Thread Number: 73450  /  Tag: Twin-Tub Washers
1961 Duo-Matic Twin Tub
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Post# 969885   11/25/2017 at 14:02 by triumphdolomite (Staffs(UK))        

Thanks to a couple of tip offs from Darren and Al last weekend I've had a trip to Cambridge today to collect a Duo-Matic twinny. I have to say I don't really know a lot about Duo-Matic except I think they were the predecessors to the Rolls family of twin tubs. I do have to say that it seems to be of better build quality than the Rolls, it's certainly a lot heavier. Differences I've noticed so far are:-
Washdeck is a heavy enamel, washer and spinner are both direct drive, both pumps also direct drive from the other end of the motor, no 'suds jet' on the wash side, there should be two separate emptying hoses but the wash side has broken away. Does anyone know how this worked, did it just hang over the side of the wash tub to recirculate the water or did it have a stopper in the end you just removed to empty. It does still have what I think is its rinse hose, although it's way beyond redemption, this only fits the hole in the spinner lid but by the very small hole in the adapter it might take a while to deliver enough water for rinsing. Only managed to take a few pictures before the camera battery gave up, I'll see if I can get some more done when I've tidied it up a bit. Finally I noticed as I put it into the car that the old girl celebrated her 56th birthday nearly three weeks ago, marked on the bottom is 6/11/61 which I'm guessing must either have been the build date or someone marked it when they purchased it.

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Post# 969888 , Reply# 1   11/25/2017 at 14:12 by johnrk (Houston)        

I've always wanted a twin tub, actually have thought about buying a Danby over the past few years. We never sold those in the volume that you did in GB.

Post# 971672 , Reply# 2   12/5/2017 at 07:53 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Rolls "Duo-matic" twin-tub, 1963.

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The Science Museum dates it as 1963, as shown in the link. Indeed, it is described as a "Rolls Duo-matic" by the Science Museum.

I like the look of it. The Rolls Rapide was obviously a cheaper version.

Do you suppose that the Duomatic was possibly the imported, re-badged version, before John Bloom of Rolls Razor cottoned on to making the machines here?

Anyway, it's fabulous that you got your mitts on it! Well done.

Image courtesy and copyright of Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library.


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Post# 971676 , Reply# 3   12/5/2017 at 08:02 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Look at this!

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The rinse hose...!

The photo below shows the wash tub. Inside is the rinse hose.

Notice that the rinse hose apparently has a cream-coloured plastic tube protruding from it. I presume, attached to the small hole in photo #5 of Ian's pics.

Image courtesy and copyright of Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library.

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Post# 971691 , Reply# 4   12/5/2017 at 10:06 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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In "Critique of Entrepreneurship: People and Policy
By Peter Armstrong", he states that:

"..Bloom hired private detectives who traced the machines from Schroutens' factory to the Duomatic warehouse..."

It appears Duomatic was a competitor to Rolls. Indeed this info might prove useful:

"In Autumn 1962, when Rolls were selling 2,500 machines per week, Duomatic were selling 700 - still imported from Holland."

And not long after Rolls collapsed, "Duomatic itself folded shortly afterwards."

Post# 971693 , Reply# 5   12/5/2017 at 10:30 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Rolls apparently started with the Rolls 'Electromatic' machine. Then a name change to 'Starmatic'. But the first Starmatics had imported motors with a wiring defect and were blowing up in kitchens.

The first successful model was the Rolls 66.

Post# 971697 , Reply# 6   12/5/2017 at 10:52 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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It appears that Bloom tried and failed to negotiate supplies of the automatic marketed by Duomatic.

I suppose it must have been this one... apparently dated 1964, according to the newspaper.

Courtesy of the Shropshire Star newspaper.

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Post# 971705 , Reply# 7   12/5/2017 at 11:32 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Here is an advert for the Duomatic 'Triumph' twintub, in TV-Times magazine from May 1963.

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Post# 971706 , Reply# 8   12/5/2017 at 11:37 by matchboxpaul (Just north of Derby, U.K)        

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Thanks for sharing the image of the Duomatic Automaster - never seen one of the those before.

Would appear that, if Bloom failed to negotiate with the builders of Duomatic's automatic, he then popped over to Italy and had words with REX-Zanussi!

The result was the Rolls Robot ....

