Thread Number: 61859  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Development of the Automatic Washer Club
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Post# 845122   10/10/2015 at 16:31 (1,321 days old) by jeff_adelphi (Adelphi, Maryland, USA)        

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PLEASE NOTE: This review of the AW Club beginnings is intended for public, as well as for members’, information. Therefore, it must be noted that each member chooses a unique user name, or “handle”, included herein as AW “handle”. Members are invited to add their recollections and details about development of the AW Club as a response to this thread. However, comments that do not contain historical information should be offered in a new thread. (See FOOTNOTES AND DETAILS below.)

PREHISTORY:
A majority of the Automatic Washer Club (“AW”) members report an early childhood fascination with major home appliances, washers and laundry. Later, thinking of themselves as “the only one”, some developed an interest in saving machines from destruction, some in rebuilding and restoring, some in collecting and using, but all committed.

FIRST CONTACT:
Several of these lone washerkind saw the March 6, 1989 issue of PEOPLE MAGAZINE featuring Chuck Diehl [later, AW “Laundromat”] whose own childhood had produced the “Charles William Diehl, Jr. Museum of Appliances” in his Baltimore apartment. The national exposure of this publication, and a November 1989 WASHINGTON POST article about the collections of John Lefever [later, AW “Combo 52"] and Tom Stiyer [AW “turbomatic”], commenced a network of ‘phone contacts (in those pre-internet days) with a growing awareness of other collectors. More recently, first contact for most members has been the discovery of the AW site on-line –the “aha moment” of coming out: “there you all are; I am not the only one.”

BIG PICTURE:
In the Fall of 1993, Chuck, John and Tom furnished 10 machines for the SMITHSONIAN’S New York City Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design show, “Mechanical Brides, Women and Machines from Home to Office”. This six-month exhibition postulated that modern time-saving automatic technologies enabled the housewife to enter the workforce following the impetus of “Rosie the Riveter” in WWII --thus irrevocably altering gender relationships. This authoritative recognition of the automatic washer as a icon of cultural change established its worth for preservation and study -–not only in its response to broad societal needs, but also in its designs for mechanical interface with human users as well as in its development of home laundry technology--- that is, “collectable”. (The machines were: two bolt down c.1948 Bendix Home Laundry, a standard and a deluxe, a pair of 1956 white slant front Westinghouses, a pair of white 1960 Frigidaires, a pair of 1964 turquoise Lady Kenmores, and a pair of 1964 white Lady Kenmores, the latter pair not displayed.)

COLLECTION AND FIRST WASH-IN:
Hence, through the early 1990's, a group of kindred minds and social dispositions developed to save, exchange, rebuild, use and collect automatic washers. This seminal activity culminated in August 1996 as the first “wash-in” held at the Chatham, MA, house of Jon Charles [AW “Jetcone”]. Attended by Chuck Diehl, John Lefever, Robert Seger [AW “Unimatic1140"], Gary Weibel [AW “Launderall”], Don Hagerty [now inactive], and their respective significant others [now, “the washer widows”], the group adopted a name, “The Society for the Restoration of Vintage Automatic Appliances (SRVAA)”.
ABERDEEN FARM:
In October 1997, eight members of SRVAA driving a rented box truck visited a farm outside Aberdeen, South Dakota, where years of classic appliances had been retired –set out in orderly rows (but neither dumped nor organized) over a ten acre wrecking yard intended for parts. Two days of excited and thoughtful archeology amidst weeds and rust yielded about two dozen washers and dryers which were brought back to Minneapolis, Maryland, and Boston for preservation. Most of these machines have been restored, or have contributed parts, and survive in collections today. (The rescuers were Jon Charles, John Lefever, Robert Seger, Gary Weibel, John Eichenger [AW “Gyromatic”], Robert Stokes [AW “Syndets2000"], and Don Hagerty.)

WEBSITES FACILITATE FORMATION OF THE AW CLUB:
ClassicAppliances@Yahoo.com (then known as a “group”) was initiated in September 1999, by Jeff Lefever [AW “Jeff_adelphi”] to expedite SRVAA communications through an internet presence. This site first attracted Louis [AW “foralysious”] in Amsterdam, followed on the same day by Peter [AW “peteski50"] in NYC, and so on across the country and around the world. (The Yahoo site continues today, seemingly inhabited mostly by Frigidaire Flair range folks.)

ClassicAppliances.com was created in May 2001, by software website professional Robert Seger [AW “Unimatic1140"] to better handle the burgeoning postings, and to serve the subject more effectively and in greater depth than the Yahoo site. After some experience in the growing needs of the nick named “Applianceville”, the site was superceded by Automaticwasher.org with Robert as Webmaster, author of the in-house code, and (now) tireless scanner for “Automatic Ephemera” services. This site has evolved into the current format that hosts the members of AW who, including owners of new washing machines and others interested in related appliance technology, number well over 2600 today (September 2015).

