Thread Number: 3076
Is there such commercial Kirby called a Janitronic?
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Post# 34039   3/4/2008 at 17:36 (4,702 days old) by clarkecombi ()        

i read about i ton someones profile dream machines. Is there such Kirby named that?

Post# 34048 , Reply# 1   3/4/2008 at 18:40 (4,702 days old) by briankirbyclass (Eudora Kansas)        

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Yes, there certainly is,,,besides the Janitronic, there was a model called the Super Sweep, and maybe one other.
They were manufactured by Scott and Fetzer (the maker of Kirby) in the mid to late 1970s,,,the motor of the machine is the same as a 500 series Kirby, but the rug nozzle is extra wide, and the handle bale and handle grip are the same as a Kirby Classic.
The rug nozzles to these machines were not detachable, and no attachments were avalible, unlike any other Kirby (more like a Royal),,at least of the ones ive ever seen.
Ive seen one Janitronic that was green, motor,rug nozzle, and handle bale,,the handle grip was white.
Ive also seen a Super Sweep that was blue, with a red, white and blue bag,and handle bale, and white handle grip,,,im thinking this model came out in 1976, to coordinate with the Bicentenial colors of the time.
These special model vacs were mostly used in industrial/commercial applications.
I do know that the brush rollers that were extra long of course, are no longer avalible.
If you keep an eye on E-Bay, you will find one for sale every once in awhile. I have seen at least 3 for sale on E-Bay in the last 5 years. Hope this helps you, Brian

Post# 34050 , Reply# 2   3/4/2008 at 18:50 (4,702 days old) by briankirbyclass (Eudora Kansas)        

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Thinking about it now, i wonder if the 3d version of the Janitronic/Super Sweep type of Kirby as called a "Lincoln"?

I could be wrong on that, but it kinda rings a bell.

Post# 34052 , Reply# 3   3/4/2008 at 19:02 (4,702 days old) by compactelectra (Palm Springs)        
Don't forget the ComVac

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This one was found new in Kewaskum, WI.

Post# 34053 , Reply# 4   3/4/2008 at 19:03 (4,702 days old) by compactelectra (Palm Springs)        
Another Shot

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You can see the 500 Series in this one!

Post# 34054 , Reply# 5   3/4/2008 at 19:10 (4,702 days old) by clarkecombi ()        

Thats a nice looking COMVAC..Does anyone have a pic of a Janitronic?

Post# 34077 , Reply# 6   3/4/2008 at 22:28 (4,701 days old) by briankirbyclass (Eudora Kansas)        

briankirbyclass's profile picture
Man,id LOVE to have a ComVac! If anyone ever comes across one for sale,, please let me know!
BTW, what is the bag system like on these? Does it take a Kirby disposable bag,or F&G, or?
Thanks for the pic!

Post# 34078 , Reply# 7   3/4/2008 at 22:31 (4,701 days old) by briankirbyclass (Eudora Kansas)        

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Hey,Compactelectra, nice Central Vac Inlet! lol

Wish i had the brass ones like that, mine are the beige plastic ones, darn it.

Post# 290510 , Reply# 8   7/27/2014 at 05:30 (2,366 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        
1967 Janitronic in Copper

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture
Here's an early Janitronic but it is incomplete.

It is the first issue because of it having mainly copper external housing parts... and the trim parts being the same color as the Dual Sanitronic 50.

Picture credit: Nick Stewart (last known e-mail:


  View Full Size
Post# 290800 , Reply# 9   7/28/2014 at 21:02 (2,365 days old) by sukething ()        

I may have to go and pull out my blue one out of my storage just to take a pic for you. The ComVac group came out when the Heariitge I cam out I know I worked at out Local Kirby store at that time. I have the wider head looks like a Classic-Tradition wide head. At the top of the handle, actually infront of the handle it is the cord hook for the big cord it had this is where the pushbutton switch is to turn it off and on.

I might be misaken but all of them had a sani-emptor on them if my memory serves me correct. I know the one i have does.

Post# 290801 , Reply# 10   7/28/2014 at 21:06 (2,365 days old) by sukething ()        
They also had..

When they sold the ComVac they also had a huge monster vacuum with a bag like for cleaning convention centers, never saw one in person. Wish I had. Sorry for the previous message I hit the wrong button, I intended to correct mistakes but instead hit post without preview...sorry


Post# 290818 , Reply# 11   7/28/2014 at 22:13 (2,365 days old) by super-sweeper (KSSRC Refurbishment Center)        

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David, I can't recall a single Commercial Kirby that was manufactured with a Sani-Emptor. All the models I know off took the F&G disposable bag. It would make sense for somebody to convert one over to a Sani-Emptor, you never have to buy bags, and never have to clean-up an exploded F&G bag!tongue-out

Post# 290820 , Reply# 12   7/28/2014 at 22:26 (2,365 days old) by kevin (Livonia)        

So did Kirby only make commercial cleaners since 1967? And do they still make them? I'm not well-acquainted with Kirby but am surprised that I've never heard anything about its commercial vacs till now.

Does anyone have a list of the Kirby commercials by year and color/style?

Post# 290822 , Reply# 13   7/28/2014 at 22:31 (2,365 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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@sukething: Welcome back, Dave!

