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Post# 96144   4/14/2010 at 19:27 (3,700 days old) by vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture
Out of the clear blue, Hans called me one night and said "are you not a Kirby nut" you have to do that with a southren drawl...

The next thing I know, there is a package from the UPS man on my patio...containing a model 561 Kirby...complete!

The bag is nearly mint, the owners manual has the 04/07/1959 printed on it...51 years old this month..

Just like a Kirby, it looks great, runs great, and Kirby will still service the machine. They still have all the needed parts and find a company today that can hold that claim to fame.

Here are some pictures...

Thanks Hans and Donald!!! You both are truly wonderful friends.


Post# 96145 , Reply# 1   4/14/2010 at 19:29 (3,700 days old) by vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture
Just waiting for the power...

Post# 96146 , Reply# 2   4/14/2010 at 19:30 (3,700 days old) by vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture
Oh the sound of that motor...flawless and perfect...

Post# 96147 , Reply# 3   4/14/2010 at 19:32 (3,700 days old) by vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture
All set and ready to go! Floor to ceiling cleaning, the complete home sanitation system.

Post# 96149 , Reply# 4   4/14/2010 at 19:37 (3,700 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Wow, beautiful!! I'm Dual-80-Green with envy! :)

I think the 560/561 (both the same machine, just minor changes in the attachments) is the most beautiful of all Kirbys. It would be impossible to improve on its stunning beauty.

Post# 96150 , Reply# 5   4/14/2010 at 19:49 (3,700 days old) by vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture
I will have to do a Kirby photo shoot some day...

The Dual 80 and 50 are equally as nice...

Trying to think what models I have,

508 My moms vacuum purchased new in 1947(?) Last rebuilt in 97
Dual 50
Dual 80
Kirby Classic Omega
Kirby Classic III
Heritage Turbo Power
Legend II
Ultimate Diamond G (which I purchased new)

Post# 96151 , Reply# 6   4/14/2010 at 20:02 (3,700 days old) by vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture
Had to do one more photo...

Just like the picture in the book...

Post# 96152 , Reply# 7   4/14/2010 at 20:16 (3,700 days old) by xraytech ()        

you pics of your new toy are absolutley beautiful Morgan.
That is in my opinion the most beautiful Kirby ever.


Post# 96159 , Reply# 8   4/14/2010 at 21:09 (3,700 days old) by akabent (LEFT Coast)        
Very, VERY nice.

If I were to have a Kirby, it would definitely be one of the gray/red trimmed ones. Original cord, too!! :)
Very nice and very generous!

Post# 96162 , Reply# 9   4/14/2010 at 21:35 (3,700 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
Damn, that's pretty!

Post# 96164 , Reply# 10   4/14/2010 at 22:58 (3,700 days old) by joe22 ()        

WOW very nice, congratz

Post# 96166 , Reply# 11   4/14/2010 at 23:16 (3,700 days old) by luxg ()        

Morgan, what a wonderful gift. Love that bright red!! Thanks for sharing. My mom had that very same Kirby! I can still smell the "sweet aire"!!!


Post# 96178 , Reply# 12   4/15/2010 at 11:02 (3,699 days old) by a007kirbyman (--->> Originally My Mom <<--- (now Wisconsin))        
Kirby 561...

a007kirbyman's profile picture
Hello & congrats Morgan.

That is a very nice gift & in it's very nice condition.

Again, congratulations.

Cheers & hagd all


Post# 96179 , Reply# 13   4/15/2010 at 11:21 (3,699 days old) by dualsanitronic (Omaha)        

Didn't that Kirby come out in 1961? Wonder how the 1959 date got on that book?

Post# 96184 , Reply# 14   4/15/2010 at 11:57 (3,699 days old) by vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture
I was also wondering that same thing...but that still makes it 49 years old.


Post# 96190 , Reply# 15   4/15/2010 at 16:13 (3,699 days old) by hooverbaby (Dalton in Furness, UK)        

hooverbaby's profile picture
That's a really stunning example; what a lovely surprise!


