Thread Number: 72962  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Sucker for Coppertone
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Post# 963893   10/22/2017 at 15:54 (239 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

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Just came across this ad which makes me want to go out and find one of these models (preferably in that color porcelain). Something about the way this machine looks takes me back to an innocent time in the Sixties, like right around the time of the NY World's Fair when we were looking at technology and modernity as good things coming down the 'pike and not latent traps.


Interesting machine with a proto-Seventies Whirlpool style backsplash. Were these machines made right before they designed the "burpalator"? That glossy black agitator looks like the ones with all the holes in them that they used in the solid-tub machines. Does anyone here have one of these?

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Post# 963900 , Reply# 1   10/22/2017 at 17:18 (239 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
First Norge Extra Large Washers

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I have a VHQ Norge pair that is about two years newer than this one, it is interesting how the capacity of these extra large washer grew from 15 to 16 then 18 and finally 20 pound capacity without the tub ever getting any larger, LOL.


I agree with you Ken, I still like the shaded Coppertone color best of the later 60s through mid 70s colors best, although WP-KM had by far the best shaded Coppertone color, on WP-KMs the shading was not so dark so it gives a much better effect.

Post# 963901 , Reply# 2   10/22/2017 at 17:20 (239 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Ken, these were MOL 1964 or 1965 Norge.  Only two-speed model and not even a bleach dispenser.  The side-swing dryer door.  Only the TOl and maybe the one right under it had the 3-position hamper door like ours.  Our Dispensomat was designated 15 pound.  I'm wondering if the console was color-coordinated with the coppertone cabinet.  Have never seen that wood-grain look.  But even the name badge was color-coordinated.  The knob on the timer dial was exactly like the one one ours with the off-set timer.  I was barely 10 when my dad brought home the brochure for my mom to choose what she wanted.  But I remember this model with the short light that shown down into the tub when turned on.  Ours was full-width fluorescent.  I think the white cabinet model would have had blue where wood-grain was on this model.  Norge kept that black bakelite agitator at least through 1966 and maybe in 1967 they transitioned to the polypropylene/plastic one that had narrower fins--like on Rickr's tap'n'touch Monkey Wards version.  That smaller agitator allowed the 18 pound designation.  The next model up had 4 speed combos.  Then the TOL Dispensomat.   I think Jetcone has the white cabinet version of this model or thee next model down.   John is right, the VHQs came out in 1966. 

Post# 963906 , Reply# 3   10/22/2017 at 17:52 (239 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Funny how they kept that agitator cap. Generations were used to seeing that occilating back and forth.
The spiral agitator is the rarest. Last one I saw was at Greg's house.

Post# 963922 , Reply# 4   10/22/2017 at 19:22 (239 days old) by agiflow2 ()        

This agitator reminds me of the Kenmore bakelight straight vanes. Steroidal to say the least. I imagine these Norges had to be Heavy Duty with those huge agitator fins.

Post# 963940 , Reply# 5   10/22/2017 at 21:24 (239 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
OK, then, you guys beg more questions:

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1. VHQ?? very high quality???

2. tap 'n' touch?

3. There was a spiral Norge agitator??


I wondered if this was an MOL, Bob, because one would expect at least one dispenser. They made Dispensomats as late as 1965?

Post# 963951 , Reply# 6   10/22/2017 at 22:47 (239 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Ken, yes VHQ stood for Very High Quality.  RickR has a tap'n'touch--You tapped a knob and the timer advanced to the cycle/setting user desired and tapped for it to stop advancing and begin the cycle.  I don't recall a spiral Norge agitator.  Ken ass I do remember the brochure, only the TOL had the timed dispensers like ours and Robert's TOL Monkey Wards Signature coppertone pair.  The two were identical in the 8 specific programmed cycle buttons.  Next down the line had 4-speed combinations and I don't think that one had dispensers.  Knowing my mom, she chose the model with the timed bleach and softener dispensers on purpose.  She got tired of having to go back to the machine to add bleach as well as Sta Puf lol.  The next model down was like the one in the ad you found with the speed selector knob for regular or gentle speeds.  The model below that one had speed control, but only in the timer dial--regular cycle and delicate cycle.  I think that one also didn't have the variable water level but just 3 levels.  There was probably one or two models below that one.  I think the 4-speed combo model may have had timed bleach dispenser but not softener dispenser.    Ken, our neighbor across the street got the Monkey Wards "Imperial" a few months before us and the Norge.  That Wards machine had 4 speed combinations, 4 or 5 water temp combinations, 3 water levels and regular cycle and a shorter cycle with a max of 4 minute wash and the rinse on that cycle was designated as the soak cycle.  No dispenseers on that model Ken.  Robert found that same model, but suds saver, a few years back.  I think that Wards washer is now in Omaha. 


The proliferation of dispensers was started in earnest (my opinion) due to Kenmore offering more "features" down the line before anyone else. 

Post# 963960 , Reply# 7   10/23/2017 at 04:25 (239 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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rickr's Touch and Wash

Post# 963961 , Reply# 8   10/23/2017 at 04:56 (239 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Eddie, thank you!!!

Post# 963967 , Reply# 9   10/23/2017 at 06:53 (239 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
Norge, Blackstone, Hamilton, etc.

Growing up in the 60's in a town of 10,000 outside Houston, my parents bought either GE or Frigidaire. Those were brands sold locally. We didn't have a regular Sears, only the little catalogue store, and my parents didn't like Sears, so no Kenmore.

Were some of these brands like Norge, Gibson, Blackstone, Hamilton, and others sold more in other parts of the country other than down here in Texas? I never saw any of these brands except in Consumer Reports tests. The first time I ever heard Norge mentioned was in those early SNL skits with Jane Curtin and Gilda Radner. I had no idea it sold such a wide range of appliances.

It seems, looking back in my vintage CR tests, that Blackstone was often the most expensive washer. Was it sold as a premium brand? It seemed to vie with Maytag for the most expensive title.

Post# 963970 , Reply# 10   10/23/2017 at 07:00 (239 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Spiral Agitators In Norge Built Washers

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There was a Bakelite Spiral Agitator, but only in Montgomery Wards machines.

Post# 964017 , Reply# 11   10/23/2017 at 12:12 (239 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

Heh heh heh, I remember that spiral agitator too. Only one I ever saw in a Norge made machine. From what I recall, the spiral agitator I saw was in a "Tempmaster" Norge made machine that Otasco used to sell.

Post# 964021 , Reply# 12   10/23/2017 at 13:12 (239 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
I always wondered what machine this belonged to

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...but until now I thought it was for that one Whirlpool Extra-large capacity machine.


Was it the one in the back of this picture (if so, that was one big mother of a washing machine for back then)?

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Post# 964031 , Reply# 13   10/23/2017 at 16:15 (238 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Yeah, that Touch N Wash that Rick has is a great machine. I might venture to say that's the only one around, have never seen another.

Post# 964046 , Reply# 14   10/23/2017 at 18:18 (238 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

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Hi Ken, Yes it is the one in the RR in your picture, I only ever saw it in the Wards machines.

Post# 964077 , Reply# 15   10/23/2017 at 21:40 (238 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

Qualifies as a WASHING MACHINE!

Post# 964083 , Reply# 16   10/23/2017 at 22:32 (238 days old) by Washerlover (Lake County, California: Wines With Altitude)        

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And that agitator cap is to die for! Was so happy to have it on my '66 Norge machine, so reminiscent of my Grandma's '62 Wards machine that got me hooked. Lost the '66 Norge in the Valley Fire in 2015, but at least I still have my avatar.

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