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Post# 971707 , Reply# 9   12/5/2017 at 11:48 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Courtesy of Al (Vacbear58)

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Post# 971715 , Reply# 10   12/5/2017 at 12:20 by triumphdolomite (Staffs(UK))        

For all the extra information. I'm guessing it must be quite an early machine if the Science museum think 1963 and the 1962 quote above says Duomatic were only selling 700 imported machines. The date written underneath is 1961, sadly the rating plate is only a sticker most of which is missing, you can see the remains in picture 4, so it doesn't say where it was made.
I've also found a tiny sticker on the front panel by the red light that says De Lux Model, I;m not sure what makes it more de lux than the popular in the advert above!
I presume the Automaster was an H axis machine also of Dutch manufacture.

Post# 971718 , Reply# 11   12/5/2017 at 12:43 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London UK)        

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Well what a load of interesting stuff has emerged about this machine :)

I had wondered if these were the original Dutch design that I thought the Rolls was derived from with Rolls taking out as much of the cost as possible - lighter guage metal, a constant re-circulating pump for the wash tub rather than a separate motor and perhaps smaller capacity.

I wonder how this machine, with its bottom pulsator, would have performed without the recirculation jet to keep the clothes under water - this has been noted as a problem with the AEG model although perhaps with a circular tub thsi might not have been so much of an issue.

I completely forgot I had that advertisment (and honestly I thought it was a Rolls) - I need to get a spreadsheet going of my literature.

I am staggered that the price of that automatic machine could have been so low, unless they were able to buy a bulk load of machines that were going to be replaced.

Post# 971725 , Reply# 12   12/5/2017 at 13:05 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London UK)        
Which 1964

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In doing a bit of research my first point of call was Which, and the first reference I have to Duomatic is in 1964 - there may have been an earlier report which I do not have scanned.

In the table on Page 2 there Duomatic machine seems to be rather larger than the Rolls derived machines: Bylock (owned by Rolls at this time), Goblin, English Electric, and the two Rolls Models - with a curious diversity in sizes in each of those - I think there must be a mistake in the table as they all appear to be teh same price the Rolls in particular looks incorrect. This report came out more or less at the time that Rolls went bust. The washing capacity of the Duomatic is larger too

In reading the report it is also curious to note the variation in results between machines which appear, at least superficially, to be identical although it appears that the Bylock did not have the re-cirulation jet so the EE gets a very good rating and yet others do not. Shame there are not more pictures of the machines ....

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Post# 971758 , Reply# 13   12/5/2017 at 16:33 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
1963 Acme 'Conquest' Advert

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Courtesy of Clydesdale Electrical Stores, and Grace's Guide for retaining the advert!

And thanks, Al, for the vintage Which? data!

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Post# 971766 , Reply# 14   12/5/2017 at 16:52 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Mixed bag of Twin Tubs...

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Courtesy of a previous posting by Chestermikeuk...

AEG Lavalux Super,
Brunlec Twin Spin,
Hoover 65,
Acme Twin Speed,
Stokvis Twin Tub...

Most should match Al's Which? report.

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Post# 971770 , Reply# 15   12/5/2017 at 16:56 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Again courtesy of Chestermikeuk...

Hotpoint Supermatic,
GEC Space-Saver

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Post# 971777 , Reply# 16   12/5/2017 at 17:51 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
1960 Rolls Electromatic

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Courtesy of Pinterest

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Post# 971791 , Reply# 17   12/5/2017 at 18:51 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Rolls Starmatic

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Courtesy of Manchestervacs

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Post# 971792 , Reply# 18   12/5/2017 at 18:56 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Easitwin Twin Tub

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Again, courtesy of Manchestervacs.

I spelt Easitwin wrongly earlier above in the thread as 'Easytwin'

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Post# 971797 , Reply# 19   12/5/2017 at 19:40 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
1964 Rolls Concorde

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Courtesy P. Townsend, via Flickr

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Post# 971799 , Reply# 20   12/5/2017 at 19:52 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Reply #8

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I myself had no idea about the Duomatic 'Automaster', nor the Rolls 'Robot' until this thread today!

Thanks for the Rolls 'Robot' advert. I wonder if any were ever made or sold?

Post# 971865 , Reply# 21   12/6/2017 at 03:18 by keymatic (Surrey.U.K)        

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Dear All,

Great info coming out here...I did wonder what the Automaster looked like.

I found a pic in the archives of the "Concorde's" in action


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Post# 971869 , Reply# 22   12/6/2017 at 05:49 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Am saying it again

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You want to sit down and weep thinking of British housewives being saddled with twin tubs/semi automatics for so long after the war.

