Thread Number: 308
Never Do Business With Friends
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Post# 47242   10/17/2004 at 16:56 (7,126 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

unimatic1140's profile picture
The famous I Love Lucy washing machine episode "Never Do Business With Friends" from June 29, 1953 is now out on DVD as part of the I Love Lucy 2nd Season DVD set.

For years I wondered what exactly was that washer. Well I know its been discussed here before, but here is the final proof that the CBS Prop Department to a 1940's Launderall Washer and butchered to make it look different...





Post# 47243 , Reply# 1   10/17/2004 at 16:57 (7,126 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

unimatic1140's profile picture
and one more shot...

Post# 47253 , Reply# 2   10/17/2004 at 20:00 (7,126 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        
Lucy washer

Watched the episode a few times-the "restoration" process destroyed the effects a little-If you have a large screen or projection type TV you can see the cord tied to the washer lid when it was installed in Ethyls house-Something or someone off set yanked the cord-and then the washer "threw" clothes and sprayed water.Liked the "towel" bar handles on the side of the machine.The CBS effects staff must have had some fun "building" the machine for the show.Liked the argument in the end between Lucy and Ethyl-on the front of their apartment house-and they accidently "push" the machine thru the railing.-and a washer tech offered something like $50 for the machine!!also liked his comments when someone confused it for a disposal after Lucy threw her trash in the machine after pushing it in front of Ethyls apartment.

Post# 47269 , Reply# 3   10/17/2004 at 22:20 (7,126 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Yes I just love this, of course I've had similar things happen to me in my basement, but unfotunately there was no stunt man behind it!



Post# 47270 , Reply# 4   10/17/2004 at 22:22 (7,126 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

unimatic1140's profile picture
Nothing quite like this has happened to me yet, but who knows what the future holds...

Post# 47274 , Reply# 5   10/17/2004 at 22:58 (7,126 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

IN the last scene of the washer falling off the balcony-instead of "stuntman"-we had a "stuntwasher"Wonder how many floors up it was-and their apartment house didn't have an elevator.The buildings I used to live in had elevators.Thats another thing that fascinates me-is elevator machine rooms!Saw one of the machine rooms in one building-the elevator system was an "AC Reostatic"a large reistor was switched in series with the AC elevator motor to slow it or level the car at the floor.At buildings where I worked they had more advanced "DC traction system"(Otis based)that used motorgen sets to convert 208-220V 3 hphase AC to 250V DC.The system could control the DC voltage going to the armature of the DC lift motor.Is almost when you are going down on a DC elevator-its considered a very controlled fall.The motor gen set is absorbing the voltage generated by the lift motor.Also saw handcarts containing weights used by elevator techs to test the elevators-each cart of weights weighed about 600 pounds-pushed one-great exercise!

Post# 47308 , Reply# 6   10/18/2004 at 12:13 (7,125 days old) by golittlesport (California)        
it could have been a Horton washer...

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Check out this ad for the "Horton 500"...obviously made by Launderall...the control knobs are on the top of the cabinet like Ethel's washer. The control knobs on the I Love Lucy machine are shaped just like the ones on the front of the Launderall, only in white instead of chrome...just like the Horton version.

Post# 47311 , Reply# 7   10/18/2004 at 12:59 (7,125 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

unimatic1140's profile picture
Wow Rich, you're right! Hmmm, I thought the CBS Prop deparment might have added stove knobs to the top of the "fake washer", but now this throws a little more mystery into it. It is hard to make out the picture of the Horton, do the knobs look like the knobs in the first picture at the top of this post?

Post# 47317 , Reply# 8   10/18/2004 at 13:30 (7,125 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Just as an aside, Lucy and Ethel had their washer "fight" at the back of the building, not the front. During the episode you can see both women coming out of their back doors (off the kitchens) and onto the terrace where each shoves the washer in front of the other's door.

In all my years I've yet to see a NYC walk up/tenament with back stairs,terrances and doors off the kitchen. Fire escapes, maybe but not entire terraces like that. Of course many old tenament buildings were built with some sort of access to an alley/window for hanging out washing. Am amazed when walking about how many times I still see old clothes line pulleys on backs and even fronts of buildings, obviously left over from long ago days when alleys were not built in, certain streets not built.

Launderess


Post# 47318 , Reply# 9   10/18/2004 at 13:31 (7,125 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Just as an aside, Lucy and Ethel had their washer "fight" at the back of the building, not the front. During the episode you can see both women coming out of their back doors (off the kitchens) and onto the terrace where each shoves the washer in front of the other's door.

In all my years I've yet to see a NYC walk up/tenament with back stairs,terrances and doors off the kitchen. Fire escapes, maybe but not entire terraces like that. Of course many old tenament buildings were built with some sort of access to an alley/window for hanging out washing. Am amazed when walking about how many times I still see old clothes line pulleys on backs and even fronts of buildings, obviously left over from long ago days when alleys were not built in, certain streets not built.

Launderess


Post# 47319 , Reply# 10   10/18/2004 at 13:42 (7,125 days old) by golittlesport (California)        

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yes, Robert...the Horton knobs are shaped just like the knobs on Lucy's/Ethel's washer...which are shaped just like the Launderall's, only white instead of chrome.

