Thread Number: 8326
Question about old Kirby
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Post# 92531   3/1/2010 at 12:59 (3,750 days old) by barrybanister ()        

I recently found the old Kirby vacuum and attachments shown in the pictures in my mother's attic. The serial number is R291816. Can anyone tell me the approximate age and if it has any value to a collector?
Barry Banister


Post# 92542 , Reply# 1   3/1/2010 at 14:25 (3,750 days old) by kirbymodel2c (Nottingham, England)        

kirbymodel2c's profile picture
Hi, Where is the pictures of it?

The ones u have up there don't work:o(


Post# 92544 , Reply# 2   3/1/2010 at 14:30 (3,750 days old) by barrybanister ()        

They show up for me. Let me go back to photobuket and try another format.

Post# 92547 , Reply# 3   3/1/2010 at 14:45 (3,750 days old) by barrybanister ()

Post# 92548 , Reply# 4   3/1/2010 at 15:16 (3,750 days old) by barrybanister ()        


Post# 92549 , Reply# 5   3/1/2010 at 15:17 (3,750 days old) by barrybanister ()        


Post# 92550 , Reply# 6   3/1/2010 at 15:19 (3,750 days old) by barrybanister ()        


Post# 92551 , Reply# 7   3/1/2010 at 15:20 (3,750 days old) by barrybanister ()        


Post# 92552 , Reply# 8   3/1/2010 at 15:27 (3,750 days old) by kirbymodel2c (Nottingham, England)        
very nice

kirbymodel2c's profile picture
Very nice I've just e-mailed u.
Where did u get it?


Post# 92639 , Reply# 9   3/2/2010 at 16:36 (3,749 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

"Very nice" is an understatement ... this is perhaps the rarest of the old pre-500-series Kirbys -- the Model R (retail) with the switch in the handle. And it's complete and in the boxes. "The stuff dreams are made of."

It's most likely a 2R, the second in the series, sold in the mid 1930s.

But it could also be a 3R. (The first model, just "R", did not have a headlight, and the fourth model, the 4R, had the new streamlined headlight housing like the 4C and then the 505 and thereafter.)


I've got the same model that needs to be completely taken apart and restored, something that's not going to happen anytime soon now, since I no longer have a workshop.

Post# 92640 , Reply# 10   3/2/2010 at 16:40 (3,749 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

p.s. Too bad the belt cover got damaged -- looks like it got heated and melted or something. And there are other problems with it as well. All the non-metal parts have issues -- the bag, cord and wheels.

So, even given its rarity, the 3 key factors in determining its value are "condition, condition, condition."

Post# 92687 , Reply# 11   3/2/2010 at 19:35 (3,749 days old) by a1945 ()        

Aw damn! that poor old Kirby doesn't deserve to be in this condition, sure hope she can be brought back to her former glory!

Post# 92734 , Reply# 12   3/3/2010 at 00:50 (3,748 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Yup. There are few Kirbys more gorgeous than the old models with black trim...

Post# 92819 , Reply# 13   3/3/2010 at 20:17 (3,748 days old) by kc_kirby (Kansas City, MO)        

This vacuum is just an "R" model. He gave us the serial number that starts with "R". The 2R serial number would start with "2R" and so forth. You can also tell it is an "R" by the scrolled headlight. The only Kirby model to have that style of headlamp was the "C" model and its sister, the "R". The 2C,2R and later models had the more squared off headlamp. There is also a "C" and and an "R" model that did not have a headlight. Those models are referred to as early "C's" and "R's".

Post# 92822 , Reply# 14   3/3/2010 at 20:28 (3,747 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Good points, thanks for pointing that out. I was unclear about the headlight housing issue.

Now, does anyone know precise manufacturing dates for the 1,2,3,4 C/R machines?

I really would like to correct and complete my Kirby web page with this information.'

Post# 92835 , Reply# 15   3/4/2010 at 04:15 (3,747 days old) by kirbymodel2c (Nottingham, England)        
Here u go...

kirbymodel2c's profile picture
Here u go charlie

Model C and R (1935-1937)
Model 2C and 2R (1937-1939)
Model 3C and 3R (1939-1940)
Model 4C and 4R (1940-1941)

Hope this helps u :o)


Post# 92857 , Reply# 16   3/4/2010 at 13:50 (3,747 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Thanks, James. Then, what came between the 1941 4C and 4R and the 1945 505??

Post# 92858 , Reply# 17   3/4/2010 at 14:22 (3,747 days old) by kirbymodel2c (Nottingham, England)        

kirbymodel2c's profile picture
Hi again. No models as far as I know we're made between the models 4C/R in 1941 till the model 505 in 1945 as the USA joined the WWII when production was stopped 4 the war effort.


Post# 92868 , Reply# 18   3/4/2010 at 18:00 (3,747 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Well, alright then! I am finally plugging some of the holes in my Kirby history.

Thanks very much--

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