Post# 971885 , Reply# 23   12/6/2017 at 07:00 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Duomatic 'Automaster'

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There appears to have been ANOTHER Duomatic 'Automaster'!

The machine in the advert posted above in Reply #6, apparently is a top loader.

Which? of November 1964 reports that the Duomatic 'Automaster' was no longer available by direct sale (Duomatic Organisation liquidated voluntarily).

However the similar Castor Queenmatic was available in the shops - and it was very similar to the Castor Unidry on test - minus the tumble drying feature.

Thus the front loading Duomatic 'Automaster' must have looked like this Castor Unidry...

Courtesy of Paulinroynton

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Post# 971888 , Reply# 24   12/6/2017 at 07:03 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Here is the text about the similarities.

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Post# 971892 , Reply# 25   12/6/2017 at 07:26 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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I am wondering if the front loading Duomatic 'Automaster' (Castor variant) was the one that John Bloom of Rolls had his eye on?

This might explain his Rolls 'Robot' front loader (Imperial Rex variant). Duomatic and Rolls seem to have been pretty much tit-for-tat copy-cats.

But where did the top-loading 'Automaster' come from? Was it an older model before the Castor variant?

Which? does say that the front loading version was on sale until Duomatic liquidated. So one presumes the top-loader was a prior dalliance in automatic washing.

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Post# 971895 , Reply# 26   12/6/2017 at 08:19 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Duomatic 'Triumph' Twin tub

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This is another advert for the 'Triumph', as in Reply #7.

This was advertised in some 1960s pop music magazine - hence the 'Top of the Pops' banner.

(Personally, I'm willing to bet that 'hip Sixties chicks' were wanting fully automatic machines!)

Courtesy of Flickr.

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Post# 971896 , Reply# 27   12/6/2017 at 08:21 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London UK)        
Rolls Robot

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I think you are right on the money as regards the Imperial Rex (later Zanussi???) being "badged" to become the Rolls Robot, probably buying up a batch of them in rather the same way as whoever was the distributor or the Imperial branded machine.

I have the impression that Duomatic were operating in much the same way buying up batches of machines for sale of varying types - it makes me smile to see how Duomatic emphasise in their ads on how there are no gimmicks, no extras as opposed to Rolls who are offering all sorts of extras to induce the purchase.

I am hoping that Louis will have something to add to this thread as the the twintubs seem to come from Holland and an H Axis top loader seems almost certain to be European too. I did wonder if Duomatic was set up by a former Rolls employee to "play them at their own game"

As regards twin tubs Vs automatics it seems to me to be a combination of timing and manufacture. It seems to be that from about 1948 to 1973 the market UK washing machine market was driven by Hoover. Although it was a technically simple machine and indeed rather smaller capacity than competitors (Hotpoint, Servis and the new kid on the block at that time Ada) it was so heavily promoted (and on the reputation of Hoover cleaners too) taht it took the market by storm as it was also cheap (and bear in mind we had a punitative sales tax too) and would easily fit in a small British kitchens too - as the saying goes "its better than going down to a river and beating them on a rock". 10 years later Hoover do it again with the launch of the Hoovermatic - mature technology for them at the time - a premium priced machine that must have cost a great deal less to manufacture because it was still simpler than the competition. With a relaxing of credit restrictions again it took the market by storm and it was into this market place that John Bloom launched Rolls. Again the machines were very heavily promoted (and lets not forget Bloom's association with Charles Colston - the man who set up Hoover in the UK and made it a bigger company than its American owner) just as the Hoovers were with press advertising and product placement.

Aspirations were rising and it was no longer as acceptable for women to stand at a sink for hours and, even better, they did not have to wring the clotes either. One step up again. It took really about abother 15 years or so for the balance to tip in favour of FL automatics so that "Wash day? Just forget it" became the norm for the British housewife/consumer - and for a most of that time Hoover were still selling thousands of high margin twin tubs which were MUCH more profitable than automatics and it was in their interest to keep it that way, eevn though they did have a range of automatics too

Post# 971899 , Reply# 28   12/6/2017 at 08:40 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Duomatic Advert, 1962

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Courtesy of Retropia

Notice the reply coupon (just legible)... it lists the 'Popular' and 'De Luxe' models!

