Thread Number: 72129  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
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Post# 953820   8/21/2017 at 10:53 (277 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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I picked this machine up from Jetaction/Don this weekend to play with. This machine was originally posted here by Ben in 2008. It's a 1977 top-of-the-line Norge made Montgomery Wards washer. My bf has an LG top loader which he dislikes and has been asking me to keep a look out for an agitator top loader which he said he prefers. So if he wants this, it will go to him after I get to play with it for bit.

The outside styling very much reminds me of a Lady Kenmore from the early and mid 1970's. It has a 30 minute soak cycle, although I haven't figured out what the "Delayed Soak button" is yet. It will automatically advance to wash and dispense the detergent through the dispenser. It not a recirculated dispenser, the incoming fill water is diverted away from the main fill flume to the dispenser during wash fill. I tried it with powered Oxydol and it works perfectly, not one drop of powder was left after a minute of fill.

I've never experienced a TOL Wards from the 1970's and it's super cool! I have a beautiful hardly used TOL 1965 Wards set which is a long-term keeper. I always thought the Plus-Capacity Norge and Wards machines were superior in performance over most other 1960s and 1970s machines, both in cleaning ability and extraction ability.

After full testing it needed a new water valve and also it knocked loudly during agitation as the tab on the brake band that is held by the brake latch had worn down from heavy use. I simply raised the brake latch slightly by installing a thrust washer under the latch bearing which raised the latch away from the worn spot and the machine immediately stopped knocking and sounds great. These were not quite machines when they brand new, but it sounds really good otherwise.

Post# 953821 , Reply# 1   8/21/2017 at 10:54 (277 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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A 20 Cycle Washer lol!

Post# 953822 , Reply# 2   8/21/2017 at 10:55 (277 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Complete control panel view, an AW requirement...

Post# 953823 , Reply# 3   8/21/2017 at 10:56 (277 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Love the lid instructions! A PhD is helpful...

Post# 953824 , Reply# 4   8/21/2017 at 10:57 (277 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Post# 953825 , Reply# 5   8/21/2017 at 10:58 (277 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

I always thought these machines cleaned and extracted better than most anything else available at the time and held more than most. Just noisy is all.

Post# 953826 , Reply# 6   8/21/2017 at 10:58 (277 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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The Detergent Dispenser, and no I did not close the detergent dispenser lid after loading it!

This post was last edited 08/21/2017 at 11:23
Post# 953827 , Reply# 7   8/21/2017 at 10:59 (277 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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The aw required money shot!

Post# 953828 , Reply# 8   8/21/2017 at 11:00 (277 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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The famous Burp-a-lator filter spray in action!

Post# 953829 , Reply# 9   8/21/2017 at 11:01 (277 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

"A Norge by any other name still clanks as loudly when the brake is applied."


Used to salivate over this TOL beauty in Montgomery Wards catalogs.  Its touted 20-lb. capacity was King Kong next to the 10-lb. Fay Wray of our 1960 Kenmore Model 80.

Post# 953830 , Reply# 10   8/21/2017 at 11:03 (277 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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The Bleach, Fabric Softener dispenser and filter pan below the FS dispenser. So quintessential 1970's wards that I remember in the stores so well!! There were no Wards stores in the NY metropolitan area when I was a kid, so going to MW was a real treat when we would go to Florida.

Post# 953834 , Reply# 11   8/21/2017 at 11:13 (277 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean 1986 YouTube. )        

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Very nice Wards Washer! Our old 1997 Maytag Dependable Care was bought from Mountgumery Wards, before they went out of business.

Post# 953836 , Reply# 12   8/21/2017 at 11:15 (277 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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I remember seeing these in Wards....from a time when they had units hooked up on endcaps.....the one I saw had a Plexiglas lid for demonstration, as I imagined it only operated with the lid closed.....I remember too it always had a spun out load inside....

interesting to see who sought these machines out.....mainly it was for big families wanting the 20lb capacity...

and seemed like blue collar guys bought these for something that would handle heavy work they claimed it was the only machine with a 1HP motor...

Post# 953837 , Reply# 13   8/21/2017 at 11:17 (277 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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What was once a/k/a:

"Her Majesty"...

-- Dave

Post# 953839 , Reply# 14   8/21/2017 at 11:29 (277 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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I remember seeing these in Wards....from a time when they had units hooked up on endcaps.....the one I saw had a Plexiglas lid for demonstration

Yogi I remember the exact same thing. One time when I was about 12 years old, the sales person saw me admiring the machine and clear lid and asked if I wanted to see it spin! Ummmmm OMG yes please! He attached some kind of analog tachometer to the top of the agitator and started it spinning. I remember it reading about 625rpm to this day. I'll never forget that day in Wards seeing it spin through that plexiglas lid!

My aunt who lived in Florida had a Wards set from around 1973 in their garage. It wasn't TOL, but a few steps down. I remember watching that machine through the entire vacation lol.