Post# 47340 , Reply# 11   10/18/2004 at 20:17 (7,125 days old) by JerseyMike ()        
Here's another thing that adds to the mystery!

The very last page of November 1950 Consumer Reports discussion of washing machines (which is in the library) mentions -- in their discussion of "New Models, Old Models, Changed Models" -- that "Manufacture of Launderall had been discontinued. In its place is the similar-appearing Horton, a new model of which was introduced too late for inclusion of CU's tests." (The discussion is at the very end of the ratings. Right next to the pic of the tangled laundry that's being taken out of the not-acceptable Frigidaire WO-65.)

Mike


Post# 47346 , Reply# 12   10/18/2004 at 20:41 (7,125 days old) by Gyrafoam (Wytheville, VA)        

Remember watching the re-runs of this show when I was a kid. Original show ran on the night before I was born! An omen for me?!!

Post# 47382 , Reply# 13   10/19/2004 at 07:42 (7,124 days old) by kenmore1978 ()        
Ethel's kitchen

And get a load of Ethel's refrigerator as opposed to Lucy's. Same situation as in "The Honeymooners" where Norton's apartment was much more "affluent" than the Kramden's with a TV, electric range, and wallpaper.

Post# 47435 , Reply# 14   10/19/2004 at 20:59 (7,124 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        
Lucy-Ethyl apartment building

Was there any of the Lucy shows that shows a shot of the front or back of the whole apartment building Lucy and Ethyls apartments were in?Would like to see it.The way its shown on the programs-sort of hard to get oreinted.Would make sense the doors from the kitchen were the "back".In one of the episodes-shows Lucy and Arnez lugging a TV down the stairs for Ethyl.Must of been fun for applinace and furniture delivorymen!I was just trying to picture wehter their apartment house was a "high" rise or a "garden "type building.

Post# 47437 , Reply# 15   10/19/2004 at 21:19 (7,124 days old) by MikeS ()        

As a confirmed "I Love Lucy" addict, I direct your attention to Geoffrey Mark Fidelman's excellent "The Lucy Book" regarding the "Never Do Business With Friends" episode (which originally aired June 29th, 1953 on CBS):
1. Fred had already purchased a Handy-Dandy washer for Ethel in episode 52 ("Sales Resistance"). As Fidelman noted, "(Ethel) must be very hard on equipment!"
He goes on to say, "This is the only time that the Mertzes' kitchen is shown and it proves to be huge compared to the Ricardos'....Note that the back porch setup is much different from the one shown in "Pioneer Women" (episode #25). Note, too, that Lucille does not wear her false eyelashes in the Mertzes' kitchen scene, because she will be getting wet laundry in her face. Much of the sequence was shot after the studio audience left in one-camera pickups to allow closeups of laundry landing in exact spots on the cast regulars."


Post# 47446 , Reply# 16   10/20/2004 at 02:08 (7,124 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
The Mertz's Apartment Building

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Fred and Ethel(landlords of Lucy and Ricky),had what is called in NYC a "walk up tenament" building. Basically a type of row house with anywhere from four to five stories, maybe six. Such buildings usually were built as priviate homes and converted/divided up later into apartments.

Another type of tenament were large apartment buildings which featured many apartments and may have had elevators.

IIRC the building (according to the address given during the show) was on East 68th Street in the 400's. That would have put it near Second to First Avenues, which at that time (1950's) was mostly working class tenament apartments and "brownstone" type apartments. Note the El (elevated subway trains) are often referred to and they ran up Third and I *think* Second Avenue.

Seeing the "outside" of a TV programme's building does not always help since the layout used for interior shots many times does not make sense based on how the outside looks.

For instance in Lucy's apartment there is the large kitchen with a back door and terrace. Some episodes their was a large window always in view during the living room shot (over the piano),from which sometimes Lucy would look out of to see what was happening on the street. In one episode the milkman runs through the Ricardo's bedroom to use the back fire escape to get away from a jealous husband. This would mean either the Ricardo's bedroom faced the back (but the alley off the kitchen faces the back), or faces the street (but the window off the living room faces the street). Seems impossible to have a "real" NYC apartment given true building lots.

Even in "Bewitched" the interior shots/layout of some rooms does not make sense with how the home was pictured from the outside.

Regarding the Honeymooners:

Compared to Trixe and Norton, Alice and Ralph lived in the stone age! Trixe had many of the mod cons of the day, Alice still had an icebox, bare walls and bare sink. Alice's home was what is then known as a "cold water flat". Meaning just that, their usually wasn't hot water supplied with the apartment, and in some cases no bathtub/shower. One either had a small bathtub/sink in the kitchen or hauled a large tub into the kitchen and boiled water for a bath.

IIRC the excuse given for the difference between the living standards of the Norton's and Cramden's was Ed was willing to buy things on credit, Ralph was too cheap/would not.

Launderess


Post# 47449 , Reply# 17   10/20/2004 at 03:49 (7,124 days old) by laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        
Lucy's Address in I Love Lucy

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The Ricardo's lived at 623 E.68th st Not in the 400 block.

Post# 47450 , Reply# 18   10/20/2004 at 06:17 (7,123 days old) by kenmore1978 ()        
Lucy's address

And, if the address was real, it would be in the middle of the East River


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