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Post# 971900 , Reply# 29   12/6/2017 at 08:47 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Acme 'Conquest', 1963

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Matches Reply #13

Again, courtesy of Retropia.

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Post# 971901 , Reply# 30   12/6/2017 at 08:53 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Duomatic Twintub

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Courtesy the Corby News

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Post# 971903 , Reply# 31   12/6/2017 at 08:59 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Rolls 'Super 66'

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Courtesy of Alamy.

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Post# 971905 , Reply# 32   12/6/2017 at 09:15 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Regarding Reply #4

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It is said in Peter Armstrong's publication that the way that Bloom (of Rolls), and Elvins (formerly of Rolls, latterly of Duomatic), and the Dutch Schrouten brothers went about things, it was like watching pantomime villains in action - the way they tripped over themselves.

So much spivvery and skulduggery going on between this lot, it's no wonder it was called the washing machine wars!

Post# 971907 , Reply# 33   12/6/2017 at 09:43 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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At this moment I have little to contribute to this topic. In another thread I mentioned that it is possible that Rolls machines were made by the "Domestic Wasmachinefabriek" in Amerongen. There is hardly any information about that factory. However I found someone on Facebook who was once an employee at Domestic. He isn't very active on Facebook so I can only hope that he reads my message and shed some light on it.

As for the Automaster, I have no idea who made it. I will have a look through my old advertisements. Perhaps something similar was made in the NL.

BTW, in the eighties Castor was a cheap line of Zanussi products. I used one at a camping site near Venice.

Post# 971912 , Reply# 34   12/6/2017 at 09:59 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Indeed so. I remember my mum was liberated in 1980! It was fabulous. My gran was liberated in 1982.

Post# 971914 , Reply# 35   12/6/2017 at 10:00 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        
Dutch Schrouten brothers

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Or was the name Schouten?

Post# 971916 , Reply# 36   12/6/2017 at 10:08 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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Never mind, I found the article. Schrouten indeed. Never heard of the name before.

Post# 972106 , Reply# 37   12/7/2017 at 08:12 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
For clarification purposes...

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The story so far...

Having basically imported virtually complete Schroutens' machines, with a tax-dodge by installing Hoover motors,

Peter Armstrong's book says:

"The intention now was for Rolls to assemble the machines, mainly from parts supplied by Schroutens, but using some made by themselves 'at a considerable saving'."


"Bloom's account makes it quite clear that the parts to be manufactured by Rolls would be direct copies of those in the Schrouten machines."


"Schroutens' reaction was a clandestine approach to Elvins (Roll's sales director), inviting him to take charge of an operation to sell their machines direct to the public in the UK, under the name Duomatic. This would be in direct competition with Rolls Razor."

So, Duomatic Organisation was not connected to Rolls Electromatic, other than sharing the general design and some parts. They were in fact bitter rivals, Schroutens and Duomatic Organisation on one side, and Rolls Electromatic on the other.

Post# 972107 , Reply# 38   12/7/2017 at 08:25 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London UK)        
Even more clarification

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I doubt very much that Hoover would have supplied motors to a very obvious competitor however their motors where supplied by Bylock - known mainly for making vacuum cleaners - a bit of UK terminology (often Hoover - Vacuum Cleaner) may have muddied the waters.

In fact Rolls took over Bylock in 1963 so of course it crashed when Rolls went down.


Post# 972108 , Reply# 39   12/7/2017 at 08:41 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Re: the Hoover motors

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I thought that too, that Hoover were unlikely to do that. However, Hoover have supplied motors to other manufacturers - I once came across a factory with an industrial fan heater (steam pipe radiator type suspended from the ceiling). The fan blades were operated by a Hoover induction motor.

Anyway, the book says:

"The easiest way to qualify (for the Purchase Tax dodge), he decided, was to buy motors from Hoover and install them in otherwise complete machines. In this oblique manner, Bloom became a manufacturer."

Post# 972110 , Reply# 40   12/7/2017 at 08:45 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Hoover might have been willing to sell to an unknown company in 1960, but once they knew what he was up to, they might then reconsider their sales of parts.

Post# 972111 , Reply# 41   12/7/2017 at 08:50 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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I have searched for Schrouten etc. especially in Dutch ofcourse. Nothing!

I have found only one ad for a Dutch made toploader, a Ruton. Ruton was later purchased by Philips. I'll post the picture here for the fun of it and also so we can establish there aren't any similarity between the Ruton and the Duomatic Automaster.