A W FORMATIVE ACTIVITIES:
In August 2001, Robert hosted the first “national/international wash-in convention” for on-line participants among his exceptional collection of 30 working automatic washers in Minneapolis. This gathering attracted over 30 members and associates from the east coast, south and midwest for a diverse two-and-half day program of laundry play, estate sale scavenging, meals, and personal introductions.

In August 2002, a second “national/international convention” as the AW was held in the major home appliance warehouse and fledgling appliance museum of AW “Combo52" in the Washington, DC suburb of Beltsville, MD. This attracted around 60 members for a three day program which included wash-ins at the collections of “Jeff_adelphi” and Bob Wirth [now inactive]. Jason LeBeouf [AW“jasonl”] produced a DVD of the event which is now in the possession of many of those present.

In June 2005, a third AW “national/international convention” was hosted by Greg Nunn [AW “Gansky1"] assisted by AW “Jetcone” and Terry Lattz [AW “tlee618", now deceased] in Omaha. This gathering attracted 60 - 75 members and associates for three well-programmed days of laundry in Greg’s extensive collection along with estate sale scavenging, catered food, and emerging friendships brought together by a common interest in appliances, related technology, and the AW site.

In October 2010, the first known wash-in in the Pacific Northwest was hosted by Greg Bushman [AW “luxflairguy”] in Belleview, WA, attended by Kelly Beard [AW “mixfinder”], Delmar [AW “whitekingD”], Jon [AW “jons1077"], Brian [AW “northwesty”] and Patrick Foley [AW “p-dub5"]. That same weekend, unknown to either group, a “national convention dry run” was held in Beltsville for 50 familiar and invited new members to consider and test the logistics for an anticipated club-wide gathering which, it was thought, could attract well over 100 members. (A “national/international convention” has not been held as of the end of 2015.)

In April 2012, however, an intended “wash-in” evolved into a multi-day “national wash-in” hosted by Kevin Benz [AW “revvinkevin”] in Long Beach, CA. Over 50 AW members from across the country and western Canada participated in two days of rebuilding fellowship, an evening wash-in among his approximately 30 machines, and seemingly perpetual food professionally prepared by Kelly [AW “mixfinder”, now deceased]. This was a significant event during which several of Kevin’s machines were rehabilitated in a clinic, and many active members on the west coast and southwest first met with others from all across the country.

April 2012, also saw a 30-minute national broadcast by THE LEARNING CHANNEL in their mini series, “My Crazy Obsession”, that profiled Robert and Fred’s Minneapolis collections of washers and vacuum cleaners. The program informed viewers about the many facets of appliance collecting: childhood fixation, the hunt for rare and/or desired machines, repair and restoration of the artifact, the joy of the wash cycle, and the pleasure of sharing among others of similar interests.

In September 2015, the national broadcast of the popular program, CBS Sunday Morning, included a segment hosted by Bill Geist of a small regional wash-in at the Melrose, MA, laundry room of AW “Jetcone”. The program, recorded in June with 13 members present, focused on the “enthusiasm” of collecting vintage machines and of laundry in the 22 working machines in his collection highlighting a 1939 Utility Bendix as well as a pair of 1957 charcoal control tower Frigidares misidentified as “Blackstone B250's”. An excellent New England lunch prepared by restauranteur Eddie Woelfle [AW “toploader55”] was followed by a discussion of appliance collecting among the members, and an afternoon of enthusiastic laundry and photography.

CLUB STRUCTURE : “WASH - INS” AND THE WEBSITE:
From the first gathering of the SRVAA (as the future AW) in 1996 on through today in 2015, without any formal organization many individual members have spontaneously held invited local and regional gatherings of at least a half-dozen members and associates for automatic washer camaraderie. These events, known as “wash-ins”, usually include laundry play in the host’s automatic washers, exchange of information, parts and/or machines, sometimes thrift store or estate sale salvaging –and all affirmed by good companionship, food and drink. As the wash-ins have evolved in varying venues across the country, as well as in England, Australia, and Italy, they are a ”face-time cycle” that has spawned the lasting friendships which underpin the primary bond of the AW website, Automaticwasher.org.

FOOTNOTES AND DETAILS:
Members are invited to fill out this broad outline “thread” in a response with personal recollections and details, as well as questions, as these relate to the development of the AW club. Also, responses should be added as significant activities occur. Please make sure of accurate facts and dates as this thread is intended to serve as the AW history archive. Local wash-ins with photographs should be reported as news in a new thread. Further, please offer any comments that do not contain historical information in a new thread.

Below is a link to a PDF file that can be downloaded and/or printed.


