Jim Kirby, the founder of the Kirby Company, was an inventor for most of his life. He worked to eliminate or reduce household drudgery with his inventions. He invented the first vacuum cleaner in 1907, a machine that used a vacuum to suck dirty air from carpets through a cloth bag that collected the dirt.
In 1925, Kirby teamed up with the Scott and Fetzer Company to produce the Vacuette Electric. This was the forerunner of all later multi-attachment vacuums, and featured a removable floor nozzle and handle. Most of Kirby’s subsequent vacuum cleaner models featured this convertibility, and it became a hallmark of Kirby vacuums that remains to this day.
The first vacuum to bear the Kirby name was produced in 1935, the Kirby Model C. It featured a toe-touch power switch and a belt-driven brush roll for improved cleaning. He continued to produce new improvements to his Kirby vacuum cleaners into the 1960s. Kirby Vacuums were also the first to use the in-home demonstration method of selling that became so popular with other home products. Kirby became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Scott and Fetzer Company in the 1960s and continued adding new innovations to its vacuums.
In 1970, the Kirby company used input from customers and distributors to produce a wholly new vacuum cleaner model. The Kirby Classic as an instant success, propelling Kirby vacuums to the forefront of the industry that Jim Kirby had invented years before, where they remain to this day. No matter if it’s old or new, you can’t go wrong with a Kirby.