Thread Number: 37083  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
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Post# 396211   8/4/2018 at 18:10 by hmc1981 (St. Augustine, Florida)        

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I was scrolling through the listings on OfferUp trying to find the next must have for my collection. I stumbled upon this... correct me if Iím wrong, but Iím guessing it is/was a 508. I was scrolling not too fast but not slow enough to see right away how it had been violated. I scrolled back and although I will admit itís unique, I cannot believe a machine such as this, that appears to be in relatively good shape (nice trim, metal easily polished) gutted and turned into a lamp. Part of me wants to message and ask if the other parts are still around... What are your thoughts?

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Post# 396214 , Reply# 1   8/4/2018 at 19:08 by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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People do this. They go to a junk store, find an old vacuum, copy some dumb project they find on Pinterest. By the time they finish it and step back from it, they realize how stupid it looks and they try and re-sell it back.

Depending on how recently they did it they might have the parts, but usually they throw all that out. They even stupidly put a lamp cord on it in place of the original cord, so I'm wondering if they stripped the motor out of it too.

90% of the projects on pinterest people do just to make money on advertising and the creations are pretty much nonfunctional in daily life.

I'd pay maybe $10 for that, keep it as a lamp, and finish the job and clean it up more so it looks at least half decent. Have a lamp store maybe make a Kirby logo lampshade for it and weld the handle. If they stripped and gutted the whole thing it's not worth it trying to make it back into a vacuum again, too far gone. Like that one abomination someone posted here before that was a toilet lawn ornament made from a Tristar compact and some old Rainbow vacuum or something like that glued together.

Post# 396224 , Reply# 2   8/4/2018 at 20:38 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Apparently this person lacked the skills to turn this onto a fully function vacuum (which would be worth more) but had just enough skill to glue a light socket on it. What? Not even a shade with it??
Oh, well. If that's what floats their boat....

This is later than a 508 by the looks of the script on the belt lifter. The 508 had a unique-to-the-year script (which my rebuilt 505 currently wears). If that did have the 508 lifter then the price of the 'lamp' would be worth it for just for the lifter.

Post# 396225 , Reply# 3   8/4/2018 at 20:48 by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

One of the local dealers has a Kirby lamp similar to that one.

If it were to be polished up and the bag and original cord in place and a lamp shade it would be a unique conversation piece.

I for one wouldn't want to "shame" such a fine piece of american engineering.

Post# 396228 , Reply# 4   8/4/2018 at 21:29 by hmc1981 (St. Augustine, Florida)        
Keep it coming!

hmc1981's profile picture
I started this trying to be polite... truth is I think this is just awful!

I did message the seller (havenít heard back yet). IF it still has what it needs to be what it was built to be, then for $45 (and shipping if seller is willing) Iím happy to rescue it.

Truth is when I first saw this, what went through my head was ďHOW COULD YOU?!Ē

I agree with huskyvacs, itís likely too far gone but you never know. Best I can do is try.

Anyhoo... while we are on such a topic... what are some of the worst things youíve seen happen to a vintage machine?

Post# 396229 , Reply# 5   8/4/2018 at 22:21 by dirtsniffer (iowa)        

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I collect OLD (pre1920 mostly)electric fans and OLD (Pre1940)coleman lamp/lanterns. Steampunk is about the dumbest fad ever.

Post# 396548 , Reply# 6   8/10/2018 at 01:53 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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It looks naked without the bag. (Also without a lamp shade.)

What a nub.

Post# 396556 , Reply# 7   8/10/2018 at 09:02 by myvacsrock (Dayton, OH)        
My goodness..

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I feel like all we ever see here is complaining about what someone is doing with something that belongs to....them! It's ridiculous. It's a conversation piece. Kirby made hundreds of thousands of that model. There are no shortage of 50's Kirby vacuums.

I took this Filter Queen and did the same thing. It was a goal to use as much of the vacuum as possible.
So the hose covers the lamp pole. The cone is an excellent lamp shade. The original vacuum cord is the cord for the lamp. The power button from the vacuum activates the lamp. It's awesome, and people love it.

It's a vacuum, try not to be so bitter.

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Post# 396558 , Reply# 8   8/10/2018 at 09:47 by bnsd60m9200 (Ponder,TX)        

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most people dont go thru the effort people like you , me or other more seasoned collectors thru vacuum shops, auctions or estate sales to know how truly much vintage stuff is still out there in restorable shape.

i love dial a matics, have and use a few, but still want to turn a few into floor lamps when i have my own home in my living room.

i almost turned a 1070 convertible i didnt want into a lamp, but it got restored and gifted to a friend

Post# 396561 , Reply# 9   8/10/2018 at 10:59 by Oreck_XL (Brooklyn, New York 11211)        
"There are no shortage of 50's Kirby vacuums"

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True, but there IS a shortage of '50's Kirby vacuums that haven't been bastardized with different color trim. Having the original trim and cord makes it somewhat rare. So many have been FrankenKirbied by mom and pop vac shops who even remove the builder's plate (don't understand why?) or even Kirby themselves which change the color trim to whatever they have laying around at the time of the rebuild.

Post# 396565 , Reply# 10   8/10/2018 at 12:47 by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

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I'm very seriously considering making a Kirby lamp out of one of my Kirbys, preferably my nicest one, a D80 that was rebuilt in 2001 and still looks new! Now before anyone has a stroke... all I'll be doing is acquiring a new handle for the purposes of modifying, the machine and its proper handle will be untouched, I'll just remove the handle, attach the lamp handle, wrap the cord on that handle (lamp will have a cord of its own) and it'll be a lamp. When I wish to have it be a normal Kirby again, just get out the original handle and put it back on...

Post# 396585 , Reply# 11   8/10/2018 at 21:37 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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See, now that's not a bad idea. Respect what it was originally.

Post# 396617 , Reply# 12   8/11/2018 at 15:20 by hmc1981 (St. Augustine, Florida)        
Filter Queen lamp

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I really dig the Filter Queen lamp! I donít like the Kirby lamp (picture I posted). It just seems very lacking, and well... I just donít like it. What you did with the Filter Queen I think celebrates what it is, at the same time giving it a new purpose, good job! Iím interested in seeing the D80 conversion as well.

I have to agree with Myvacsrock. People are free to do with their property what they wish. Itís a little silly to get overworked about it.

Post# 396623 , Reply# 13   8/11/2018 at 17:06 by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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Well for me I don't have an unlimited pension fund with all kinds of money. I'm 26 and I'm lucky if I have maybe $70 budgeted as "amusement money" after bills are paid and maintenance on house and car is done. I'm sure finding an original Kirby is no trouble when money is no object, but for me, finding something this old for a price point of maybe $50 is maybe a once in a year thing (maybe even 3 years). My Kirby I have (I don't know what it is because the badge is stripped) only cost me I think $45-$50 shipped and even then it is allegedly full of drywall debris or possibly asbestos. I don't mind repair jobs, because I can do the work it needs to fix it, and I can't afford anything better.

I can't afford or see such nice machines so often, and when some LA hipster just flippantly turns it into a lamp with complete disregard for it and how rare it is and how original all the parts are and just throws them in the trash can and prevents someone else from buying it that will enjoy it and take care of it and then when their dumb idea doesn't work and they end up throwing out the rest of the vacuum, that's why people get so angry over these things. That's what I think anyway. It's a needless waste. These vacuums aren't made anymore, and each one that gets thrown away or destroyed will increase the prices of surviving ones. I mean look how much a Bison costs now. People didn't give a single care for it when it was new and they practically gave them away, and now they are $300+ vacuums because there's hardly any left.

myvacsrock, you did a great job on your Filter Queen lamp, and that actually looks like a work of art, and the lamp part is simply like an attachment and is not a permanent and irreversible alteration. You actually put a lot of thought into it and made everything work together so well, it doesn't look like a bodged up mess like the Kirby in OP's pic.

Your vacuum reminds me of a floor lamp that my local lamp store had made for a fire department. It was made out of a giant copper antique fire extinguisher, and they put a glass top on it, with a long brass table lamp assembly for the top part, and then they etched the fire department's logo into the glass table top on it. It even had a cute little dalmatian dog figurine for the pull chain on the light. It was a really slick piece and it wasn't for sale but they had it there as a demonstration on what they could do at their shop.

Post# 396634 , Reply# 14   8/11/2018 at 22:14 by hmc1981 (St. Augustine, Florida)        

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Hey there!

Yes, I completely understand and Iím on the same level. Iím a vet tech for a living - none of us are in it for the money, as the money is pretty much non-existent. The vacs I own have all been obtained and restored by me, exceptions being the 2017 Avalir and my recent D80, but they both were extremely low priced (I was lucky and I realize that and Iím confident my luck wonít continue, as Iíve always been the ďlast in lineĒ). I completely understand what you mean with regards to the LA hipster having no idea what heís doing to such a nice machine...maybe thatís why I dislike it so much. At the same time, I canít expect for others to consider such things when making purchases on antique items. Iím guessing the person who ruined the Kirby in the original post probably doesnít know anything beyond Kirby being a vacuum manufacturer. It sucks, but it happens all the time, and yes, Bisons are a great example. Itís sad.

I think, for me at least, this further proves how annoying hipsters are.

In any case, I hope you have a good evening. Also, I have 2 D80s... one of them does not have any accessories, but if you are interested, we can figure out what shipping is and subtract that amount from what you can afford and itís yours. Email me at: i can send you pics of it if you want.

Take care.

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