Thread Number: 73729  /  Tag: Vintage Dryers
1959 GE Dryer Question
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Post# 973772   12/15/2017 at 10:39 (214 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

I just purchased the 1959 GE dryer owner's manual. Reading through it, I saw that some models had a "sprinkler" ability. Never heard of that before. It turns out that it was part of one of the vanes in the drum, and one would fill it with either hot or warm water, then run the dryer on 'fluff' for 10 minutes.

Was this a normal feature on GE dryers for any length of time? Certainly by the time I bought my first set 18 years later it didn't have that. Sounds almost like an early version of the steam option.

These are great owner's manuals, and as usual, for some perverse reason the TOL machines don't interest me as much as the BOL ones, the controls on those little stubby stalks...

Post# 973782 , Reply# 1   12/15/2017 at 11:23 (214 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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Just recently I was reading the same literature, and part of the instructions concluded with:


"When dryer turns off, remove clothes.  Fold and place in a plastic bag to ensure uniform dampness" - this was in preparation for ironing.


I remember my mother sprinkling (by hand) clothes, wrapping them and placing them in the refrigerator to keep them damp until she was ready to iron them.


I think sprinkling clothes went away as permanent press garments entered the market and ironing went by the wayside.



Post# 973786 , Reply# 2   12/15/2017 at 11:52 (214 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
Could Be,

but I still sprinkle rather than steam--though I usually ElnaPress with the sprayer on it. Probably just old fashioned. I know that my mother's maids used sprinkling into the mid 80's. You can still buy a sprinkler for a Coke or other bottle at Lehman's.

I don't see the quote you mention in the book, went back and looked. What page would that be on?

Post# 973787 , Reply# 3   12/15/2017 at 12:05 (214 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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I did not purchase the copy from this website, I have a hard copy of the brochure, so there could be printing differences?  In my copy it is Instruction 5 under "Sprinkling" on page 11.


This copy is "PUB. No. 727A360P01"


I looked at some other literature and find reference to sprinkling/sprinkler in the 1960 Use and Care Guide.  I do not have any information on the 1961 models, but there is no mention of this feature in neither the 1962 catalog nor later catalogs.



Post# 973790 , Reply# 4   12/15/2017 at 12:30 (214 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Several other brands had sprinklers ... WP/KM, Maytag (attachment that fit in place of the filter on HOH), Frigidaire (in the console), possibly others.

Post# 973791 , Reply# 5   12/15/2017 at 12:36 (214 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
I'm So Sorry!

It's right where you said, in front of my face. I don't know why, but I passed that over several times. I was concentrating--well, it doesn't matter.

BTW--do you have any idea why dryers quit having pedals to open the door? Like bottom-freeze refrigerators, it sure seems like it'd be convenient. Was this just another cost-saving measure?

Post# 973798 , Reply# 6   12/15/2017 at 13:13 (214 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Sprinkler Bottle.

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Post# 973800 , Reply# 7   12/15/2017 at 13:16 (214 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
The New Sprinklers

from Lehman's are plastic, but they still have natural cork for the bottle end. And they work great, a lot better than trying to do like a priest-

Post# 973803 , Reply# 8   12/15/2017 at 13:30 (214 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

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Under the kitchen sink home is a 6 oz. glass Coke bottle with a sprinkler like pictured above. I imagine it was used much less after my mother got a steam iron. But I do remember her using it from time to time when I was little.

Post# 973806 , Reply# 9   12/15/2017 at 14:00 (214 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
Dryer (and refrigerator) door pedals

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They probably got phased out because they broke eventually.  It also makes servicing a model with a door pedal a little more challenging; in the case of dryers anyway.  I had a '58 GE dryer with the door-opener pedal and I had a devil of a time getting it back in the right spot when I reconditioned the dryer.  Let's see if the '57 model on the 2018 Restoration Resolutions List gives me the same grief... LOL 

Post# 973826 , Reply# 10   12/15/2017 at 16:42 (214 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

If you will look at a GE dryer drum, you might find some small holes at the back near the vanes. The GE sprinkler had a spring-loaded rod that held the cylinder in place against the drum vane. In early GE dryers, the no heat cycle was labeled "sprinkle."

Post# 974435 , Reply# 11   12/18/2017 at 11:04 (211 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
A gimcrack that turned out to be a minor pain in the a

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We had a bunch of GE dryers with foot-pedal operated doors. I have a couple now and I can tell you that trying to find the pedal with one foot gets old real quick; you just end up grabbing the edge of the door and pulling it open. That's easy to do on a GE dryer but very hard to do on, say, a Hotpoint foot-pedal dryer where the door's edges are sunk into the cabinet front.


I wonder if the earlier wide-pedal mechanisms broke more than the later ones with smaller pedals. I've never seen one break.

Post# 974442 , Reply# 12   12/18/2017 at 11:52 (211 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
I can answer the foot pedal question

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I've hurt my toes badly on a 1959 GE Dryer door opening pedal several times. I think that, more than anything else, has led to their discontinuation. Not my little piggies, but the problem in general.

Post# 974850 , Reply# 13   12/21/2017 at 08:55 (208 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Are you doing laundry while barefoot and pregnant?


We never had trouble with GE door opener pedals. I like them because they eliminate that unsightly handle that GE used on the rest of their dryer doors, plus if you bought a model with the pedal, you got a drum light. Some manufacturers' dryer door handles looked good; others just looked like they realized after designing the thing that there had to be a way to open the door. 

Post# 977816 , Reply# 14   1/10/2018 at 20:29 (188 days old) by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        

I remember that Kenmore sold a big perforated plastic ball that you could use to sprinkle clothes. You filled it with water, tossed it into the dryer with the laundry to be sprinkled, and ran the dryer for a few minutes. Never actually saw one in use -- I'll bet it made a hell of a lot of noise banging around in the drum. The Kenmore TOL models had some sort of sprinkler built into the door.

Post# 977817 , Reply# 15   1/10/2018 at 20:39 (188 days old) by arris (Rochester New York)        
Sprinkler ball

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In response to Cornutt, the first dryer we had was a 65 Kenmore all American High Speed gas dryer, it had the Pink sprinkler ball... my mother used it just once !!!! It made a hell of a Racket, she was afraid it would dent the drum, it was the size of a basket ball... after that we used it for many years as a chlorinator in our pool.... we found it many years later.... it ended up being tossed about 10 years ago... I remember it looking like a land mine.... with a little screw cap on top to fill with water and pin holes all around it.... kind of wish I had saved it......

Post# 977919 , Reply# 16   1/11/2018 at 18:34 (187 days old) by thunderbird6565 (annandale va)        
pic of ge dryer sprinker

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  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 7         View Full Size
Post# 977923 , Reply# 17   1/11/2018 at 19:04 (187 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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Thanks for the pictures of the sprinkler, but how about more of this fabulous 1960 GE pair!



Post# 978001 , Reply# 18   1/12/2018 at 11:35 (186 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
I'll second that

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Thank you for the pictures of the sprinkler; I've never seen any photos of it and the best I've seen were simple illustrations of it in the operations manuals. It's something I would never have any use for, but, as a collector of bells and whistles, I'd love to find one. Also, it answers I question I've always had about GE dryers: "What's with all the holes in the drum?"


Didn't you do a thread with these machines?

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