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Post# 972119 , Reply# 42   12/7/2017 at 09:24 by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London UK)        
Hoover motors

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Indeed Hoover did supply motors, occasionally you see adverts on ebay for them, but I doubt they would have supplied these - the ads generally show larger, industral style motors. When I am back home I will check to see if there is any indication when Bylock began the supply.

Are you reading this article on line or did you buy the book?

Louis, thank you for your research, interesting picture, when might this be from?

Now something occurs to me. It looks like the Automaster is an H Axis machine but the impression I have is that the tub is aligned from side to side rather than front to back. The first Philips top loaders that I know of also had the tub in this alignment (made in Halifax in what started out as the Ada factory) before changing to the more familiar front to back format. I wonder if Philips picked up some other company along the way? I have articles with Philips toploaders at least to 1968, there was a new model in 1969.

Just out of interest Louis have you any reference to Colston dishwashers or indeed any Colston appliances being sold in Holland?


Post# 972120 , Reply# 43   12/7/2017 at 09:37 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Thanks Louis.

I got the impression that the top-loading Duomatic 'Automaster' was more of a tub-type machine - the way the woman in the Duomatic advert is attending to the machine. She doesn't look as though she is fighting sprung drum hatches.

Post# 972121 , Reply# 44   12/7/2017 at 09:40 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Reading it online...

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And Google Books' 'preview only' is a right royal pain! (pages edited out of my particular view).

Post# 972130 , Reply# 45   12/7/2017 at 11:30 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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I agree, Google Books is a PITA!

The ad of the Ruton toploader is from December 24 1965.

Philips had quite a few series of toploaders. I think some models might have been manufactured at the same time. There was the CC1000 60cm wide line, the 45cm Slimstar (also named CC1000 in the NL), the 40cm Slimstar models (several generations) and the earlier 40cm (or a bit less?) toploaders with the glass lids. Etc. etc.

I think I have seen a few Colston ads, but I can't find them at the moment. I have quite a few ads that I have to sort out, the files only have a number now. When I have done that, the plan is to share them here.

Yes, the Duomatic Automaster could be a V-axis machine. But we don't know for sure, the drum could be low in the cabinet so that you can't see the hatches.

Post# 972140 , Reply# 46   12/7/2017 at 12:42 by keymatic3203 (Cardiff UK)        
Great thread

always interesting to find out something new about topics we've speculated over when discussing the history of appliance and manufacturers.

With regard to the automaster, I would have thought a no suspension, slow speed spin drum type would be the cheapest to build, thinking along the lines of the original indesit, only a thought mind.

Laundress, don't weep for all, I know that one programme on advertising said that heavy promotion kept women using twin tubs long after they were obsolete in other countries, but I can think of at least 10 first hand examples where the housewife had the choice of machines and still chose a twin tub. One I recall was back in the eighties, the husband bought a tol hoover automatic, was installed in the morning and by the afternoon it was sent back and exchanged for a twin tub, with washing for a large family, many women just preferred to put the effort in for an hour or so and clear the washing basket. I know you've said the similar, when you got your lovely Maytag wringer. On the other hand my grandmother held out in the 50's against both a wringer washer and a twin tub, rather waiting for something better, so in 1959 when the english electric liberator, ( westinghouse space mate) came out, she chose that, and several of her friend bought the same machine. But in my generation growing up in the 70's my mum and all my friends had automatics, the twin tubs were found with the previous generation. And many friends here in the uk can tell similar accounts.

I can't say for all english electric twin tubs, but I know from literature Mike has that the `twin star' at least, had a different wash tub and impellor than the Rolls/duomatic etc. It was a squared off tub with an angled base with an impellor more like a smaller diameter hoover pulsator, it was belt driven from a brush motor, similar to the one used for the spin dryers, so that accounts for the different wash ratings and the description of a `very vigorous wash action'.

Rolls. Al and Louis Keep the information coming, great to read.


Post# 972151 , Reply# 47   12/7/2017 at 13:50 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        
Colston dishwashers

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Just a little sidestep. I found a few Colston dishwashers advertised.

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Post# 972156 , Reply# 48   12/7/2017 at 14:08 by triumphdolomite (Staffs(UK))        

I'm enjoying all this extra fascinating information coming out about the Duomatic, I'll see if I can have a look at the motors tomorrow to see if there is any identification on them to see if that helps.

Post# 972160 , Reply# 49   12/7/2017 at 14:30 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Al mentioned 'Ada'...

