 2 pieces of PVC pipe and a tank from a Eureka Optima, what a splendid deal!

Post# 270000 , Reply# 4   3/2/2014 at 19:03 (1,546 days old) by super-sweeper (KSSRC Refurbishment Center)        
ACTUAL prototype!

super-sweeper's profile picture

The Heritage II/Generation mash-up!

(Owned by User: LunchBoxSean in Australia-Link to his thread below).


I would've loved the Generation series to look like this!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO super-sweeper's LINK

Post# 270064 , Reply# 5   3/3/2014 at 10:01 (1,545 days old) by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
Kirby conversions

There was a power drive kit offered for Kirby about the mid 70s from someone in Fla.It seems to have been drive wheels,handle grip,etc from a power drive Hoover.Have only seen ad to dealers.Anyone seen a Kirby with this kit?

Post# 270071 , Reply# 6   3/3/2014 at 10:36 (1,545 days old) by dysonman1 (undisclosed)        

dysonman1's profile picture
Jimmy: That crappy conversion to self propelled was done by the huckster Jim Keeler. They were called "Keeler Conversions" and made the back of the machine six inches longer. It was horrible. A friend with a vac shop had one for ten years, never could sell it.

Post# 270178 , Reply# 7   3/4/2014 at 03:31 (1,544 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Was just thinking of that Keeler "Clog-O-Matic" device for the Kirby-may it might work if you are vacuuming the "fluff" ourt of a new carpet.Sometime would like to try that dreaded device anyway--just for sport.Have plenty of bagged Kirbys and other machines to clean its filter.The add-on Keeler converter sounds weird.

Post# 368652 , Reply# 8   3/18/2017 at 21:59 (434 days old) by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

crazykirbydude's profile picture
I wonder if there was ever a sticker on the handle. There is stuff that looks like adhesive residue. Anyone else have any other prototype Kirbys?

Post# 368696 , Reply# 9   3/19/2017 at 13:20 (433 days old) by myvacsrock (Dayton, OH)        

There is no adhesive residue on this is completely smooth. It is just a machined piece of metal. I can tell you nothing has ever been on it.

  View Full Size
Post# 368707 , Reply# 10   3/19/2017 at 14:06 (433 days old) by Kirbyg6 (York)        

kirbyg6's profile picture
I think the G4 used in the video owners manual is a prototype I might be wrong though

Post# 368712 , Reply# 11   3/19/2017 at 15:03 (433 days old) by TheSpiritOf76 (Historic Midtown Wichita Kansas. )        

thespiritof76's profile picture

please tell us WHY you think that???

Post# 368715 , Reply# 12   3/19/2017 at 15:58 (433 days old) by Kirbyg6 (York)        

kirbyg6's profile picture
Look at kirbys comments on part one

Post# 372171 , Reply# 13   5/14/2017 at 17:32 (377 days old) by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

crazykirbydude's profile picture
I think the G3 in the G3 owner's video is a prototype. If you look closely at the motor cooling vent, the slats are going vertical, not horizontal like the final.

Post# 372185 , Reply# 14   5/15/2017 at 12:58 (376 days old) by a007kirbyman (--->> Originally My Mom <<--- (now Wisconsin))        
Adin & G3 cooling vents, "...prototype..."

a007kirbyman's profile picture
"...motor cooling vent, the slats are going vertical..."

Hello Adin,

The Kirby G3 did have vertical vent slots when it was initially produced & sold.

Cheers & hagd/n all,


Post# 372230 , Reply# 15   5/16/2017 at 21:24 (375 days old) by KirbyKleanKarpet (Florida )        
The Kirby Ultimate G Instruction Video

If you look in the Kirby Ultimate G instruction video, you will notice that the Diamond Edition's Speed Selector Switch is on the Ultimate G. Granted, the Diamond Edition IS an Ultimate G, but the video clearly depicts the original Ultimate G with the speed switch on the side of the chassis. I about spilled my drink looking at that, because the Speed Selector Switch wasn't available until the Diamond Edition in 2003. Check it out on Kirby Company's YouTube channel.

Post# 372234 , Reply# 16   5/16/2017 at 21:56 (375 days old) by pr-21 (Middletown, OH)        

pr-21's profile picture
I think the last of the Ultimate G's were made with the speed selector switch, as they were getting ready to switch over. At least that is what a Kirby dealer told me at the time.


Post# 372251 , Reply# 17   5/17/2017 at 09:46 (374 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

gsheen's profile picture
I Love prototype vacuums, especially early samples in the design phase. Those early test jigs made from parts of other existing vacuums.
With Cad these days this stage is now often on a computor and missed in real life.

When a new vacuum comes into fruition It happens in two ways.
Most common is that Marketing says to the engineering and design department they need a new vacuum and they outline the parameters.

The other way is that the engineers get a bee in their bonnet about something and build a crude but working test rig and show it to the marketing department who then see's if they can sell the idea. This is the far cooler way if you are into test rigs and prototyping because its often done after hours or in the spare time. The rigs are awesome. I have two of them from my days at Electrolux SA. I must get them out of storage and post picks of them.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

Woops, Time to Check the Bag!!!
Either you need to change your vacuum bag or you forgot to LOG-IN?

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.


Vacuumland home
Discuss-o-Vac Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Today's Vacuum of the Day
Photos of our Collections
Vintage Vacuum Cleaner to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy