Thread Number: 51930
unusual Kenmore dryer
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 743317   3/19/2014 at 17:10 (2,166 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

goatfarmer's profile picture

Post# 743319 , Reply# 1   3/19/2014 at 17:16 (2,166 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Early 60s, BOL or close to it. Mybe the one without a control panel and the dial on the front was actually the BOL. These originally had a lower wattage heater in the electric models, but it was always replaced with the standard heater.

Post# 743328 , Reply# 2   3/19/2014 at 17:44 (2,166 days old) by Kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

kenmoreguy64's profile picture
Believe it or not this is a 1973 model, model number says its a 400 series.

For reasons I am not completely sure of, Sears re-used the basic panel from mid-1960s MOL machines on a couple different 'one-off' models in the 1970-1973 time frame. Some used current period knobs, others (mostly dryers oddly) used these old heavy metal knobs which date to the very early 1960s. Most of the models were nearly BOL to lower MOL (in other words, nothing terribly fancy).

I remember these models on the catalog showroom floor about the time when we got our 1972 dryer. I asked Mom to get one like in Kenny's photo because it resembled our old dryer, but she had already ordered a different model.

This is a decent dryer - all timed cycles but has Normal and Perm (maybe delicate, I don't remember if that or an air cycle) with two heat settings. There was another, a bit more BOL-ish without an adjustable heat switch, and a 4,400 watt element as compared to the more common 5,200 or 5,600 watt element.

None of these dryers had a perfectly matching washer, yet there were some other washers that used throw-back panels that had no matching dryers as well. Curious...


Post# 743378 , Reply# 3   3/19/2014 at 20:55 (2,166 days old) by appnut (TX)        
Believe it or not this is a 1973 model

appnut's profile picture
The dead give-away for it's true age is the plastic door handle as well as the plastic cover over the lint screen. Those had pretty much replaced almost all metal counterparts by 1973 or 1974. Those two seemed to add a little pizzaz to early to mid even 500 & 600 model washers & dryers. I remember a neighbor having a 1963 or 1964 Kenmore 500 dryer and it had the metal lint filter door as well as the metal handle on the dryer door. I blew up the image. The 3rd cycle is delicate. Looks like one of the temps is air. Someone wrote the words push in next to the timer knob as a reminder that's what you pushed to start the machine.

Post# 743402 , Reply# 4   3/19/2014 at 21:55 (2,166 days old) by Kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

kenmoreguy64's profile picture
Bob -

You are absolutely correct -- the plastic door handle and lint screen cover are perfect give-aways indeed.

I've discussed these with James/70-series a few times, and we have at least loosely concluded that Sears made the swap to the plastic door handle across the board in 1972. I don't think I have ever come across a 1972 or later production KM dryer that did not have the plastic door handle, even Lady K dryers. There were many new models for 1972 though, so that may be part of the reason for the fast turn around.

The lint screen cover I haven't thought much about, but before too long the hinged plastic design that we see here gave way to the screen with the all-in-one plastic handle that doubled as a cover, on most models.

Strangely the '72 door handle didn't last long either, as by later 1973 the flush door handle (which was used for more than 20 years totally unchanged) was introduced. The 1972 handle, with that awning-like overhang on it, seems to work well and feel ergonomically nice, but Sears seemed to drop it really fast, I'm curious as to the reason for that!

Now that I think about it, several things went to plastic in 1972-1973 in both KM washers and dryers --- the washer tub rings, the front feet on the washers, the lint screen covers, and the dryer door handles. They also eliminated the lid handles in the washers in 1972. They must have been on a cost cutting campaign!

By the way, Tom is right about the most BOL of Kenmore dryers - for a number of years they had the dial on the front of the cabinet and no console except a little piece of trim along the back. The last of those was offered as a 1976 model. It had a 4,400 watt element and was available in two versions, one with an internal lint screen and the other with the top mounted screen. I've seen one 1976 model like this on Craigslist, never seen one in person except in the stores.


This post was last edited 03/19/2014 at 22:31
Post# 743515 , Reply# 5   3/20/2014 at 09:13 (2,165 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

That's a left over early 60s control panel though.

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