CLICK HERE TO GO TO jeff_adelphi's LINK





Post# 845124 , Reply# 1   10/10/2015 at 16:38 (1,321 days old) by jeff_adelphi (Adelphi, Maryland, USA)        
People Magazine, March 6 1989

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Post# 845126 , Reply# 2   10/10/2015 at 16:42 (1,321 days old) by jeff_adelphi (Adelphi, Maryland, USA)        
The Washington Post, November 9 1989

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Post# 845127 , Reply# 3   10/10/2015 at 16:44 (1,321 days old) by jeff_adelphi (Adelphi, Maryland, USA)        
Cooper-Hewitt Museum, August 1993

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Post# 845129 , Reply# 4   10/10/2015 at 17:12 (1,321 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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Wonderful Jeff! It's good to write down how it all started.

Just one correction, the original Yahoo group doesn't exist anymore. The Yahoo group that is still there is the former Yahoo club. The club was turned into a group when Yahoo stopped the club activities.


Post# 845133 , Reply# 5   10/10/2015 at 17:40 (1,321 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I started calling appliance servicers in the DC area in January, 1981 trying to find a lead on an old Frigidaire washer. Nobody had time for anything but short, negative answers until I called ALCO. We talked for hours over several days until on George Birthington's Washday, I drove up to Beltsville to meet John and Jeff. Wow, was that something. Two people who understood when I was talking about my life's passion and who had a working Lady Kenmore Combo and helped me understand how it balanced for the high speed spin. John decided I needed to move from my condo in Annandale, VA and he had just the location, Greenbelt, MD so by November, 1981, I was living 4.5 miles away from John and Jeff instead of 45 minutes away on the Beltway. John said the first floors of the brick townhomes were 6 inches of cast concrete so they would hold lots of appliances, which they did. Drilling through the floors for additional power and plumbing connections was not so great. When I needed more space for appliances and started looking for a larger house in 1992, one came on the market 4 houses up the street from John and Jeff's family home. Neighbors came to see it as de rigueur for appliances to travel on handtrucks between our two houses. With the acquisition of the Norge combo, we have managed to find everything I ever dreamed of finding. If one exists, we would like to find a Hotpoint combo, but it would have to be one that escaped the company's buying back and destroying all of the units sold, if any escaped.

Post# 845151 , Reply# 6   10/10/2015 at 19:35 (1,321 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Post# 845164 , Reply# 7   10/10/2015 at 20:58 (1,321 days old) by A440 ()        

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Post# 845245 , Reply# 8   10/11/2015 at 07:29 (1,321 days old) by jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        
The Start of "Wash-Ins"

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Recollections First Wash-In  August 1996:

 

    I was excited to host the first “Wash In” but I did not think of that name until everyone was already here seated around the dinner table. It popped into my head because to me we looked like a group of hippies sidestepping culture by gathering to play with washing machines. It wasn’t a sit-in, nor a laugh-in, but a “wash-in” - that's what finally came to mind.

 

    Robert and I had talked quite a bit on the phone before he met any of us in person.  He told me he was coming with his then current boyfriend Stephen and that they had reservations at a BnB down in Boston so he politely turned down my invitation to stay here.

Upon arrival they drove up in a convertible and we all met in the driveway. Stephen immediately took to my bull terrier Aloysius and he in turn took to Stephen so they sat down on the couch together for the afternoon, he being a “washer-widow” was not heading downstairs to do laundry.                                Aloysius was a very discerning dog so I knew Stephen had to be good people.

   In the late afternoon Robert returned upstairs to tell Stephen they better leave to go check into the BnB. To which Stephen replied, “No we will stay here, there is room”. I could see Robert was a little taken aback.

   Next day at breakfast I asked him about the last minute switch in plans. To which he replied “ Well, having never met and the fact that you all collect washing machines; I thought you all might be weird , like with 3 eyes in your head and I couldn't sleep with weirdo’s around.” 

  Everybody broke up at the table! The guy who is an avid collector thinking the very same thing that we think Everyone else in the world is thinking of our hobby ends up thinking "we" are weird!!

   This whole thing would again be repeated two days later at the arrival of Don Hegarty and his boyfriend Peter Mays. Once Don saw we weren't axe murderers they ended up deciding to stay over as well.

 

    It goes to show how we had been thinking of ourselves at the outset. Once we topped a couple hundred members on Automaticwasher.org that created a momentum which I saw began to reinforce our hobby. Strength in numbers helped us accept the idea there was nothing weird about us and our hobby.

 

Jon Charles


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Post# 845246 , Reply# 9   10/11/2015 at 07:41 (1,321 days old) by jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        
The first outdoor wash in

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The tradition continues today ~~~ especially the pumping of the foam onto to lawn, much to the shock of the neighbors !!