Post# 96193 , Reply# 16   4/15/2010 at 16:25 (3,699 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

The 561 did come out in 1961. From the 505 onward, all the 500-series machines' model numbers corresponded to the year of manufacture:

505 - 1945
508 - 1948*
509 - 1949
510 - 1950
511 - 1951
512 - 1952
513 - 1953
514 - 1954
515 - 1955
516 - 1956
517 - 1957
518 - 1958
519 - 1959
560 - 1960
561 - 1961
562 - 1962**

* there were no models 506 or 507

** the 562 was the first Kirby with sirroco (tan) color scheme; the 5## model designations ended with that machine.


So perhaps someone wrote that date on the instruction brochure after the fact -- maybe when the previous owner was disposing of or selling it, s/he may have written that date on it as a best guess or whatever. Unless s/he owned a time machine...!!

Post# 96194 , Reply# 17   4/15/2010 at 16:40 (3,699 days old) by vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture
I will look at the book closer, it may be the phone numbers were different then.


Post# 96195 , Reply# 18   4/15/2010 at 17:00 (3,699 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

It looks in the kinda blurry photo like the number is 4-7359 (then a name under it), and, yes, that would correspond with phone numbers in some areas at that time. The first two digits existed but were unnecessary for dialing much the same as, until very recently, you didn't have to dial the area code if you were calling within the same area [as you now have to do in some area codes in Southern California]. Our number in Virginia in the early 1960s was 725-2384 (don't ask me how in the world I remember that!!) but people in our area code just had to dial 5-2384.

Post# 96211 , Reply# 19   4/15/2010 at 21:14 (3,699 days old) by crevicetool (GA )        
Very nice machine Morgan!

What a wonderful addition to your collection.

Aren't friends just the best thing?



Post# 96229 , Reply# 20   4/16/2010 at 05:27 (3,699 days old) by kenkart ()        

Morgan, that number written on the cover of the book is Bill Woodruffs phone number,he was the dealer in Lenoir then,it was 1961.

Post# 96241 , Reply# 21   4/16/2010 at 10:17 (3,698 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

I've always loved those silver-specked bags. I'm old enough to remember when the 561 was a new machine, and the bag was a charcoal gray color. The silver streaking was very pronounced against the dark gray background and just shimmered -- truly beautiful.

What I am not sure of is which model that the speckled bag originally appeared on. I have seen plain gray bags on machines as late as the 519, and speckled bags as early as the 517. It may have been a gradual transition between those two models.

The other 'strange factor' is the bag on the 513 and 514 machines. Both these machines had a very dramatic logo, where the K and Y of Kirby extended down the front of the bag and met at a point at the bottom.

But the strange part is, the 513 bag was the same flat gray cloth as other Kirby bags, but the 514's bag had silver speckling!

Then when the 515 came out, Kirby went back to a plain gray bag with the newer, simpler logo - just the Kirby name in a circle - that bag logo was used until the 562.

I wonder why they had that speckled bag for one model, then went back to plain bags until later on, and then back to speckled bags. This kind of stuff just drives me nuts!! (Yes, I know, it's a short drive......)

Post# 96242 , Reply# 22   4/16/2010 at 10:39 (3,698 days old) by ohio_tuec ()        

Could it be, Charlie, that the 517's you've seen with speckled bags came off a different machine (like a 561)? I mean, after all, it's so easy to swap bag/emtor assemblies. There's been so much mixing and matching with Kirbys over the years it's difficult to tell what's original and what's replacement. I shudder to think of some grandmother's all-original 505 going back to Kirby for a rebuild and coming back as a "Frankenvacuum" with all sirocco-colored trim. I think I'd die if I saw an early 500 series with its original bag up close. I guess the black duvetyne material did not hold up that well?

- Karl

Post# 96248 , Reply# 23   4/16/2010 at 12:09 (3,698 days old) by sireluxomatic ()        

What a stunning looking machine; arguably the nicest looking Kirby ever.

