The Butler and the Shag King

We bought a 1979 Kirby vacuum cleaner today at Orkney’s monthly auction called the Mart. Cost me £7 which is a lot less than someone paid for it in 1979. It also came with a truck load of accessories and shampooing box and buffer called “The Butler” . . . and a contraption for sprucing up the shag carpet called the “Shag King”. Yeah . . SHAG KING . , , the name carries some baggage in our Post-AustinPowers world . . kinda like “postmodern” . . but anyway . .. Debbie is cleaning it up right and we are excited about our new addition to the family . . . Mr Kirby.


Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


  • We had a Kirby when I was little–a good bit of time before 1979–the thing was amazing. it did rugs, floors, and even sharpened knives. and built like a tractor. oh, the memories…

  • Andrew,
    we bought a kirby for $120 US at a garage sale. It didn’t work right, so we took it for a tune up. $20 later it is in perfect condition and well worth the bucks. enjoy!

  • The thing is that you didn’t it buy as a relic but that it actually works! God blessed you with amazing financial dealings… Jay & Beth (Weaver) here are somewhat similar. Last note – I was born in ’79. Huhh. May it work for a LONGer time!

  • Of all the intereseting stuff on your site, why does this post rock my world. Who knows, Ancient future underpinnings perhaps.
    Best wishes in all of the ways you will use that Kirby.

  • TallSkinnyKiwi: The Butler and the Shag King

    We purchased a Kirby a couple of years ago. A friend of my wife had referred us to a salesman that did a demo at their house. Anyway, I told my wife there is no way we would spend $1500

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