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It appears to be an agitator washer.

Courtesy of Grace's Guide.

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Post# 972161 , Reply# 50   12/7/2017 at 14:36 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Ada Dishwasher

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Purely for reference purposes.

Courtesy of Grace's Guide.

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Post# 972171 , Reply# 51   12/7/2017 at 15:56 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
As per the book...

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It appears that Bloom first sourced his machines from the Dutch Klean Company; Bloom was operating as the Continental Washing Machine Company, at that time.

When Klean refused to make a cheaper machine for him, he went to Schroutens' who did.

Then a little later all the Rolls Electromatic manufacturing problems, and the Schroutens' Duomatic underhand double-dealing shenanigans kicked off.

(There's more intrigue in this story, than an episode of 'Versailles'!)

Post# 972307 , Reply# 52   12/8/2017 at 08:07 by triumphdolomite (Staffs(UK))        

I've taken a few pics underneath this morning. There appears to be some 'interesting' wiring going on with the main connections being inside a sort of plastic cup as in the last picture.
The spin motor has very little identification on it, certainly no makers name. The wash motor however has a plate on saying it was made by Newman Industries of Yate, I had a quick google and it seems they were close by the Parnall works. Odd if Newmans were supplying washer motors at this time as my Parnall Spinwasher has a Ranco motor from Glasgow.
Sadly it doesn't seem to clear up much in the way of the Duomatic questions other than I would expect it to have been made in the UK as I can't imagine shipping Dutch built machines in without motors.

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Post# 972314 , Reply# 53   12/8/2017 at 08:32 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
shipping Dutch built machines without motors

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I can see why they might do exactly that.

Bloom himself cottoned on to the fact that that his Rolls company could avoid Purchase Tax by shipping in partly completed machines - and install Hoover's motors.

This way the tax payments could be legally delayed for a few months, rather than having to be paid immediately as with an imported fully operational machine.

I myself wondered if the top-loading Duomatic 'Automaster' was based on a Parnall Spinwasher...?

Post# 972315 , Reply# 54   12/8/2017 at 08:33 by keymatic3203 (Cardiff UK)        
Hi Rolls, just for interest

As you say the Ada was a agitator washer, but it doesn't have a gearbox like the Servis etc, it's a simple mechanism like the modern velo/norfrost twin tub, also found on their wringer washers, it's like a polyester/canvas strap on a sort of bow that rolls it back and forth, producing that short fast stroke.

I've been told this was a common repair on these machines back in the day.

Ian, do I make out that the spin motor on the duomatic reads 1400 rpm, so quite a low spin speed for a twin tub, but whilst always remembering, it was affordable and better than a wringer.

One question I've been meaning to look up, how does the price of one of these cheaper twin tubs compare to that of buying a wash boiler and a separate spin dryer. I just ask, as we've often questioned the wash performance, but if they are in the same price range, then would a heated rolls or duomatic, be a better deal than a more premium brand boiler and spin dryer, say burco and creda? as if so you would get a wash boiler, washing machine and pumped spindryer for a similar cost. As I say I should look it up.


Post# 972318 , Reply# 55   12/8/2017 at 08:36 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
1964 Novum Twintub

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Looks like a Duomatic clone.

Courtesy of esbarchives.

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Post# 972322 , Reply# 56   12/8/2017 at 08:53 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Sales blurb

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Post# 972328 , Reply# 57   12/8/2017 at 09:23 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
A legacy of the Duomatic Company...

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It appears that there were some shenanigans at Duomatic Ltd too.

The particular legal framework is commonly known as The Duomatic Principle - but it actually extends further back in time, to earlier cases.

Wikipaedia gives some info.

More at Swarb:

If you go to the swarb link, it mentions some key players - including the Mr Elvins formerly of Rolls Electromatic!


Post# 972346 , Reply# 58   12/8/2017 at 10:23 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Another 1960's Duomatic advert.

Courtesy of Alamy.

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Post# 972347 , Reply# 59   12/8/2017 at 10:23 by triumphdolomite (Staffs(UK))        

Yes it does say 1400rpm so not that quick, but I guess it will pump out quite quickly running the pump at that speed. The wash motor picture didn't come out too clearly but I think that looks like it says 425rpm, I did think it was 1425rpm at first but after a thought sanity prevailed! LOL.