Post# 96251 , Reply# 24   4/16/2010 at 13:57 (3,698 days old) by kenkart ()        
phone No.

Morgan, in Lenoir then the numbers started with. . PLaza..that was 75 either 754 or 758,

Post# 96281 , Reply# 25   4/17/2010 at 02:53 (3,698 days old) by kenmore81 (Warwick, RI)        
Very Nice Present

kenmore81's profile picture
Its so nice to come home to find a mystery box sitting on your doorstep or patio etc..
It just shows you how wonderful friends can be!
Enjoy your new Kirby!

Post# 96304 , Reply# 26   4/17/2010 at 12:57 (3,697 days old) by rexaird ()        

Thats a very nice Kirby, I've been lucky enough to get a couple that nice too. I love how the buffed aluminum looks with the shiny red trim.

As far as the dates/models go, I remember the pre-560 machines by taking the last 2 numbers of the model and adding that to 1940, being as bad with numbers as I am, it was the easiest way for me to keep them straight.

Post# 96334 , Reply# 27   4/18/2010 at 02:08 (3,697 days old) by electroluxkirby ()        

What a BEAUTIFUL Kirby. I love the red attachments. I wish my friends would start sending me Kirby's, LOL.

Post# 96351 , Reply# 28   4/18/2010 at 08:46 (3,696 days old) by rickenbacker ()        
ya know...

The Vacuum will have a stronger suction if you use the hose in the upright assembly, That way there will be more air flowing through the machine at once.

Lovely vacuum, Thats the sorta vac that I allways dreamed of having when I was real little! ... hmm, havent grown up much then lol


Post# 331096 , Reply# 29   8/6/2015 at 10:43 (1,760 days old) by Stunnerable ()        
Resurrecting an old post...

For one simple question; the bag you have seems to have a slightly burgundy tint to it. The reason I ask is because I'm restoring another 560 and I recently purchased (what I thought) was a near mint condition 560/1 bag. It is a lot more gray looking than yours. Is it lighting or do I not have the correct bag?

Thanks guys. Just want to make this as original as possible.

Here are pics:

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 331101 , Reply# 30   8/6/2015 at 11:31 (1,760 days old) by electrolux137 (Land O Plenty USA)        


Originally, all Kirby gray bags were the same color, whether they had the silver speckling or not -- a dark slate gray color.

The bags change color over the years because they fade, sometimes slightly and sometimes greatly. And in the process of fading they do sometimes take on a purplish cast, and sometimes a brownish cast. I've even seen a few that were almost white because they were exposed to direct sunlight for many years.

That being said, dye lots do vary somewhat from batch to batch, and some of the bags I have seen were a bit more "bluish" than others.

Here are some of examples of bags that are still close to the original color, but even these are as not as dark as I remember seeing when I was a little boy. The bags with the silver speckling were stunningly beautiful -- the contrast of the silver over the dark gray background was very pronounced.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 20         View Full Size
Post# 331103 , Reply# 31   8/6/2015 at 11:42 (1,760 days old) by Stunnerable ()        

Mine looks pretty much like the first few.

But hold the phone!! Picture 15. What is that Kirby on the right with the extra wide brush roll!!? I've never known of such an option. Very curious!

Post# 331106 , Reply# 32   8/6/2015 at 12:36 (1,760 days old) by electrolux137 (Land O Plenty USA)        


See the two links below for info on the wide-nozzle Kirby.

First link:

CLICK HERE TO GO TO electrolux137's LINK

Post# 331107 , Reply# 33   8/6/2015 at 12:38 (1,760 days old) by electrolux137 (Land O Plenty USA)        


Second link:

CLICK HERE TO GO TO electrolux137's LINK

Post# 331118 , Reply# 34   8/6/2015 at 15:41 (1,760 days old) by Stunnerable ()        

Thank you for that incredible discovery! I guess I one absolutely knows for certain how and where this particular Kirby came to be.

Super cool nonetheless!

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