Thread Number: 8799
Kirby Rubber Hose
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Post# 97631   5/3/2010 at 20:16 (3,686 days old) by tom519 (Long Island, New York )        

I'm sure this has probably been discussed before. However, I have an old Kirby rubber hose (see pic.) which is very stiff and was wondering if there is anything I can do to straighten it out and make it more flexible. I don't plan on using it but would like it to be flexible if possible. Also, if anyone has any suggestions on what (if anything) to use on the other Kirby rubber parts (handle, nozzle bumper) to clean and shine them up. I heard Armor All is a no-no on rubber, so I won't use that.

Thanks !

Post# 97633 , Reply# 1   5/3/2010 at 21:11 (3,686 days old) by caligula (Benton, Pa)        
Wow is that nice.

caligula's profile picture
I'm not sure how to make it more flexable, but I would sure display it. My guess is that it goes with one of the early Kirby models, however, I doubt if it's a 1-C or 2-C as there is a conector thigy on the machine end. The 1 and 2-C models didn't have that. Being that it's black, it matches the bag of the 2-C, however, those hoses had no adapter thingy.

Again I'm asking for Charles Richard to help out here.

Alex Taber

Post# 97634 , Reply# 2   5/3/2010 at 22:02 (3,686 days old) by meba2233 (Webster Groves, MO)        
Is it missing a piece?

Here is a picture of an old one I had. There was a separate piece that locked onto the nozzle. Like the newer hoses. This one went with a 500 series machine. I think.


Post# 97638 , Reply# 3   5/3/2010 at 22:26 (3,686 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

That hose is stunning! If I am not mistaken it's for a model 505. It would have a metal machine-end coupler similar to the one in the gray hose just above. On the wand end, there was a short coupling tube about 10" long made of a then-new type of plastic called black "Ethocel," as were the long straight wand and shorter curved wand.

I have a couple of "theme and variations" on this same color and stripe-pattern hose, including an early one for the Scott & Fetzer Sanitation System that just had rubber collars on both ends.

Unfortunately once the rubber lining of a cloth hose has began to "petrify," I don't know of any method to reverse the process. That's just one of the heartbreaking downsides to woven hoses (along with fading and unraveling of the outer cloth layer). Don't flex it back and forth! All that will do is cause the drying-up rubber to crack and flake off, ruining the airtight seal.

You will probably have to be satisfied with displaying it as-is. And be sure to keep it out of even indirect sunlight as it will QUICKLY fade!!

Post# 97639 , Reply# 4   5/3/2010 at 22:27 (3,686 days old) by kc_kirby (Kansas City, MO)        

That hose would go to a Model 505. I have some older C hoses and they don't have the multi colored stripes like this one. I don't know of any way to make them more flexible. I have several hoses like it myself that I wish I could make more flexible. Mark's hose above is for a 509-512 Kirby. The 508 did not have the metal end built in, they had a plastic tube you stuck in the hose and then the other end was what you put the attachments on. I think the question of how to make them flexible again has been asked in the past with no real resolution, so it may just be something you have to live with. It's a shame, that hose isn't faded and is looks really nice otherwise.

Chad Cunningham

Post# 97641 , Reply# 5   5/3/2010 at 22:34 (3,686 days old) by caligula (Benton, Pa)        
Hose coupler

caligula's profile picture
The metal thingy with the two metal feet is called the 'hose coupler' it was a seperate attachment up to the introduction of the 518. The Vacuette Electric, 1- C, 2-C and possibly others had a smaller hose coupler. Some were basic chrome, while others were black in color. The first hoses had rubber ends and either end could be fitted to the machine. Kirby had two nozels. The standard one with the brush roll, and one for straight suction. There were also two bags. The one for upright use and a smaller one for use as a tank or shoulder portable. In fact the standard tools were used with the Scott & Fetzer Home Renovation system, and are still used today. Slowly more and more tools were added and a few like the small bag were dropped from the line.

In a few weeks I will post pictures of the instruction book of the 1-C.

That hose looks like a Kirby 512.

Alex Taber

Post# 97642 , Reply# 6   5/3/2010 at 22:41 (3,686 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

n.b., on the gray hose above, there should be a rubber collar on the wand end. They tended to loosen with age and go missing.

Post# 97655 , Reply# 7   5/3/2010 at 23:13 (3,686 days old) by tom519 (Long Island, New York )        
Short Coupling Tube

The black hose is from a 505. It came with the 505 machine I purchased a few months ago. I attached a pic. of the wand end short coupler tube that Charles mentioned (I think this is it). This piece attaches to the hose, and then you attach the tools to the other end.

Post# 97658 , Reply# 8   5/4/2010 at 00:02 (3,686 days old) by caligula (Benton, Pa)        
Thanks Tom 519

caligula's profile picture
The short coupling tube was part of the 1-C, and perhaps the 2-C. (And if I may digress a second here) I think there were two hoses. The standard one and a small one for use with the shoulder portable. Air-Way used this too with their first uprights. Now back to the wands. There was only one wand it looked like the curved, and straight wands of today only one piece and much shorter. The curved end could attach to the hose, or be used with an upholstery tool. There was no floor brush and the upholstery tool had a removable brush. In fact Filter Queen, Hoover, Rexair and others also had that. For cleaning floors there was the 'duster pad' everybody had one of those too, in fact Kirby still offers that tool. The portable handle was called the 'Lifter Grip' and yes there was the shoulder strap. The Mirical Head was introduced a few years later, I think around 1949.

As I said I'll be able to share more info once I get my stuff home.

Alex Taber

Post# 97697 , Reply# 9   5/4/2010 at 14:25 (3,685 days old) by a007kirbyman (--->> Originally My Mom <<--- (now Wisconsin))        
Tom & Kirby hose...

a007kirbyman's profile picture
Hello Tom.

That Kirby hose is in even better condition than it L@@Ked in the original auction. (Maybe I shouldn't have bailed on the auction. ~lol~ I'm glad it went to you.)

Have you started restoring the 505 yet?

I hope all is well with you. ttys

Cheers & hagd all,


Post# 97707 , Reply# 10   5/4/2010 at 18:17 (3,685 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture
That is a very nice looking hose! I normally wouldn't say this about a vacuum hose, but it has a very "elegant" look to it. Too bad manufacturers today don't make hoses that at least have that look. But I guess a cloth hose might look a little odd against today's futuristic designs.

Post# 97709 , Reply# 11   5/4/2010 at 18:56 (3,685 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

There are some contemporary vacuum cleaners that would look great with cloth hoses - but of course we'll never see that happen.

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