Post# 953877 , Reply# 15   8/21/2017 at 15:17 (277 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

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I loved my Wards and used it as a daily driver until I found the 1-18. Still never hooked up the gas dryer.

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Post# 953891 , Reply# 16   8/21/2017 at 16:37 (277 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

Washer ever made!

Post# 953894 , Reply# 17   8/21/2017 at 16:54 (277 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Congratulations Robert!!!!

Post# 953915 , Reply# 18   8/21/2017 at 20:07 (277 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Wow Robert, congratulations!    Likewise, I remember sneaking into the appliance department of the Monkey Wards store in the old Pyramid Mall, Plattsburgh NY to check out the washers and dryers.  I remember seeing the 20 cycle model and thought it was THE most complete washer ever.  


Have fun with it!!

Post# 953930 , Reply# 19   8/21/2017 at 21:58 (277 days old) by peteski50 (New York)        

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This is really a great catch
Best Of Luck!

Post# 953949 , Reply# 20   8/22/2017 at 00:59 (277 days old) by mrsalvo (New Braunfels Texas)        

There sure isn't much that washer can't do. My Mom had one that was very similar, it had the filter towards the back of the tub. Very sturdy washer that ran many, many years. Huge capacity. I think it's probably the #1 washer that used the most water, if set on high and had a second rinse. Makes todays SQ look like a water miser. I agree with the comments that it's "a working mans" machine. Reasonably priced for what all it could do. Congratulations!!!

Post# 953959 , Reply# 21   8/22/2017 at 05:41 (276 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        
Darn cool

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Robert, you'll have fun deciding on all those different knobs and buttons. I have a washer one or two steps below that, only 14 cycles, and it says 50th anniversary, which I thought was 1978.
Have fun, wear ear plugs!

Post# 953962 , Reply# 22   8/22/2017 at 06:26 (276 days old) by washdaddy (Baltimore)        

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I remember going into the Wards store in our area with Mom & Dad and would just stare in wonder at the machines as we would walk thru the store going thru the appliance dept. At the time they would also have some of the end caps setup with demo machines and of course I had to push the button. The machine they had hooked up was the one with the rapid advance timer. Of course I got into trouble for not keeping my hands to myself but at least I had that moment of joy. LOL

It's to bad they still don't do that in stores anymore. Having a machine you can see in action would be so appealing.

Post# 953966 , Reply# 23   8/22/2017 at 06:55 (276 days old) by washdaddy (Baltimore)        

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Would also be great to see a video of this machine running thru a cycle. There isn't one in the video archives and the Youtube vid's are of other Norge machines. Didn't see any of this model.

Post# 953982 , Reply# 24   8/22/2017 at 08:27 (276 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, Iowa)        

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This is such a fun washer. I'm glad it's found a new lease on life in Minneapolis!


Post# 954015 , Reply# 25   8/22/2017 at 10:14 (276 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

Isn't it funny when you think about the differences in the solid tub Norge in comparison? What a delightful shock it must have been to any repeat buyers of Norge washers after these models came out. The dryer was still the same for some time and was still big and powerful enough to dry a load of clothes from the new washer, but the washer was completely different! It had to have held close to twice what the solid tub machine would.

Post# 954021 , Reply# 26   8/22/2017 at 11:04 (276 days old) by chaskelljr2 (Washington, D. C.)        
1970's TOL Montgomery Wards Automatic Washer

One thing though, I thought this thing also had a Lighted Panel just like its competitor, the Lady Kenmore at Sears Roebuck & Co??

At least, that's what it said when I remembered seeing it in a Montgomery Wards Catalog. And later on, when actually seeing one in person at a Montgomery Wards Store in Capitol Plaza, Maryland.

All I'm seeing on this model are some of the buttons and the cycle timer knob being illuminated.

That's a beautiful machine though.

I saw one in action in person back in the early 1990's at a co-worker's house I was spending the night at. I saw the Burpalator Agitator in action. It also had the loud solenoids, and famous Norge clanking tub break.

It was also a Push-Button/Knob machine, but it wasn't the Robert has in his basement.

The one I saw was probably the next model down. That was a fourteen cycle machine with no console illumination. And no detergent dispenser either.

An interesting machine though, and quite a departure from the Kenmore's I've been used to, and have been using all my life up to that point.


Post# 954074 , Reply# 27   8/22/2017 at 20:29 (276 days old) by jetaction (Minneapolis)        
Looking Good!

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Glad you are able to enjoy that machine Robert!

Post# 954075 , Reply# 28   8/22/2017 at 20:49 (276 days old) by Washerlover (Lake County, California: Wines With Altitude)        

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Wash day doesn't get any better than laundry in a TOL Montgomery Ward Signature washing machine! I used to have the model one notch below yours with matching dryer and truly enjoyed them. Cheers and congrats!

Post# 954123 , Reply# 29   8/23/2017 at 08:16 (275 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        
Flume at 3:30 Position?

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Is that where the detergent mixture is injected into the tub?
Never seen a detergent dispenser on a Norge in action.


( it is minty fresh, though. AWESOME )

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