Post# 972348 , Reply# 60   12/8/2017 at 10:28 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Duomatic Motor

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Ian, in your photo #1, it shows the ratings plate. Notice that the "Duo-matic" name is slightly displaced - like a stuck-on label.

What does it say under this 'sticker'?

Post# 972353 , Reply# 61   12/8/2017 at 10:52 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Bloom's Crisis

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Dated Monday, July 20th 1964.

Courtesy of littlereddog and of course the Daily Mirror.

You might find it a tad clearer following the link, and clicking on their magnification.


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Post# 972355 , Reply# 62   12/8/2017 at 10:59 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
And two days prior...

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Courtesy of littlereddog and Daily Mirror.

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Post# 972358 , Reply# 63   12/8/2017 at 11:08 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Here's the link I missed out for the 18th July paper.


Post# 972398 , Reply# 64   12/8/2017 at 15:54 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Rolls Automatic...

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Courtesy of: "The Quistclose Trust: Critical Essays" edited by William Swadling.

It appears that the Rolls 'Robot' automatic never made it to the doorstep of the housewife.

I had wondered if the Rolls 'Robot' advert (posted further up this thread), if it was even a real product. I had considered that it might have been a gimmick published by Rolls, in order to deflect interest away from Duomatic's 'Automaster'.

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Post# 972519 , Reply# 65   12/9/2017 at 07:10 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Referencing Thread Number: 28764

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And Gary's (aka 'electron1100')'s Burco '21', Al ('vacbear58') included a Which? Report from October 1967.

There is a make of twin-tub called: Latham 'HJL-707 Mk V'.

A footnote says: "Sold mainly in London and Home Counties - also sold elsewhere as Anglia, Collier, Crown, DES, Duomatic, Kerstar, Osprey, Reliance, Twinmaster and Winsten."

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Post# 972525 , Reply# 66   12/9/2017 at 07:44 by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

Could someone make a quick summary of exactly what happened-the chronology and situation is kind of scattered over this thread? From what I can gather, Hoover was the class-act in the twin-tub space; then two low-end competitors came out and did each other in (with a direct-selling model), leaving Hoover relatively unscathed. Or, is there a link to a business-school case or something? It sounds a little like Mad Man Muntz and television in the US in the mid to late 50s.

Post# 972529 , Reply# 67   12/9/2017 at 08:25 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Hoover was the market leader in the 1950s, and was joined by AEI-Hotpoint. They were the two big players.

Rolls Razor/Rolls Electromatic then launched cheap machines around 1960, countered by Duomatic Organisation.

Snapshot #2 below, the text starts off "The major manufacturers, Hoover and Hotpoint... "

Courtesy of The Quistclose Trust: Critical Essays.
Available via Google Books, but Google's preview is a complete pain (pages edited out of certain views).

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Post# 972531 , Reply# 68   12/9/2017 at 08:30 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Apparently Which? criticised a competitor machine in April 1964...

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Post# 972612 , Reply# 69   12/9/2017 at 16:05 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
The criticised competitor machine...

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Would appear to be Duomatic.

Al's Which? 1964 (Reply #12, photo #5) says that the Duomatic machine was badly designed and constructed, failed 15 of the British Standard requirements, and failed the earth leakage safety test.

Post# 972848 , Reply# 70   12/10/2017 at 15:55 by keymatic3203 (Cardiff UK)        
Rolls Robot

Hi Rolls rapide

I did meet a lady who had a rolls robot. I was collecting a Parnall dryer some years back now, from somewhere near Reading. I met both the owner and her daughter and when we got talking about why I was interested in the dryer, they told me about their first washing machine, does rolls robot mean anything? well of course I knew a version of the story that Rolls went under trying to launch an automatic, but this was long before I'd known anymore. Obviously asking more, she was looking into what washing machine to buy (bearing in mind she already had the dryer, it was the 50's model, so would presume looking to replace a wringer type). The rolls man came, but said the company had gone into liquidation, he had a few of the robots on the van he was selling off cheap for cash with no guarantee, so she thought the price was worth taking the chance on. So in what numbers, probably very few, but they did exist.

Apparently they had good service out of it, before her husband cut the cabinet up to build a boat, like you would lol. She laughed and said at their golden wedding, she'd been married to him for 30 years and that boat for 20.

Always good to hear these real life stories.


Post# 972852 , Reply# 71   12/10/2017 at 16:09 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Mathew, thanks!

The husband vandalised a good machine? Tut tut!

