Thread Number: 63706  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
P.O.D. 1/19/2016 -- Kelvinator Washer "Saving You Energy"
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Post# 862777   1/19/2016 at 06:45 (615 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Seems as though the late-'70's Kelvy wants to sell you on where to set the dials for the controls, and even put you on that its big capacity will make multiple loads (that may need special treatment in the way of Temperature, Length of Wash Time and Speeds) into just ONE!


Sign of the times for a post-energy crisis, or making washing time saving & effortless for busy moms?  Your thoughts--



-- Dave

Post# 862809 , Reply# 1   1/19/2016 at 09:11 (615 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        
Lack of Branding

I have never noticed this POD in the rotation. WCI's ad. designers may of been juggling too many brands at one time. The Lord Kelvinator armored knights head (their Logo), did not even make it into the print graphics.

Post# 862869 , Reply# 2   1/19/2016 at 16:12 (614 days old) by washman (Butler, PA)        
When did WCI

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get it's nasty claws on Kelvinator?

Post# 862901 , Reply# 3   1/19/2016 at 17:50 (614 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Ben-- Here's an article on the history of WCI. Prepare to shed tears when you reach the parts about all the takeovers during the 1960s-1970s.


Post# 862911 , Reply# 4   1/19/2016 at 18:19 (614 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        

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Great article. That's a fascinating strategy for growth and diversification, but it's interesting to note that their strategy consisted of snagging portfolios of products, keeping the most useful designs, and scrapping the rest, while halting R&D.

Think about that--they just acquired designs, facilities, and tooling, but improved very little--VERY little. (Maybe one exception being GM's dreadful dryer in their Skinny-Mini.)

They took what they had, mixed and matched it, and kept pumping out the same stuff that was decades old, with no innovation. In fact, quality declined for the most part, because things became thinner/cheaper/chintzier. The only good thing I can say about their contributions to D&M were polypropylene tubs, which D&M really needed, given their porcelain. That extruded console from the 1-18s hung around well into the nineties.

Appliance Borg, they were. One of the original offshorers, too, but it's interesting to note that Sears nudged them in that direction to begin with--and in many ways, Wal-Mart nowadays is only reading from the Sears playbook. There's so much history, even back then--and even with the nostalgia we have for the older players.

These ads were from when they tried to enhance marketing to bring their brands to the foreground. I'm not sure they were successful; most WCI stuff was badge-engineered and builder's grade when I was a kid. You didn't go to a dealer asking for it, that's for sure--unless you wanted a front-loader.

I had this washer, in the BOL form. It was a really good machine, but you could see the slow process of tinkering to kind-of improve quality--the cabinet was thin and the lid hinges rusted through; they subscribed to Westinghouse's philosophy of "porcelain nothing but the tub." The plastic outer tub was probably an improvement, but other things plagued this machine--leaks, chewed belts (the machine clutched off a tiny and thin V-belt, and it forever smelled slightly of burnt rubber when spinning), and so on.

It was a good performer, and lots of fun to watch. And, WCI did share that gene with D&M where they certainly could style the bejesus out of things. It's just the substance that was lacking.

In short--you got what you paid for.

Post# 863039 , Reply# 5   1/20/2016 at 09:35 (614 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
Coincidentally: P.O.D. 1/20/2016 -- General Electric, 1960!

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Saving Energy can be an over-compromising thing when you still want a quality washer...


Just think of how General Electric in its Filter-Flo era would put an * designating Energy Saver options for washes, which meant small loads with Cold Wash/Cold Rinse, of which the compromise must still be useful in that you still get clean laundry (especially in a quality product like Olde Tyme Gee-Eee!!!!)...



-- Dave

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