Thread Number: 71638  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
POD 7/13/2017
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Post# 947949   7/13/2017 at 05:07 (286 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

Just when I think I have seen at least pictures of every kind of washing machine, I see something completely different. I must confess that I have never seen one of these machines and it is kind of a surprise that they existed. It looks similar to the dasher that some of their wringer washers had. I do wonder how well it worked, what years it was built and how many were produced. Interesting machine.

Post# 947953 , Reply# 1   7/13/2017 at 05:10 (286 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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I don't ever recall seeing this ad in POD.  Must be anew addition to the rotation.  What year?  I thought Apex only offered the "bouncing basket" washer like Robert has. 

Post# 947955 , Reply# 2   7/13/2017 at 05:12 (286 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

Yes, I tried to delete my post since two of us were putting it in at the same time. Apparently Apex made two different styles of washing machine at some point. I had heard mention of them having an agitator model too, but had never seen even a picture of it. It appears that White sewing machine company had something to do with them at that point too.

Post# 947956 , Reply# 3   7/13/2017 at 05:14 (286 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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That's what I thought, too, Bob. Don't recall seeing this one before. I was under the impression all Apex automatics featured the 'bouncing tub.'

Apex Experts: Did this machine, with its Spiral Dasher agitator come before or after the bouncing tub system? Or were they produced simultaneously as different models?

There's always something new to learn in the world of vintage appliances.

Post# 947957 , Reply# 4   7/13/2017 at 05:15 (286 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

I just read about White sewing machine company! That is where White consolidated industries came from! LOL I should have known I guess. They bought up a bunch of different appliance companies from the 50's on.

Post# 947960 , Reply# 5   7/13/2017 at 05:21 (286 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

If I were to guess, I would say it came after the bouncing tub and probably at the same time since it has the same appearance on the outside as the last models of the bouncing tub too. Read about White sewing machine company, I was amazed. It all makes sense now. It is interesting how all that came about. By this time they had bought Apex. It started out slowly and increased as they bought Westinghouse and then Frigidaire. Of course in my opinion, they ruined them too. But that is only my opinion.

Post# 947963 , Reply# 6   7/13/2017 at 05:38 (286 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
Thanks for the neat and informative ad

Until viewing this ad, I never knew that the Spiral Dasher made it out of the wringer machines and into an automatic.  Wow!

Post# 947965 , Reply# 7   7/13/2017 at 05:42 (286 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

Seems silly, but I feel very enlightened after this POD and after reading about White sewing machine company, it all fits together now as to where WCI came from and all they acquired. It makes me understand why ALL the unusual washing machines were made like traditional washing machines. They were ALL bought up by the same company and made the same.

Post# 947968 , Reply# 8   7/13/2017 at 05:46 (286 days old) by Easyspindry (Winston-Salem, NC)        
In the early 1950's I saw and used . . .

. . . a wringer Apex washer with the spiral agitator. Interesting contraption.

Jerry Gay

Post# 947999 , Reply# 9   7/13/2017 at 07:48 (286 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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I would guess this ad (from a trade mag) is from 1957 or so. Apex made washers for Universal, Zenith and Montgomery Wards with the fiberglas tub, which is shown but not mentioned in the ad, but other than for Universal, all seem to have been agitator machines. I have parts diagrams of the Apex washers with a transmission and drive system similar to Beam/Franklin designed machines.

On the South Dakota appliance farm, we saw a Wardaway (Mont. Wards) dryer with this same panel styling made by Apex. The small door in the center of the panel was a lint filter that pulled out.

Which, brings us to around to White Sewing Machine. They acquired Franklin and a couple of other brands in the late 50's for a move into the major appliance market. As the story goes, the Apex factory was abruptly closed in 58 so this ad puts that closing into a bit more context.

Post# 948002 , Reply# 10   7/13/2017 at 08:09 (286 days old) by lesto (Atlanta)        

The timer looks exactly like the one on the 55 ABC. I would love to see that agitator in action.

Post# 948005 , Reply# 11   7/13/2017 at 08:18 (286 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
GE! Kenmore! Whirlpool! May tag! -- HEAR ME OUT!!!!

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Man, if only EVERY washer was bought on LOOKS! --And LASTED for 100-years!



-- Dave

Post# 948019 , Reply# 12   7/13/2017 at 09:14 (286 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Reading the text of this ad closely it says...

"Apex Spiral Dasher washers give you competition edge-fine profit at lower retail price levels. For bigger profits sell the Apex Wash-A-Matic. Step up customers to the Wash-A-Matic"

The Wash-A-Matic was the Bouncing Basket machine, so this machine was their lower end model as the Bouncing Basket must have been their top of the line machine!

