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The Kirby Company’s
Sentria II home care system

The Kirby Company

The Kirby Company has manufactured high-quality vacuum cleaners in the United States for nearly 100 years. The Kirby vacuum is known for its longevity, recognized by its shiny aluminum castings, and affectionately called “The Kirby” by many who own one.

"The Kirby" vacuum home care system takes its name from Ohio inventor James B. Kirby. His goal in life was to reduce or eliminate household drudgery. Kirby’s cleaners became Scott and Carl S. Fetzer.

In 1914, Scott started a machine shop in a barn behind his parents’ home, and then joined with Fetzer to form The Scott & Fetzer Machine Company. Although automotive parts were their specialty, the precision of their tools and dies prompted Kirby to turn to Scott and Fetzer in 1919 to produce his vacuum cleaner, the Vacuette.

In 1920, Scott Fetzer became a direct-selling organization which developed in-home demonstrations to introduce the Vacuette Kirby vacuum to prospects. During the 1920s, more than a million units were sold. All were manufactured at the Cleveland factory on the west side of town.

Today, Kirby vacuums home care systems are still assembled at the original factory. A second plant was opened in 1972 in Andrews, Texas, to keep up with demand. The Kirby Company continues its American manufacturing legacy with pride and has no plans to move overseas.

Kirby vacuum home care systems are still sold directly to consumers allowing them the opportunity to experience all of the cleaner’s capabilities in the comfort of their own homes, before they make a purchase. The current model has 12 applications including the upright, canister and portable modes; an air pump and portable sprayer, plus optional accessories such as an upholstery cleaner, carpet shampooer, portable sander and buffer.

More than 1,000 entrepreneurs, including Distributors and Distributor Trainees, are authorized to sell Kirby vacuum home care systems in more than 55 countries around the world. These entrepreneurs enjoy virtually unlimited opportunities for personal, professional, and financial growth as they operate their own independent businesses.


1947: Workers on the factory floor with Jim Kirby,
wearing a lab coat, in the background.

1953: President and Co-founder Carl Fetzer is
in front of posters about proper salesmanship.

1953: Vice President and co-founder George Scott
shows off the prizes for a sales contest.

View prior Scott Fetzer Spotlights: Stahl | World Book | Ginsu

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The Scott Fetzer Co.
28800 Clemens Road • Westlake, OH  44145-1134
440-892-3000 • Fax: 440-892-3033