Thread Number: 70508  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
POD 4/25/17: 1960 Lady Kenmore
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Post# 934402   4/25/2017 at 05:01 (232 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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After debuting the colorful cycle buttons on the '59 Lady K--and bequeathing them to the one-model-down Model 80 in 1960--the new Lady K was given an even more stylish version of the cycle 'switches' (as they were now called). Their rapid-advance timers set up each cycle with a wonderfully percussive-sounding clickety-clack rhythm.

The Lady K, along with the Model 80 I grew up with, allowed for much more cycle/option flexibility than Maytag's flagship machine. The Kenmores offered heavy and light soil versions of the most frequently used cycles and an interesting (albeit water-wasting) cool-down for Wash 'n' Wear items. The 'Sturdy' Wash 'n' Wear cycle featured medium temp water (warmer than 'warm' but not quite hot) and a stepped-down wash agitation (four minutes of normal followed by four minutes of slow agitation).

The 1960 Lady K also added a liquid detergent dispenser and a Super Wash option that could be tagged onto a cycle. Both models had a brightly lit interior, the "preggers" Roto-Swirl agitator with a scrubber cap and the option to save or drain wash water on the suds-saver versions. They sported timed dispensers for bleach and fabric softener.

On the downside, these machines were quite prone to suds-locking (especially with loads that retained a lot of water, like bath towels), they were fairly noisy and they didn't spin very fast (about 525 rpm).

Some minor differences in cycles between the Lady K and Model 80: 1) Model 80: Warm rinse on Delicate cycles; cold rinse on Lady K 2) Model 80: Slow spin on 'Washable Woolens' cycle; fast spin on Lady K's 'Blankets & Woolens' 3) Model 80: 12 minutes of wash agitation on Cottons/Linens White Heavy Soil; 14 on Lady K 4) Model 80: 4 minutes agitation on Cold Water Wash cycle; 6 minutes on Lady K A severe case of Frigidaire Envy didn't allow an appreciation of our cool laundry pair when I was a kid/teenager and to my utter dismay the damn things were still in the house when I moved home after college in '82. The washer (which required frequent repairs) was kept alive by my stepfather, who transplanted the innards of a low mileage mid-1960's Kenmore into it.  He thought the automatic cycle selection was cool and wanted to keep it.  

 

Humorous Aside: When my mom died in '84, I stopped at the local Frigidaire/KitchenAid/Whirlpool dealer on the way home from her funeral and bought a TOL KitchenAid dishwasher to replace the rusted 1974 Lady K and a super-capacity Whirlpool washer and dryer.  That's how much I wanted those Kenmores out of the house, LOL. The dealer discouraged my natural inclination to buy a Frigidaire laundry pair, as they had been neutered by WCI.

 

Video of the similar 1959 Lady K courtesy of Ben (swestoyz). You can hear the rapid-advance timer at 0:56 and 1:28. 

 




 

 




This post was last edited 04/25/2017 at 08:11



Post# 934404 , Reply# 1   4/25/2017 at 05:21 (232 days old) by chestermikeuk (Rainhill *Home of the RailwayTrials* Merseyside,UK)        
Lady Kenmores

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Great story Eugene, first Lady Kenmores I got to see working where the 57`s series, love them,
I see the above has a "Filtering Light" ? how does that work then is it lit all the time when washing / rinsing ?


Post# 934416 , Reply# 2   4/25/2017 at 06:17 (232 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

Kenmore had some of the fanciest, most impressive looking machines ever made. The prices for them was significantly lower than most other machines, particularly when on sale. It is no wonder that Kenmore became the the most popular brand of washer and dryer ever made. They were in more homes than any other.

Post# 934421 , Reply# 3   4/25/2017 at 07:38 (232 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Sure was,

and Sears was also one of premier retailers of revolving credit.
Smaller appliance dealers may have offered 90 days same as cash, but many folks couldn't manage that, so they got a Sears credit card.
Then Sears began offering service contracts. You paid for service before the machine broke, but less than a major repair cost.
It was a win win for Sears and large one income families for many years.


Post# 934423 , Reply# 4   4/25/2017 at 07:51 (232 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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EVERYTHING in our house came from Sears due to credit and relatively low monthly payments. Consequently, I grew to loathe anything with Kenmore, Craftsman, Coldspot or Silvertone on it, LOL.

Aside: G-R-R-R-R-R!! I pressed edit to remove one little comma and it turned my initial post into a huge block. Sorry,gang. Tried a couple of things to return it to its original, more easily digested state, but no go.


Post# 934427 , Reply# 5   4/25/2017 at 08:15 (232 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Very kool machine. I met PeterH because of one of these. I did not have the foresight to snatch-up the machine, though. Just as well, Peter did and it is in a good home now.

I knew plenty of people back in the day with homes full of Kenmore appliances. Even the lower-end models offered good features for the price-point. For people who had to budget tightly, the Kenmores served them well.


Post# 934438 , Reply# 6   4/25/2017 at 09:05 (232 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Steve-- The 1960 Lady K is certainly a rare one, isn't it? Machines with the rocker-action buttons from '59 and '60 seem to pop up more often.

I found a never-used 1959 Lady Kenmore washer behind the appliance store across the street from me in the early 1990s. The dealer was asked to remove the pair from a farmhouse basement. The matching dryer had been used heavily. However, it was electric and my warehouse apartment didn't have a 220 outlet. I didn't realize the Lady K dryer also used a rapid-advance timer until someone from the AW family posted a video. Our Model 80 dryer simply started when you pressed the rocker button.