Here is the drive components of this machine, notice the Beam transmission with some kind of solenoid clutch to make it spin.

Post# 948027 , Reply# 13   7/13/2017 at 10:00 (286 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Continuing searching I found this, so having a fluid drive it appears that it was a very Beam like machine. Wow I bet that agitator was cool, would love to find this machine!

Post# 948056 , Reply# 14   7/13/2017 at 16:52 (286 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

Robert, I think the least you could do for all of us is to come up with one of these units so we can see it operate on youtube! LOL You need to work on that.

Post# 948086 , Reply# 15   7/13/2017 at 22:35 (285 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        
Parts Diagram

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That's it, must have the same book. Very Beam for sure. Fluid drive, Beam gearcase and the same type agitate pinion and clutch activation as the SQ.

Yes, Robert, go get one and show us more. You absolutely need one of each Apex.

Post# 948090 , Reply# 16   7/13/2017 at 23:23 (285 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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What is interesting about this machine however, is there is no spin solenoid to go along with that fluid drive, apparently it uses a reversing motor!

Post# 948095 , Reply# 17   7/13/2017 at 23:57 (285 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        
We need doctrine - at least.

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Would a reversing motor need a solenoid to shift power for agitate? Look at the spin hub, it seems to be mounted to the agitate clutch yoke. When solenoid is de-energized, the spin hub rises to make contact with the pulley and drives the tub.

We need one, desperately!

Post# 948105 , Reply# 18   7/14/2017 at 03:32 (285 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

That is pretty interesting. That must mean that the motor is NOT running all the time as the SQ solenoid machines did and it only runs when either washing or spinning, a little like a Whirlpool/Kenmore. It sure would be fun to see one of these machines up close and personal. I also have a question, on one of my old Tide magazine ads there is a washer called an Ambassador. It states that it has a fiberglas tub and a colorful 4 vane agitator. Do you supposed it was made by Apex?

This post was last edited 07/14/2017 at 04:57
Post# 948128 , Reply# 19   7/14/2017 at 06:42 (285 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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This Spiral Dasher is from an Apex wringer washer, but is similar to the one used in the automatic. Looks very art deco, doesn't it?

Post# 948163 , Reply# 20   7/14/2017 at 11:00 (285 days old) by mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        

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Have been at this for days now, ever since the dasher thread went up. No one in the club has one and this was the first POD. Have been enthralled by this agitator forever, and would just die to have one or see one an action. What a magnificent creature the Spiral Dasher is--and OH those holes!!! We've seen holes in the bottom of Norge Agitators, and some others, but none where all three fins are festooned with them. Will they make a million mini-currents? The one in the thread of course only has only two fins and I was wondering if Brad was going to grab it and do his wonderworks to it. I sure hope so!

Mainly I was trying to imagine how the dasher moved the load. At first blush, it looks like a lot like a Spiralator which keeps a load moving around and around and down. But then when the POD went up those fins looked to kick backward at the bottom which would mean the load would move in like manner to that of a Rotoswirl or a Surgilator. We'll have to wait to see the automatic version of this again to be sure. Maybe someone would email it to me.

But gosh dang, if our work is not desperately set out for us in the pursuit of the illustrious dasher, I don't know what is.

Post# 948206 , Reply# 21   7/14/2017 at 18:04 (285 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Not the automatic; but this shows the swoopy Spiral Dasher in action.

Post# 948234 , Reply# 22   7/14/2017 at 22:48 (284 days old) by mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        

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Oh my God, Frigilux, those vids are fabulous, especially the low water level performance. Have been gobsmacked lately with the tempo--the speed of agitation--of some of these old, old, very old machines. The Spiral Dasher is furious, just like the Hydractor. When you consider the typical loads of the 40's and 50's, such as: thick diapers, heavy linen, stiff denim, 100% thick cotton garments, little wonder these behemoths of agitation were the washday standard.

And if you had something fragile, the instructions were to wash for only one or two minutes. In fact, there is an ad somewhere, featuring a pic of the Spiral Dasher in very low water levels, an inch or two, for delicates, too low for any kind of fury, boasting that the Apex can wash anything.

Thanks so much for finding these, Gene; now who's gonna be the first to snag one of these rare pterodactyls? We all know--right here, right now!--that sooner or later, someone WILL find one. And isn't that simply wonderful!

Post# 948240 , Reply# 23   7/15/2017 at 00:17 (284 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        
The gentleist action for Fine Fabrics...

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And Consumer Reports drones on about how modern TL machines are rough on clothes? Give me a break. Email them that and they might just drop the fabric wear test all together!

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