Thread Number: 13068
History of Jim Kirby
[Down to Last]

Vacuumland's exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items --- [As an eBay Partner, eBay may compensate if you make a purchase using any link to eBay on this page]
Post# 139292   6/10/2011 at 12:03 (4,642 days old) by kirbyloverdan (Egg Harbor Twp . NJ aka HOOVERLOVERDAN ❤️)        

kirbyloverdan's profile picture
Jim Kirby
Inventor, Domestic Vacuum,
Premier Vacuum, Kirby Vacuum
September 28, 1884 - June 9, 1971

Jim Kirby, in 1900 owned a motor repair shop in Cleveland, Ohio, and was a fledgling inventor. A man named Knocks asked Jim to build a massage machine. Jim did, Knocks used it as a premium item, and eventually, 1903 - 1904, it was sold to P. A. Geier, who manufactured it under the name “Royal.” A Cleveland doctor wanted a device that would answer a telephone. Jim went to work, and shortly had such a “gadget” operating. It used an Edison cylinder phonograph, was operated by automatic electrical controls, and when completed would say, “The doctor is out. This is a phonograph talking. Please speak your message and it will be repeated to the doctor when he returns.” It operated so well the doctor had it patented. One day, seeing a huge wagon-mounted vacuum cleaner, Jim concluded he could make a portable unit. His first cleaner, marketed by Domestic Vacuum Cleaner Company, sold for $25.00 as a hand pump model or $85.00 with an electric motor. The machine utilized two buckets of water as filters, which had to be c
arried around and emptied frequently. By 1910, he was working on a “broom stick” carpet cleaning model that had a cut-off mechanism that allowed attachments to be used with the machine.

Kirby was the pioneer in developing the concept of a very lightweight, nozzle type vacuum, radically different from the cumbersome box-type vacuums of the era. Kirby met 3 brothers, Edward and Clarence, who were in the building materials business, and Walter Frantz, who was a mechanic. The Frantz brothers obtained the rights to manufacture and sell Kirby’s newest vacuum, and the Premier Vacuum Cleaner Company was formed. Model B was sold with a narrow suction only nozzle. Model C introduced a wide nozzle and a brush. Model D had an air-driven brush. During World War I, Kirby came in contact with George Scott and Carl Fetzer, owners of the Scott & Fetzer Company. Scott & Fetzer owned a blacksmith company in Cleveland, and were currently manufacturing military armaments for the war effort. When the war ended, they began manufacturing a new, improved model of Kirby’s cleaner. The machine has been sold ever since by Scott & Fetzer under the Kirby label on a door to door basis. Kirby spent his final inventive year
s dividing his time equally between Scott & Fetzer and the Frantz Brothers, whose corporate identity would later become Frantz Industries.

1994 Vacuum & Sewing Hall of Fame Inductee

Post# 139330 , Reply# 1   6/10/2011 at 18:19 (4,642 days old) by portable (Corvallis, OR)        

portable's profile picture

Thanks for this, Dan. Didn't the Frantz brothers also have a hand in starting APEX years later?

Post# 139342 , Reply# 2   6/10/2011 at 20:35 (4,642 days old) by kirbyloverdan (Egg Harbor Twp . NJ aka HOOVERLOVERDAN ❤️)        
Yes they did,

kirbyloverdan's profile picture
and your welcome John . I now know Jim Kirby was a part of Premier Vacuums where they built his Kirby and had he did have something to do with Royal , but not for the Vacuum part .

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.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy