Thread Number: 69270  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Just found a 1968 Sears Lady Kenmore washer/dryer set!
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Post# 920927   2/12/2017 at 10:59 (491 days old) by drh4683 (Chicago western suburbs)        

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It was another good weekend of estate sales and I stumbled upon another matched washer/dryer set that was calling my name to be saved: A 1968 Sears Lady Kenmore set in Avocado!
When I went to unhook them, I needed a set of pliers to release the corbin clamps on the discharge and suds saver hoses. I think this was the very first time I've ever been to a sale where I couldn't find a basic set of pliers or anything that could be used as such in the entire house. Someone already bought all of the hand tools and there was nothing left. I ended up having to run back home to get my corbin pliers so I could unhook the thing! Then getting them out of the basement they were in was the next challenge and fortunately there were two people working at the sale who helped in the move. I usually move this stuff by myself, but this was a situation that needed more than one person without risking machine damage. We had to remove doors and the railings to the basement, then to make matters more interesting, there of course had to be that dreaded 90 degree turn in the stairs and almost no landing at the top of the stairs where another 90 degree turn was necessary to get out the door. It was one of those stair arrangements you hope you never have to deal with when you have to move something large. But regardless, they got down there without damage 49 years ago. We planned it carefully and got them out without getting two-blocked and without a scratch. The washing machine was like moving a block of concrete...

The machines appear to have had normal usage over the years, but still well cared for. There was actually a load of towels left behind inside the dryer. I tested the dryer out (it's an electric dryer) before I disconnected and it worked just fine. I will assume I will need to service the washer. I didn't bother testing it with water as it was dry inside and appeared to have not been used in a very long time as there were cobwebs inside the washer drum. Electrically, however, the washer seems fine as the motor works and the agitator operates smoothly. So perhaps it too is working just fine. The piano keys all work, but they seem quite fragile as there is a lot of tension on the plastic buttons from the torsion return springs. I guess its amazing these machines are still around as that design seems to be a potential problem area on these, especially as the plastic ages.

I gave them a simple cleaning when I got home and pulled the control panels just to inspect for date codes and blew the dust out. The control panel for the dryer has a date stamp of November 28, 1967 and the washer has a date stamp inside the control panel of July 18, 1967.

So far, the only thing the washer needed was a new 26" florescent bulb and starter which I picked up at the hardware store.

The original owners, Mr. & Mrs. Norman have both passed away. He was a mechanical engineer at Whiting Corp. in Chicago who makes large industrial warehouse cranes and hoists. I also saved many of his engineering books and manuals from the 60's. They didn't appear to have any children, but the two of them enjoyed many road trips together from all the photo albums left behind which I show a picture of here. The picture of the machines in the basement is how they looked as I found them.

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Post# 920928 , Reply# 1   2/12/2017 at 11:01 (491 days old) by drh4683 (Chicago western suburbs)        

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Here are some additional photos showing the insides of the control panels and also some "night shots" of the consoles all lit up...

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Post# 920929 , Reply# 2   2/12/2017 at 11:05 (491 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Good Lord.

Just Beautiful. Always amazed at what still pop ups

Post# 920932 , Reply# 3   2/12/2017 at 11:34 (491 days old) by super32 (Blackstone Massachusetts)        

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Good save! I have been enjoying my 72' set since i got them last year.

Post# 920933 , Reply# 4   2/12/2017 at 11:36 (491 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Congratulations, Doug!  You're on a roll!!

Post# 920934 , Reply# 5   2/12/2017 at 11:48 (491 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Doug, I was going to say the same thing as Paul--you're on a roll.   What does the button under Heavy Duty say?  Since this has the spankalator agitator, the washer probably shifts to gentle agitation during the middle of the wash cycle on normal and probably perm press.  Heavy Duty probably eliminates the speed shift.  When you can, please take a photo of the cycle chart on the underside of the lid.  Thank you.

Post# 920935 , Reply# 6   2/12/2017 at 11:54 (491 days old) by peteski50 (New York)        

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Doug what a really great set
Best Of Luck with them

Post# 920936 , Reply# 7   2/12/2017 at 11:56 (491 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
1966-68 Lady Kenmore Pair

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Wow Great condition, These were the best performing machines you could buy in this time period, hope you have fun with them.

Post# 920938 , Reply# 8   2/12/2017 at 12:00 (491 days old) by stricklybojack (San Diego, CA)        

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That #13 night shot is magnifico!

Post# 920944 , Reply# 9   2/12/2017 at 13:05 (491 days old) by mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        
Uncle Bob

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That's the Special Care button which shifts the agitation to the third, or extra-low speed. You can press it and watch the agitator slow down. The agitator is the much-loved Roto-flex whose fins are flexible, and while this type is a real current maker it is nevertheless gentle, although some say it can catch the buttons. There is no automatic tripping down of agitation speeds except during Cooldown.

Post# 920945 , Reply# 10   2/12/2017 at 13:13 (491 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Thank you Michael. Doessn't Special Care shift to ex--low on Delicate and from Normal to Slow on Normal & WnW?

Post# 920947 , Reply# 11   2/12/2017 at 13:23 (491 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

A fine pair! That's the way to do it. Persistence pays off!

