Thread Number: 71560  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
POD 7/6/2017
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Post# 946878   7/6/2017 at 03:01 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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Norge really pushed gas appliances. Their gas dryers certainly did dry clothing much faster than most dryers. Never have even seen a Norge gas water heater, but I imagine it did a good job too. This set appears to be the dispensomat washer made after 1958 when they stopped the time line timers on their washers and has a traditional timer. Norge always made a washing machine that cleaned your clothes really well. These early washing machines just had small capacities and pump issues. The constant servicing issues is why there were so few of them that lasted as long as the matching dryers. Usually the dryers would still be around long after the washers were gone.

Post# 946879 , Reply# 1   7/6/2017 at 03:46 by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

Gas association was paying for the ads.

Post# 946881 , Reply# 2   7/6/2017 at 04:51 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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The console on that Norge washer looks like a spaceship's controls from a 1950s sci-fi film. Open the hatch on the console and your freeze-dried meal appears, LOL.

This pair scores a solid 9.5 on the Stylish Console scale.

Post# 946884 , Reply# 3   7/6/2017 at 05:06 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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I think this must be a 1959 or 1960 set. The console is very fancy with lots of automatic dispensers. I have never actually seen one of these machines. However, in the '90's I sold a used set to someone and when I went to install them they had an old BOL 1959 Norge set that I picked up. There was really nothing wrong with the dryer and the washer's pump had seized up. I had that set for a while after replacing the pump. It was basic, but worked quite well. It had the agitator with the built in lint filter that pumped into the filter pan as it washed. The dryer was electric and not nearly as quick at drying as the gas models were. It did still have the mechanical timer that operated without electricity. I think that Norge used those dryer timers a little longer than most other brands.

Post# 946886 , Reply# 4   7/6/2017 at 06:20 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

The Norge gas dryers were not all that fast. The 37K BTU burner in some Kenmore dryers made them very fast because the dryer could run at a higher temperature. As Norge dryers aged, the seals allowed air to be blown out because instead of air being pulled through the dryer it was blown through so they became lint flockers. They were ruggedly built with the drive wheel under the drum like early WH dryers, but in a much more substantial way. Because Norge dryers blew the tumbling fabrics against the front of the drum and the door seal, they were hard on them. The door seals were often the part of the dryer that showed the most wear.


Their old design gas dryers first used a drilled port cast iron burner that stretched the width of the drum across the back of the dryer. At first it faced up and the little flames were pulled forward toward the fan, but then the ports clogged with lint so they turned it over so the ports and the little flames faced down. Then, I guess that got too expensive so they put in a gun-type burner that was more like the WP-design in that just shot fire like a flame thrower into a combustion chamber behind the drum and below the opening where the heat was sucked off the fire and blown into the drum. There was a warning label on the back panel to never operate the dryer without the panel in place. It would probably set fire to anything in the area.


The early electric dryers had the open coil heating elements strung across the width of the area where the burner was in the gas dryers.


I like the sentence about the water heater coming on as soon as a tap was opened. This was a dig at electric water heaters that operated on off-peak meters so once the current was turned off, you only had a fixed amount of hot water until the next evening. The clock on the control panel was to help with that by letting the washer start once the water was hot after you were asleep like "time bake" on an oven. I guess if you could stay awake and had a suds saver model, you could do a lot of wash with minimal hot water while the rest of the world slept, especially if you did not wait for the washer to go through the rinse cycle with each load but just washed each load and stopped the machine after the first spin and put in another load.  If you rinsed each load consecutively in cold water it would not matter about the hot water supply, but that could make using an automatic washer almost as labor-intensive as using a wringer washer.

Post# 946899 , Reply# 5   7/6/2017 at 09:01 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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Well, I would have to disagree with you on Norge dryers not being that fast. Particularly the ones you mention with the big cast iron burner. I used a '57 model that would dry a big load of towels washed in a kenmore super capacity BD machine within 20 minutes. The lint was a big problem as the seals got older. I do think that some of the Kenmore dryers rivaled it too. Kenmore have ALWAYS been great dryers without the linting problem.

Post# 946904 , Reply# 6   7/6/2017 at 11:16 by realvanman (Southern California)        
Heat without tumble?

How does that work?? Said right in the ad that that was one of the operating modes for the dryer!

I wonder what the BTU/hr input was on the water heater to "never" run out? I love the rust free water "guaranteed for years", but never mentioned how MANY years. :)


Post# 946909 , Reply# 7   7/6/2017 at 13:37 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I don't believe I ever read that Consumer Reports rated Norge dryers as "very fast." They would have been faster if they had operated at a higher temperature, but they didn't.


As to the no tumbling, there were two devices, a lever at the top of the drum opening on the earlier and more expensive models and a knob that you turned behind the lint trap access panel on cheaper models, both of which lifted the drum off the drive roller. Because the 21 inch fan was powered separately from the drum, the fan could continue to turn while the drum remained stationary.

Post# 946912 , Reply# 8   7/6/2017 at 14:45 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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I know that the older ones that were gas and had the big cast iron burner had an adjustment inside the small door on top where the burner could be seen. It went from low to high. I know the couple I have used like that would get hot as blazes! The old gas ones like that really did dry very quickly, I would assume from the huge burner, much like a furnace, that it had. The electric model of 1959 that I had was a slow drying machine and took almost an hour to dry a load of clothes. It didn't seem to get very hot either.

Post# 946929 , Reply# 9   7/6/2017 at 17:58 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Norge gas dryers had variable input settings like our first one had low and Super Fast, but it was just high and low input and flame size. The operating temp was low and not adjustable, I believe. We saw one of the early ones with the big red handle to adjust the gas valve under the rectangular door on top. With Norge's high air flow, a lower flame kept the temperature down for delicates.

Post# 946942 , Reply# 10   7/6/2017 at 19:44 by lebron (MN)        

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The side boob covered up by a washcloth is a nice touch. Anyone got pics of that TOL Norge?

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