I kept the Lady K pair (using only the washer, which was yellow and had a suds-saver) for about a year, then STUPIDLY passed them on to a young couple who needed a washer & dryer. This was before I discovered AW. One of you would have talked me out of doing something so foolish, LOL.


Post# 934442 , Reply# 7   4/25/2017 at 09:28 (232 days old) by swestoyz (Waterloo, Iowa)        

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I'm so glad you posted this, Eugene!  I've been doing some research and have discovered that I *might* have the ability to get the rapid advance gears duplicated locally with the end goal of getting this washer timer up and running again.  A kind member donated an NOS gear mechanism that I'll disassemble to remove the gear-set and get the gears 3D scanned and try a few different ways to either 3D print or cut.

 

Ben


Post# 934448 , Reply# 8   4/25/2017 at 10:11 (232 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Ben, it's possible that Mark Harman may have a timer mechanism. He and I cleared a wall of Whirly/Kenmore timers from Fox Appliance in Augusta,Ga. a number of years ago. I know some of those have been sold off over the years. Might be worth a try.

Bruce, I'd rather not think of all the "treasures" I let slip out of my hands BEFORE PeterH introduced me to AW!


Post# 934539 , Reply# 9   4/25/2017 at 18:23 (231 days old) by washman (Butler, PA)        

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Hi frig!


Post# 934544 , Reply# 10   4/25/2017 at 18:34 (231 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Hi, Ben!

Post# 934563 , Reply# 11   4/25/2017 at 20:14 (231 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
1960 Lady Kenmore Washer

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Was easily the most feature laden advanced automatic washer the world had ever seen.

 

With the push of one button a load could be washed and rinsed with the correct amount of liquid detergent added to the wash and the preslected amount of fabric softener added to the final rinse.

 

This washer washed and rinsed beautifully while getting rid of all traces of sand and lint and cleaning the lint filter automatically.

 

The first Kenmore washer I ever rebuilt was a 59 LKM. I was trilled to get this machine when I was around 15 years old. My older and younger brothers and I rebuilt it completely and we used it as our families only washer for about two years.

 

The three other AWs our family had were a 55 Kelvinator, a 1960 Coop by Franklin both bought new. The Kelvinator lasted about 5 years, the Coop almost 6 years and then my brothers and I rebuilt a MT AMP which we used for about one year.

 

The MT was the poorest performer of the lot the Kelvinator and the Coop about equal in overall performance, but everyone in the family was trilled at how well the LKM worked. One of the best parts of the performance from the LKM was the WnW cycle, when I washed shirts etc on this cycle and then got out of the dryer and hung them up they looked like they had been ironed.

 

Having had only solid tub washers as a kid I was ready for something better, all manufacturers eventually went to perforated wash baskets, and of coarse there was never a FL washer that did not have a perforated wash tub.

 

Note, on Ben's cool video of his 59 LKM the red light is to tell the user that the FS dispenser needs refilling, the self-cleaning filter light would not appear on any KM washer for a another year or so.


Post# 934565 , Reply# 12   4/25/2017 at 20:18 (231 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
1960 Lady Kenmore Washer

combo52's profile picture

Was easily the most feature laden advanced automatic washer the world had ever seen.

 

With the push of one button a load could be washed and rinsed with the correct amount of liquid detergent added to the wash and the preslected amount of fabric softener added to the final rinse.

 

This washer washed and rinsed beautifully while getting rid of all traces of sand and lint and cleaning the lint filter automatically.

 

The first Kenmore washer I ever rebuilt was a 59 LKM. I was trilled to get this machine when I was around 15 years old. My older and younger brothers and I rebuilt it completely and we used it as our families only washer for about two years.

 

The three other AWs our family had were a 55 Kelvinator, a 1960 Coop by Franklin both bought new. The Kelvinator lasted about 5 years, the Coop almost 6 years and then my brothers and I rebuilt a MT AMP which we used for about one year.

 

The MT was the poorest performer of the lot the Kelvinator and the Coop about equal in overall performance, but everyone in the family was trilled at how well the LKM worked. One of the best parts of the performance from the LKM was the WnW cycle, when I washed shirts etc on this cycle and then got out of the dryer and hung them up they looked like they had been ironed.

 

Having had only solid tub washers as a kid I was ready for something better, all manufacturers eventually went to perforated wash baskets, and of coarse there was never a FL washer that did not have a perforated wash tub.

 

Note, on Ben's cool video of his 59 LKM the red light is to tell the user that the FS dispenser needs refilling, the self-cleaning filter light would not appear on any KM washer for a another year or so.


Post# 934585 , Reply# 13   4/25/2017 at 23:35 (231 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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John, thanks for sharing the story of the washers your family had. Those machines undoubtedly got quite a workout with five boys in the house.

Post# 941901 , Reply# 14   6/5/2017 at 14:20 (191 days old) by Volvoguy87 (Cincinnati, OH)        
'59 Lady Kenmores.

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I don't want to steal anyone's thunder, but...

Last night I acquired a 1959 Lady Kenmore dryer in white, and it's in pretty good shape. Over the next few weeks, I'll bring it into the shop and see what sort of shape it's really in.

If timer mechanism gears are to be replicated, would the washer and dryer use any of the same gears? If some are being made, it may be a good idea to have some spares.

I have no matching washer.
Dave





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