Thread Number: 71783  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
POD 7/23/2017
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Post# 949595   7/23/2017 at 09:46 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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This was the beginning of the many years of Frigidaire "up and down" agitation washers. As I am sure most are aware, they tended to tangle excessively and many who bought one hated it. With the further instructions of how to load them properly, the tangling was less, but still apparent. That was a real shame, since those first models were probably the most well built and durable washing machines EVER made. They did an excellent job of washing, rinsing and spinning out the clothes. The clothes were so dry when they finished, many you could iron right out of the machine. That certainly saved on drying time in the dryer. I have always said, that had it not been for the tangling problem, Frigidaire would have been the leader of the appliance industry. The name "Frigidaire" had already become synonymous with refrigerator for many. Frigidaire finally did make an agitator that did not tangle the clothes excessively in the mid sixtes with the jet action cone. Alas, too little too late though. I always found it amazing that many people either loved or hated Frigidaire washers, but in the beginning even Consumer reports said that if it had not been for the tangling issue, Frigidaire would have been top in the ratings. What a pity....

This post was last edited 07/23/2017 at 10:09

Post# 949651 , Reply# 1   7/23/2017 at 15:32 by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        
Hi Bruce!

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You say in the mid-60's, the jet action cone tangled clothes less than the early Frigidaire agitators.

Is the agitator in the 1-18 washers the jet action cone agitator also? Or is that a different kind of agitator?

Post# 949653 , Reply# 2   7/23/2017 at 15:48 by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

I would argue that the old Westinghouse units of this era were just as bad. At least you could form habits to reduce the problem in the Frigidaires.

The early small tub and Pulsation with an Energy Ring created a lot of rollover. About six minutes was all the wash time you needed. People were still so used to manual machines, they tended to set a Frigidaire on "Heavy Soil" whether they needed to or not. That would cause tangling.

Also, the manufacturers were marketing a set and forget mentality with the automatics. People did not want to figure out how to load every single load just to reduce tangling. Too much thought.

The introduction of the larger tub in 1962 reduced the rollover a bit and lessened the tangling issue. The introduction of the Rollermatic in 1965 significantly reduced rollover and really reduced tangling. The 1-18 nearly eliminated it entirely. I can never remember getting tangled laundry out of a 1-18.

Post# 949658 , Reply# 3   7/23/2017 at 16:12 by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        
Hi Gyrafoam/Steven...

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Thank you for your reply & explanation/description of how the changes happened with the frigidaire washers.

I'm glad to read that the 1-18 washers nearly eliminated the tangling issues entirely and that you can never remember getting tangled laundry out of a 1-18 washer. That is good news!

Thanks to several members here, I have a Frigidaire 1-18 washer that is waiting to come home with me & be put into service.

As soon as I get the 1-18 home, I will be making a post & thanking everyone who had a part in my finally getting a Frigidaire 1-18 washer (with a windowed lid) of my own to play with & use. And I do LOVE windows!

Post# 949671 , Reply# 4   7/23/2017 at 17:31 by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

I think the 1-18 was really the pinnacle of Frigidaire's washers. They pretty much eliminated some of the drawbacks of previous machines. It did not have a true Rapid-Dry high-speed spin, but, by 1970 it was pretty clear that most households would soon have a dryer if they didn't already. Also, the high-speed spin did no particular favor to Durable Press fabrics.

A technique I did not discover until recent times was you should set the water-level slightly LESS than what you think you need. It improves the roll-over.
Also, if your machine will be used in a sound sensitive area such as a kitchen or den, you can get some automotive insulation to line the inside and the top of the cabinet. That significantly reduces the noise. There was a strip that fit around the edge of the window lid that helped muffle the agitation noise,as well.

I hope you enjoy your 1-18. They are great washers.

Post# 949683 , Reply# 5   7/23/2017 at 18:28 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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Hi Christina!!! Frigidaire washers had quite a run and were one of the most innovative and stylish ever made. IMO of course.

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