Post# 920954 , Reply# 12   2/12/2017 at 14:49 (491 days old) by larryswingel (coosbayoregon)        

hi there, does some one know the name of the vacuum cleaner site , thank you

Post# 920959 , Reply# 13   2/12/2017 at 15:11 (491 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
1966-68 LKM Washer

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Unless you push the Heavy Duty button the agitation does set down on the normal cycles to the medium slow motor speed.

I think the Special Care always shifts down to the lowest agitation speed.

Post# 920962 , Reply# 14   2/12/2017 at 15:45 (491 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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@ Larry


Post# 920968 , Reply# 15   2/12/2017 at 16:09 (491 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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Doug....that is a beautiful set....congrats

you are on a roll.....either the stars are lined up for you, someone is shining down on you, or your having a fantastic run on luck.....

in either case, you need to buy a lottery ticket....

Post# 920994 , Reply# 16   2/12/2017 at 18:50 (491 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Beautiful set, congratulations! More treasures uncovered.

Post# 920996 , Reply# 17   2/12/2017 at 19:04 (491 days old) by rickr (.)        

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Great looking set Doug! Congratulations. Seems like you are finding the "68's" this month!

Post# 921001 , Reply# 18   2/12/2017 at 19:23 (491 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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You and Cubbies are certainly on a streak this year! Congrats on a beautiful set, another great find.

Post# 921005 , Reply# 19   2/12/2017 at 19:43 (491 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Nice find and congratulations! Theyre wonderful looking machines. Thanks for the share!

Post# 921008 , Reply# 20   2/12/2017 at 20:05 (491 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

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I have the exact same washer and I love it. Mine needs some work on the timer and the inlet solenoids. I'd love to find the matching dryer as well. What is remarkable about these machines is that, unless I'm wrong, they were the only machines made in 1968 where you could load up all the dispensers and use any cycle the machine provided and not have to return to the washer until it was finished. Of all the bells and whistles offered back then I think that had to be the most useful.


Thank you for all the pictures, especially the ones inside the control panels. I haven't gone there yet but you've provided a good road map.

Post# 921024 , Reply# 21   2/12/2017 at 21:36 (491 days old) by Washerlover (Lake County, California: Wines With Altitude)        

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I need a bowl to catch my drool!! Avocado Green is my fave and a Lady Kenmore set at that. Congrats!

Post# 921035 , Reply# 22   2/12/2017 at 23:47 (491 days old) by Appnut (TX)        

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Ken, the 1965 Frigidaire WCI65 had dispensers for soak thru softener for 2nd rinse.

Post# 921037 , Reply# 23   2/13/2017 at 00:10 (491 days old) by 70series ( Connecticut.)        

Outstanding set of Kenmores you've found. Congratulations, and may they bring you years of joy.

Post# 921154 , Reply# 24   2/13/2017 at 15:50 (490 days old) by newvista58 (Northern NJ)        

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DOUG. You have had a Twice in a lifetime find.
That is amazing ....2 weeks in a row.

I'm not usually a fan of any of the avocado
colors, but that set is Awesome.

Best of Luck with all.


Post# 921155 , Reply# 25   2/13/2017 at 16:01 (490 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, Iowa)        

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Wow, what a set.  The pot metal dispenser door appears to be in pretty good shape.  Certainly a pair worth holding on to.



Post# 921176 , Reply# 26   2/13/2017 at 18:37 (490 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
Excellent find, Doug!

That is my favorite Kenmore control panel style. My friend Glenna D. got a very similar set when she and her husband Larry married in '66, except in Coppertone.

Post# 921178 , Reply# 27   2/13/2017 at 18:48 (490 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        

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It's a SUDS model! Congrats, and welcome to the green world of low water usage.

Post# 921487 , Reply# 28   2/15/2017 at 07:24 (489 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        
We Really Need...

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a "Find Of The Year 2017" thread where we can keep these amazing finds cataloged in one place. Maybe at the end of the year, the person with the best find gets a free 365 day upgraded membership...


Post# 921510 , Reply# 29   2/15/2017 at 10:40 (488 days old) by kd12 (Arkansas)        
Scent Bottle?

Picture 13 of the first set. Is that a scent bottle under the dryer lint screen lid like the early 60s models had?

Post# 921746 , Reply# 30   2/16/2017 at 09:27 (488 days old) by mayken4now (Panama City, Florida)        

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Very Nice. Wanna come help me with my estate sale search? You seem to know the trade.

Post# 921775 , Reply# 31   2/16/2017 at 12:09 (487 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Congratulations Doug! What a great looking set! Maybe a wash vid in the future?

Post# 925903 , Reply# 32   3/9/2017 at 20:43 (466 days old) by TrainGuy (Key West)        
Beautiful Find!

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I hope that you're still enjoying this great set!

Post# 926256 , Reply# 33   3/11/2017 at 16:23 (464 days old) by TrainGuy (Key West)        
Oh, I See...

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You have this set listed on eBay. I'd love to bid, but couldn't promise pick up in two weeks this time of year due to the weather. It's a beautiful set.

Post# 926380 , Reply# 34   3/12/2017 at 12:58 (463 days old) by Tygerlondon (Saint Joseph)        

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Saw your Ebay listing :) Man, they are in great shape.
So glad you got to these neat machines before they were just discarded.

Post# 928702 , Reply# 35   3/24/2017 at 19:29 (451 days old) by electronicontrl (Grand Rapids, MI)        
They're Great!

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You have the best finds!! I have that dryer is Coppertone.

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