Thread Number: 44814  /  Tag: Pre-1950 Vacuum Cleaners
How to tell a Kirby model C from a (1)C
[Down to Last]

Vacuumland's exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 465399   8/20/2023 at 12:53 by odavid123 (Los Angeles ca )        

odavid123's profile picture
How to determine a model C from a model 1c if most parts that help determine the model are missing . Look at the back of the motor casing for a clue , early model C had 2 cavities in back that were rounded triangles in shape where in the later model C they were more like horizontal slits. Same goes for the R units .

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 465414 , Reply# 1   8/20/2023 at 23:57 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

With all of the words printed over the picture-harder to see.From what I can see a beautiful vacuum!

Post# 465429 , Reply# 2   8/21/2023 at 12:27 by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        

vacmadman's profile picture

My Kirby 1C has the half circle vents.


Post# 465467 , Reply# 3   8/23/2023 at 10:18 by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        
1st 1C's

vacmadman's profile picture
So apparently my Kirby 1C was indeed one of the first to come off the assembly line with the Kirby C housing with the half circle vents, and the first C nozzle, and the first Kirby brass belt cap. When it comes to Kirby's very little is written in stone.


  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size
Post# 465478 , Reply# 4   8/23/2023 at 17:47 by odavid123 (Los Angeles ca )        

odavid123's profile picture
Hi Jim , the C you have isnít a 1C itís a C with a headlight . What I would consider a 1C is the later one with the slit holes on the back of motor housing and the Bakelite cover . So you got yourself an amazing model C .
Here is a cute chart I put together of the different belt covers . Models C to Model 561

  View Full Size
Post# 465487 , Reply# 5   8/24/2023 at 08:40 by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        
splitting hears

vacmadman's profile picture

Maybe you and I are splitting hears here but, the fact is there never was a Kirby model 1C. All the model Cs with the light were "called" 1C's but you will not find a 1C on any Kirby ID tag.

All Kirby C's with or without the light were ID'd as model Cs Therefore Mine is a "so called" 1C by definition, it's a very early 1C, but a 1C none the less, I know that this doesn't fit your slit hole theory but again very little in Kirby history is written in stone.


Post# 465492 , Reply# 6   8/24/2023 at 09:48 by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        
spare parts

vacmadman's profile picture
Here is a picture of my Kirby belt cap and belt lifters.


  View Full Size
Post# 465493 , Reply# 7   8/24/2023 at 10:20 by odavid123 (Los Angeles ca )        

odavid123's profile picture
Hi Jim , yes that is correct the 1 is to differentiate between an early model C and a later model C .
The very first models C and R were added a headlight very soon into production . I have the 3 ( there were 4, two R with and without headlight and two model C with and without headlight ) . When I say 1C I mean the changes that were made to the machine in 1936 which were a new back motor housing , new bag , new belt cover .this continues well into the first model 505 .
The brass plate was used on the first C models . Also if there are 2 notches in your nozzle belt hole then its certainly a a (1)C if itís smooth itís a model c , please keep in mind that sometimes nozzles or belt covers were changes on these .. I hope I was able to explain it better . Never the less you have a beautiful machine .

This post was last edited 08/24/2023 at 10:55
Post# 465494 , Reply# 8   8/24/2023 at 13:00 by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        

vacmadman's profile picture

First the 1 does not define an early C from a later C. You can certainly go by what "you consider" to be a 1C, but most collectors commonly call the model C with the light the 1C. I have never heard anyone say anything about the housing vents to describe a 1C.

You have shown to be very Knowledgeable when it comes to early Kirby's, and you do wonderful work, much better than mine, but your theory about the vents to put it nicely is flawed. In your own words "Jim , the C you have isnít a 1C itís a C with a headlight" That is a 1C by definition, or common knowledge, but who knows maybe you can change all that.


Post# 465496 , Reply# 9   8/24/2023 at 13:59 by Kloveland (Tulsa)        

kloveland's profile picture
Itís like referring to a Sentria as a Sentria I. Which most collectors just say Sentria. As Jim said above I thought it was just a C.

Post# 465497 , Reply# 10   8/24/2023 at 16:48 by odavid123 (Los Angeles ca )        

odavid123's profile picture
Ok guys I understand where the frustration is coming from . I just personally prefer to differentiate them by color scheme and other attributes like the bag , motor housing vents and belt lifter which are visually obvious differences . I understand where you are coming from so letís agree to disagree lol

Just as an extra indicator that early C and later C were different besides the headlight is with the R and later R both had a headlight and no headlight models but the switch on the later R was upgraded same time the color theme ie bag, belt cover and vents were updated . So maybe itís better to refer to them as 1934 and 1936 models .
I wish it was simple like a 505 with a belt lifter and without a lifter .

I certainly am not here to set a new standard for collectors itís just my personal opinion on how to categorize them . I think you have a beautiful collection and you do an amazing job restoring your units . Much respect. David

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