Thread Number: 74486  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
Simplified Dishwasher Solves Husbands' Problems
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 982796   2/14/2018 at 15:20 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

unimatic1140's profile picture
I ran across this article recently in the January 1950 issue of Popular Science...

Post# 982799 , Reply# 1   2/14/2018 at 15:40 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

turquoisedude's profile picture

WOW! Very cool Robert - thank you for sharing this!


I had never heard of the American Dishwasher Co. until now.   Wonder if Sam Reigenstrief was inspired by Mr. La Raus for the "American Kitchens" brand....  


Anyone else notice that the shape of the dishwasher was rectangular like the James?  How about the wash arm that bears some resemblance to the first Whirlpool bakelite wash arm??


Post# 982804 , Reply# 2   2/14/2018 at 16:06 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

unimatic1140's profile picture
To me it reminds me of the Apex portable dw which came out around 1952 and had a spray arm, I suspect this may be where it originated. I had wondered why the Apex portable was so radically different from the built-in top-loader, I suspect they may have bought this design.

  View Full Size
Post# 982805 , Reply# 3   2/14/2018 at 16:09 by brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

I love the lines about being able to remove cigarette butts immersed in cold bacon grease :)

Post# 982806 , Reply# 4   2/14/2018 at 16:29 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
How 'bout that!

turquoisedude's profile picture

The Apex portable really does look like the American Dishwasher...  I foolishly thought the Apex portable was an impeller-wash.   


Ya really do learn something every day.  


OK, drop the Tappan Dual-Drench from the list.  I want one of them there Apex portables now.... LOL 

Post# 982807 , Reply# 5   2/14/2018 at 16:33 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

unimatic1140's profile picture
I want one of them there Apex portables now - Me too lol!

Check out the Apex spray arm, it's definitely this dishwasher!

  View Full Size
Post# 982900 , Reply# 6   2/15/2018 at 07:23 by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

That is neat. Seems like it should have been a hit with the housewifes.

Post# 982960 , Reply# 7   2/15/2018 at 19:17 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

If you will remember, the APEX permanently installed dishwasher was a machine that was designed and manufactured by a small firm that was purchased by APEX.

Here is something I posted long ago:
Post# 505362 on 2011-03-20 11:33:51 by Tomturbomatic

I still wonder why it is shaped so differently from the free standing model. Seems like it would have been easy to put that on casters. It would have been heavier than this Fiberglas construction, but finding 36 inches of wall space in most kitchens is not easy.

As for what happened to APEX dishwashers, it was posted in an earlier thread that APEX bought the dishwasher from a small manufacturing concern, they did not design it. I would guess that when the design became outdated (like that round porcelain tank in a square cabinet which took away usable space for dishes), they did not have the resources to redesign the machine and just stopped production. It is interesting how much work they were doing with Fiberglas: this portable and the tubs for their washers. 1957 was the last year of production for their washers. The last listing I can find for the company is:
Apex Rotarex Corp.
Div of White Sewing Machine Co.
Cleveland, OH

Another dishwasher factoid I found is that in 1949, Dish-A-Matic was purchased by APEX. From page 4 of the June 15th, 1949 issue of Electrical Merchandising:

The Apex Electrical Mfg. Co., Cleveland, has purchased all of the capital stock of Lake State Products, Inc., Jackson, Michigan, producers of the Dish-A-Matic electric dishwasher and the Cinderella portable clothes washer.

C.G. Frantz, president of Apex, said the acquisition of the Dish-A-Matic firm represented an initial investment of close to $500,000.

Mr. Frantz said the modern, efficient Lake State Products plant at Jackson will be kept in operation as a wholly owned subsidiary of Apex. The Lake State plant, he said, has a capacity of 50,000 automatic dishwashers per year and production will be geared to expected requirements as rapidly as possible.

Post# 982972 , Reply# 8   2/15/2018 at 21:54 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

In other literature for at least one iteration of this machine,possibly only the APEX, it is mentioned that the fill hose only has to be hooked to the faucet long enough to fill the water heater tank. Once the tank is filled and the machine is connected to power, the water for the wash and rinse is heated and then the cycle begins.

Post# 982991 , Reply# 9   2/16/2018 at 07:58 by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        
Not familiar with bilge pumps -

gansky1's profile picture
The pump in this machine must be pretty powerful to create the pressure needed to get water spray to the top rack and yet it only uses 3 3/4 gallons for a full cycle. So many more questions remain!

Post# 983092 , Reply# 10   2/17/2018 at 00:18 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

What does the machine do with the removed cigarette butts from bacon grease?Seems like the pump would not be able to handle that.Suppose this machine is pretty good with a pump of only 1/6 Hp.Sort of like machines of today-when we think of other dishwashers that used pumps of 1/3,1/2 Hp and could shred debris that got into them.

Post# 983113 , Reply# 11   2/17/2018 at 08:24 by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        
cigg butts

akronman's profile picture
a dishwasher that removes cigarette butts from bacon grease!!!! That inventor is a man after my own heart.

Post# 983123 , Reply# 12   2/17/2018 at 09:07 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

If you will go back and read the text between the picture of the empty tank and the picture of the machine with the racks filled with dishes, there is mention of a strainer in the drain sump that catches things that might clog the hose. It has to be emptied from time to time.

Post# 983132 , Reply# 13   2/17/2018 at 11:57 by Vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture
Just curious as to what dried the dishes...

Post# 983140 , Reply# 14   2/17/2018 at 13:22 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
"what dried the dishes... "

rolls_rapide's profile picture
Probably the latent heat in the dishes, and the user opening the lid to let the steam escape.

Post# 983145 , Reply# 15   2/17/2018 at 13:54 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

If the water is hot enough, it is called flash drying.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy