Thread Number: 35933  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
Royal 888
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Post# 385359   2/4/2018 at 01:52 (257 days old) by vacuumdevil (Denver)        

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Can anybody confirm the reason that they stopped making the detachable head?
Manufacturing cost? or lawsuit from Kirby?

Also I'd love to see pictures if anybody has the 900 series with a detachable head.

Post# 385373 , Reply# 1   2/4/2018 at 10:25 (257 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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I'd guess manufacturing. Because if you think 2 casting one for head and one for body. New other ones one casting of the mold. That is my guess. Ben is the expert but my educated guess.

Post# 385374 , Reply# 2   2/4/2018 at 10:35 (257 days old) by sptyks (Skowhegan, Maine)        
Royal with detachable nozzle...

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Royal only made machines with detachable nozzles for a short time, so that means that those Royals are quite rare.


The reason Royal stopped making these machines is because they were sued by Kirby who already had a patent on the detachable nozzle design for many years before that time.





Post# 385380 , Reply# 3   2/4/2018 at 11:44 (257 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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The other removable head Royal machines were:
893 (Electro-Grand?)
980 (Electro-Hygiene)
990 (Galaxie Prestige)
2001 (Electro-Hygiene "50th Anniversary" - produced 1984-1987)

I do agree per the video that these models were simply just more expensive to produce, adding about $50-$100 more to the cost of an 880 (also 790 if Electro-Grand and 890 or 903 if Electro-Hygiene), because of the increased complexity of manufacturing the removable head and the added parts on the fan case to support it.


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This post was last edited 02/04/2018 at 22:10
Post# 385395 , Reply# 4   2/4/2018 at 15:27 (257 days old) by vacuumdevil (Denver)        

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@sptyks so Scott fitzer did Sue Royal?

@KirbyClassicIII thank you very informative. The attachment you have picture that looks kind of like a handy Butler for lack of a better word. What attached to it?

Post# 385397 , Reply# 5   2/4/2018 at 15:31 (257 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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Maybe a more experienced Royal vacuum cleaner fanatic can explain that special tool to you. I could agree with you about it being similar to Kirby's Handi-Butler.

The other thing I wanted to mention to you was that the extra removable head, the one without the Adjust-O-Rite button, is for the polishing brush.


Post# 385422 , Reply# 6   2/4/2018 at 21:29 (256 days old) by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

The Royal fan case and head are separate items. The head is attached by screws from the back side of the fan case.

Ben I thanks for the reminder. I thought at one time Royal had a polishing brush for floors or to fluff the carpet like the Kirby. Didn't they also have just the polishing/carpet fluffing brush that you switched out for the regular carpet brush assembly?

Post# 385423 , Reply# 7   2/4/2018 at 21:33 (256 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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I know the nozzle and fan case are separately made, but on these four or five machines the head is actually removable. Thus, the fan case on these machines has a latch that allows you to remove or replace the nozzle, just like with the Kirby.

Unlike the non-removable nozzle versions, the Adjust-O-Rite plate is not removable, but is used as an actual belt lifter.

Yes, you remove the standard brush roll whenever you want to use the polisher brush, and put that in place of the standard brush roll.


Post# 385433 , Reply# 8   2/4/2018 at 22:08 (256 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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I'm not educated about royals but I'd love to own one. The power on them seem almost violent. But to my point on 990 you have pictured those wheels I think are kirby 505 wheels. The other royals I've seen are wider and distinct look. I may be wrong but I'm thinking they are 505 kirby wheels.

Post# 385436 , Reply# 9   2/4/2018 at 22:20 (256 days old) by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

Older Royals had narrow wheels like the Dual 80 Kirby and earlier Kirby Models.

Post# 385437 , Reply# 10   2/4/2018 at 22:28 (256 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Look at contour of the wheels. These pictures are from my all original 505. They look identical.

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Post# 385443 , Reply# 11   2/4/2018 at 22:54 (256 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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Here are the rear wheels on my 1985 Royal 880. They are only 1" wide.

For comparison I will also show you the rear wheels on my 1987 Royal Prince 786. Those ones are 1-1/4" wide.


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Post# 385501 , Reply# 12   2/5/2018 at 22:22 (255 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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It deleted my post I know royal wide wheels are very distinct. I couldn't find any royal narrow wheels for reference. The narrow wheels resemble kirby wheels alot more than the royal wide wheels. I guess same could be said for kirby wide and narrow wheels.
I'd love a royal vacuum cleaner once I sell a few more kirbys I'll pick k one up.
The funny thing is I find kirbys at thrift stores often but not seen a royal yet. I mean metal fan royal not plastic garbage.

Post# 385842 , Reply# 13   2/11/2018 at 19:01 (249 days old) by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

I have seen only 1 all metal Royal in the thrift stores. I bought it and used it at work for a while. Still there.

The only other similar Royal was a neighbor had one and was using it one day to clean her car. Neither machine had/has the removable head. I would like to have one of those.

Post# 385884 , Reply# 14   2/12/2018 at 09:19 (249 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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I bought my Royal at a vacuum shop used a few years back. Since I had only seen them posted on here or being used at the school when I got it home was shocked to see the head didn't come off like Kirby! Very different, but lovely machine. It cleans very well.Big wide wheels/ hubcaps, those are a bit noisy

Post# 385885 , Reply# 15   2/12/2018 at 09:26 (249 days old) by Oreck_XL (Brooklyn, New York 11211)        

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Okay, so if Kirby sued Royal for a detachable front nozzle how come Bison was able to do it without lawsuit? Bison is even more Kirby-esque with its Sani-Emtor IMHO.

Post# 385893 , Reply# 16   2/12/2018 at 12:11 (249 days old) by sptyks (Skowhegan, Maine)        

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Bison was sued as well!

Why do you think they went out of business after only a few years? 



Post# 385993 , Reply# 17   2/13/2018 at 20:51 (247 days old) by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

That and the belt drive system was prone to fail. Very noisy and from what I have seen of them even more cumbersome to assemble.

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