So a few did make it to market, but in very limited numbers.
It's good to know that you can't believe everything you read (regarding the official accounts of the case).

Post# 972882 , Reply# 72   12/10/2017 at 19:44 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Duomatic brief history

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Courtesy of "Company Law in Context: Text and Materials" by David Kershaw.

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Post# 972976 , Reply# 73   12/11/2017 at 10:23 by Alanlondon (London)        
Some more literature

Fascinating read here, really enjoying it. Thought I'd add some bits and pieces I have, one leaflet I saw you have as well Keith on the other post. I have a parts book (40 pages, so have been selective). And then finally the Colston Concorde, the last guise of this machine I believe. Cheers Alan

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Post# 972978 , Reply# 74   12/11/2017 at 10:28 by Alanlondon (London)        
Few more pages...

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Post# 972982 , Reply# 75   12/11/2017 at 10:40 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Thanks for the brochures. My gran must have had the Rolls 'Rapide de luxe' because it definitely had the oval red heater lamp upon the control panel.

And you're perfectly correct, it is a fascinating read, finding all the separate bits of info dotted about all over the place. Some of the information supplied by some of the more official sources of the period have proven not to be correct (eg the Rolls 'Robot') - supposedly none had appeared - but Mathew says he met a woman who had that very automatic!

Post# 972985 , Reply# 76   12/11/2017 at 10:55 by keymatic3203 (Cardiff UK)        
Thanks Alan

for more great reading. I'm familiar with the rapide de luxe as I have both the book and machine, but have whilst knowing about the autorinse, never read about it before.

I had always assumed it was just in essense a spin timer, with a jet flowing over the spin dryer. Can you or anyone else confirm whether it had a valve that controlled the water flow and switched off after rinsing or as I presume the operator would have to turn the tap off when the timer got to the end of the rinse time, therefore not being quite the autorinse it may be sold as. I know a parts wholesale I knew well, worked on rolls and subsequently tallent machines in the late 60's and said a lot of people spent a lot more money just to get a water jet, but couldn't remember, but doubted it actually switched the water on and off.

I suppose this in today's terms would be classic up selling.


Post# 972992 , Reply# 77   12/11/2017 at 11:42 by Alanlondon (London)        
Auto rinse

Hi Keith, I've looked in the service manual and can see a wiring diagram that hints that there perhaps was a valve for this auto rinse, but then on the exploded views there's no sight of such an bit of a mystery?

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Post# 972994 , Reply# 78   12/11/2017 at 11:48 by Alanlondon (London)        
Yes I think there was a valve!

Just looked again at the picture and you can see it connected to the tap!

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Post# 972999 , Reply# 79   12/11/2017 at 11:56 by keymatic3203 (Cardiff UK)        

again, this is great to see, I agree that tap connection looks more robust than the usual rubber funnel shape hose ends.

Now for an exploded view to see the jet arrangement. lol oh just great to have these questions answered.

Post# 973024 , Reply# 80   12/11/2017 at 14:57 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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The photo in Reply #78 shows a mixer tap with a substantial tap adapter (i.e. to keep the hose on the end of the tap).

Reply #77 shows the wiring diagram where the valve is electrical - thus it must be situated in the machine.

The question is: is the Autorinse function like the Hoovermatic type, where the water level gets to a certain height and is spun out automatically - until the user turns off the tap?

Or is it more like an automatic washing machine valve, which switches the flow on and off? This might explain the beefier tap adapter.

Mysteries everywhere...! Lol

Post# 973052 , Reply# 81   12/11/2017 at 15:50 by triumphdolomite (Staffs(UK))        

I think it is as Mathew said earlier that the control is a timed operation. The wiring diagram doesn't seem to show a pressure switch, like a Hoovermatic, so I'm guessing the timer switches the valve and water runs into the spinner, it then switches the water off and spins out. The things I'm not too sure about is the difference between 'full cycle' and 'rinse spin', whether the spin motor is running throughout the whole cycle and how many times it would do this.
What I do find interesting is in Alan's reply 73 picture 11 shows the price comparison with the fully automatic machines.
I certainly didn't expect the purchase of the Duomatic to provoke such a wealth of information. It'll be interesting to see what else surfaces.

Post# 973067 , Reply# 82   12/11/2017 at 17:30 by optima (Cumbria England)        

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Really enjoying this post. Colston Twin Tubs have always hit the spot for me. Gorgeous looking & performing Machines.

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