@Kevin: No, the commercial market was always a niche market for Kirby. Scott Fetzer acquired American-Lincoln in 1968, when the Janitronic (and the Dual Sanitronic 50) was a year old, and so the A-L Super-Sweep (and the standard-width Sani-Sweep) resembles the Kirby cleaners of the day.

1984 was the last year of Kirby's entry in the commercial field. When Scott Fetzer sold American-Lincoln to McGraw-Edison that year, the Kirby division's two-year old COMVAC brand was also shelved.


Post# 290823 , Reply# 14   7/28/2014 at 22:32 (2,365 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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Sorry, I should have said Dual Sanitronic 80, not 50 in that last reply.


Post# 290839 , Reply# 15   7/29/2014 at 00:55 (2,364 days old) by electrolux137 (Land O Plenty USA)        


I used to have a Scott & Fetzer machine called "The American Lincoln" that was like a D80 but the motor unit was painted midnight blue, with an off-white (or gray?) bag and red accent colors. It had the extra-long nozzle as shown in the copper-colored machine above, no belt lifter (just a cap) and no sani-emptor.

And I've seen, but never had, a Scott & Fetzer "Super Sweep" -- same basic design but done up in dark jade green.

Post# 290876 , Reply# 16   7/29/2014 at 09:27 (2,364 days old) by DesertTortoise ()        

A vacuum body made from copper? Wow. And why copper rather than aluminum? Or is that plating over another base metal? Very interesting.

Post# 290891 , Reply# 17   7/29/2014 at 10:55 (2,364 days old) by super-sweeper (KSSRC Refurbishment Center)        

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Defiantly plating! A solid-copper Kirby is more un-economic then exchanging all your $$$$$ for Yen, then attempting to buy a science oven in an American department store with Mega Yen.

Post# 290978 , Reply# 18   7/29/2014 at 21:08 (2,364 days old) by sukething ()        

Forgive me, my Comvac then may have been switched. Mine that looks like a Heritage I. ,to lower the handle you have step on the lever before the handle will release, must have been switched I guess. Mine has the same grey sani-emptor as the Heritage I and it takes a Heritage paper bag. I will look for my brochure in my collection of ads and pamphlets. Do you have that brochure as well?

Maybe that style of bag was on the smaller ComVac was the only bag that was that way and with bigger like mine they put the sani-emptor on the one like mine. who knows.

To me that seems kind of odd, why would Kirby sell you something and then have you buy some other brand bags rather than their own. I could see the F&G style orange bag being an after market product. But it could be my memory, it is not as good as it used to be.

I also saw the smaller Comvac once but do not remember that specific of detail.

Post# 290983 , Reply# 19   7/29/2014 at 22:57 (2,364 days old) by super-sweeper (KSSRC Refurbishment Center)        

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There's nothing to forgive, David! tongue-out


I unfortunately do not have a paper copy of the ComVac pamphlet! Lucky you! 

Post# 291034 , Reply# 20   7/30/2014 at 03:52 (2,363 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

My Comvac 1600 does not have an emptor.The bag fill tube connects right to the fancase discharge.The bag can be used as a dump bag or use paper ones.

Post# 291038 , Reply# 21   7/30/2014 at 04:31 (2,363 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture
I would like to think the COMVAC's failure to put a dent in the commercial market was because one model had the older architecture (the 13" wide CV1300) and the other had newer architecture (the 16" wide CV1600), despite certain parts being shared across both vacs.

It can be confusing somewhat if one company bought both models.


Post# 291259 , Reply# 22   7/31/2014 at 13:41 (2,362 days old) by sukething ()        
i am sorry...

Alex, (super-sweeper) forgive are exactly right. My ComVac bag assembly must have been replaced...forgive me

Post# 291263 , Reply# 23   7/31/2014 at 14:12 (2,362 days old) by super-sweeper (KSSRC Refurbishment Center)        

super-sweeper's profile picture

David it's nothing but incorrect information, you don't need to send flowers and an apology card! tongue-out 


EVERYBODY gets something wrong once in a while,I know I've had my share of realizing I was wrong about information I had given. But now both you and I know better, and we can educate vacuumland with our now-correct information! laughing

Post# 291265 , Reply# 24   7/31/2014 at 14:19 (2,362 days old) by marks_here (_._)        

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Where's the nuns with the rulers... 50 across the knuckles & no lunch!!

Post# 291267 , Reply# 25   7/31/2014 at 14:27 (2,362 days old) by super-sweeper (KSSRC Refurbishment Center)        

super-sweeper's profile picture

No Mark, you must be confused! That's for the Kirby torturers in room 409! 




(Only kidding, we give them cookies and punch,then show them a film on proper Kirby use!tongue-out)

Post# 291268 , Reply# 26   7/31/2014 at 14:33 (2,362 days old) by marks_here (_._)        

marks_here's profile picture
Lol @ nun tipping I once put down for hobbies & also eating.

Post# 312431 , Reply# 27   1/18/2015 at 18:55 (2,191 days old) by ronni (USA)        

I discovered a package of bags designed to fit American-Lincoln Sweepmasters and Kirby Janitronics @ I would presume that the bags would also fit the later Super Sweeps, SuperVACs, and ComVACs.

I'm curious to know if a Sweepmaster was similar in style and design to the Janitronic?

Here is an interesting historical overview of Clarke, who purchased American-Lincoln in the 1980s:

And here is the photo of the Sweepmaster & Janitronic bag package:

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