Thread Number: 72609  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
POD 9/26/2017
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Post# 959264   9/26/2017 at 12:14 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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Westinghouse presented their newly designed top loading washer around the mid 60's. It really was a nice heavy built machine that washed very well and got dirty grimy clothes clean. It rinsed and spun out fairly well too. If memory serves me correctly, at some point they shortened the final spin and the clothes ended up about as damp as Whirlpool/Kenmore. The first machines through the 60's were really good machines and seemed to last a long time with no real problems. It was not until the 70's they started cheapening them and by the time WCI got through with them, they were very cheaply made and flimsy. It is interesting to know that the very first year Westinghouse made these machines, they had a completely removable front for servicing. That disappeared in the very next year according to consumer reports who showed a picture of both models. Since this was really an ad for Tide and to boost the new Westinghouse machine, it is only fair to comment on Tide too. Tide did seem to have things sewed up as far as being the most popular laundry detergent. When I worked for an appliance repair place, he showed and told me how terrible Tide high sudsing detergent was for your machine. If what he told me was true, it indeed was bad. The machines we rebuilt that had thick crusts of gunk and film and corrosion on the inside of the inner tub he attributed to using Tide all the time. I have to admit, it did smell like Tide as I scrapped it off and used a weak mixture of muriatic acid to clean up the film around the lid and top of the machines to get ready to resell after they were repaired. It made me NEVER use Tide in ANY machine I ever had. For one thing, Tide was more expensive than most and for another, it was too high sudsing for the machines I favored like Kelvinator and Frigidaire. I have been guilty of using FOCA a few times in my Maytag, which is just as high sudsing and probably just as bad though. I liked the smell of it. But now it is nothing but HE detergent for my front loader and NOT TIDE.

Post# 959282 , Reply# 1   9/26/2017 at 14:30 by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        
Out of curiosity...

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What are the 2 big knobs on the right side of the control panel?

I figure the little knob to the left of the big knobs is the water level control knob. And one of the big knobs must be the timer knob. But the other knob?

I assume all the buttons on the left control the water temperature of each cycle but I can't figure the control panel out...

Anybody know?

Post# 959286 , Reply# 2   9/26/2017 at 14:54 by agiflow2 (iselin, nj)        

Does anyone have a picture of what the first Westinghouse agitator looked like ? My mother had an used early seventies westy that was TOL with the handwash agitator . We had that for about 5 years and it was a good machine. It was excellent at unbalanced load handling and vibration control. Just like my current SQ TLer is.

Post# 959295 , Reply# 3   9/26/2017 at 15:36 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Based on a brochure pic I have saved of a Laundromat frontloader that appears slightly newer:

- timer is the right-side large dial

- the other large dial is a selector for Cold Wash & Rinse, Normal Temperature (based on the programmed buttons), or Cold Rinse

- small knob is water level with an indicator in the rectangular window

- buttons may be Color Fast, Non Color Fast, Wash 'n Wear Gentle Spin, Wash n' Wear Drip Dry, Blankets Woolens, and Soak

(I cropped-out just the console on the brochure pic since it's probably a POD and there are rules against re-posting those intact)

  View Full Size
Post# 959296 , Reply# 4   9/26/2017 at 15:39 by RevvinKevin (Between Mickey Mouse & the Queen Mary (So. Cal.)        

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I'm not sure just how "early" these are, but here are a couple photos.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 959301 , Reply# 5   9/26/2017 at 16:11 by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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This washer would have had a swirl agitator of black bakelite, no handwash quite yet. One of the large dials was the timer, the other a cold water option selector.

It's probably just a printing smear, but anyone else notice what looks like blue Cheer on the washer panel?

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Post# 959303 , Reply# 6   9/26/2017 at 16:30 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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The front load washers I see w/ the controls above the door usually have a big knob for the water level and the timer...

I actually thought that this top loader mimicked the controls that way, but as I see, the second large knob is used for the temperature instead...

-- Dave

Post# 959305 , Reply# 7   9/26/2017 at 16:39 by agiflow2 (iselin, nj)        

That blue agitator was the one in our machine. I think the water level switch broke and the machine was overflowing and we just ditched it afterward. Could of fixed it but it was a good excuse for a new washer !

Post# 959306 , Reply# 8   9/26/2017 at 16:43 by agiflow2 (iselin, nj)        

If I only knew then. I would of fixed the Westinghouse washer. It was actually a versatile well equipped machine with a panel light . Great for basements.

Post# 959328 , Reply# 9   9/26/2017 at 18:47 by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

They had a large "W" on the agitator cap in the early years. They had a very aggressive agitation and could really scrub some "bibs".

They were also easily suds locked and those old phosphated detergents could really do a number on the machines.
It's good to hear Bruce's opinion of Tide. Back in the day it was considered to be the best "grease-cutter" of all of the detergents. Also it smelled "clean" and, of course, if it smells "clean" it must be clean!
Serious grease cutters would dump in "sudsy" Bo Peep or Parsons Ammonia which was not user friendly and then it didn't matter what the detergent smelled like.

I would put any of the Soaps up against the detergents for high sudsing unless in a hard water area.
In Atlanta, where the water is fairly soft, you could suds lock the hell out of a machine with Ivory Snow.

Post# 959343 , Reply# 10   9/26/2017 at 21:38 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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This what the inside of that washer looked like...

Post# 959390 , Reply# 11   9/27/2017 at 08:36 by agiflow2 (iselin, nj)        


Post# 959480 , Reply# 12   9/27/2017 at 17:20 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Indexing tub; ramped agitator with an awesome cap; well-lit control panel. What's not to love?

Post# 959486 , Reply# 13   9/27/2017 at 17:53 by Magic_Clean (Florida)        
I seem to recall;

early Westinghouse top-load washer baskets had unique multi-color buttons in a vertical row. They were a loading reference to help the user set the water level selector. In Roberts picture up-thread, you can see the remaining 'red' button.


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