 


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Post# 845386 , Reply# 10   10/12/2015 at 01:54 (1,320 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

This is something I WOULD like to do-but I have these problems-lack of space-no basements here.Lack of "Specimens"-swap shops and appliance places say they dumpted their older machines years ago.They would say I was the first to ask about them.So instead have a collection of vacuum cleaners.This ares appliance places are too new to have had older machines at this time.I only have a few machines.Kenmore and WP BD's.Guess I have the last of them here.The swap and thrift places no longer can get those.
The picture of that Chuck Diehl jumping up from the TL dishwasher looks like a "Jack-In-The-Box"!


Post# 845393 , Reply# 11   10/12/2015 at 02:46 (1,320 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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Thanks Jeff for posting all this information and pictures!


Post# 845424 , Reply# 12   10/12/2015 at 09:37 (1,320 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
if memory serves...

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there was also an article about Chuck D. in the Baltimore Sun even before the People one, maybe around '87 or '88. We were living in Westminster, outside of Baltimore, having grown up in Towson, just to the west of Parkville. I knew of Rudolph's shop, on Belair or Harford Rd, can't remember which it was now. In any event looked up Chuck's phone # in the "book" and it was listed, so I called him and we talked for awhile. One of my best friends from Jr High onward and I were big appliance fans and we'd haunt the places around Towson that sold them. When I saw that article I too couldn't believe there were other crazies around that liked this stuff. Think I ended the call by saying I hoped to see his Museum, but we moved away in 1990, lost that contact, and it never happened. Not until I saw AW.org online 5-6 years ago did I realize the hobby was so big and also that Chuck in Hawaii was the same guy from almost 30 years ago that I'd talked to, when he mentioned Rudolph's in a post.

Post# 845427 , Reply# 13   10/12/2015 at 10:13 (1,320 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
SOME of DaveAMKrayoGuy's Self-Promotion/History at AW:

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12/8/2010: DaveAMKrayoGuy becomes a Member!

 

6/11/2014: DaveAMKrayoGuy reaches One-Thousand-Posts and becomes an UPGRADED Member!

 

6/12/2015: DaveAMKrayoGuy once again upgrades his member ship, after seeing Pat & Debbie Boone concert & wanting to post at AW.ORG!

 

 

-- Dave


Post# 845478 , Reply# 14   10/12/2015 at 17:42 (1,319 days old) by syndets2000 (Nanjemoy, MD)        

Oddly, my first meeting of another appliance geek
(Robert Wirth) happened as my first relationship ended. A friend of a friend of my ex, Robert introduced me to John and Jeff Lefever. Through them, I met Chuck, and later, Robert, Jon Charles, and all the others. I was no longer alone, and i began feel comfortable with myself, as my family shamed me for this facination of appliances.
I love my Westinghouse washers, and i love listening to others share their memories from childhood.
I will never forget my trip to the graveyard, i traveled to meet the others by bus !
All of the Washers i brought back still work, but im still looking for door boots ! My L 102 and L 100 are my favorites. This group is an awesome forum!


Post# 845559 , Reply# 15   10/13/2015 at 02:12 (1,319 days old) by laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        
Daily life

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Dear Jeff and everyone else here,

 

I love all of you and send all of my Aloha to everyone on this site. I've been blessed with a nice home in the tropics where most of the appliances ,especially old ones are few and far between. However, I have found w few gems lime a couple of Easy Spinners from the late forties. Most of my appliances are newer,. Mostly LG models sent to the dumps or returned to the dealers. Charlie Smith,a great friend of ours,has and owns a used hotel furniture/used appliance repair store where they hate the electronic control appliances and we recently made a deal.  He gets the returns from two Lowe's and two Home Depot stores here. They're the only ones here on Hawaii and he gets tons of the Duets,Cabrios and Dr wpool/Kenmore top loaders. The last of which are their most popular sellers. He lets me take whatever I want for fifty each and I've acquired more then enough here to rebuild and refurbish for months.  I currently have a Duet Steam pair made in 2013 that sold at Lowe's for over forty five hundred dollars. The washer is working fine except for a few rattling,grinding sounds during the tumble. By the first rinse,the noise stops. Have assumed it could be the bearings but,further tests will show the fault and otherwise,the washer works well. 

  The dryer needed a new heating element and I also replaced its thermocouple. Now,it works great. However,as all of you may know,I'm not a real fan of Whirlpool. Never was. I hated most oscillating agitator washers but loved the pulsating up and down Three Ring Agitator/Unimatics and RollerMatic Mechanism Jet Action models. They did more to get clothes real clean,well rinsed and spun out dryer then any other brand of that era. From the forties through the seventies,my favorite line of appliances. Their design,their performance,their styles, and dependability was supreme.  Their only major competitor being that of many other brands at that time was Kenmore. Made by Whirlpool, Roper and D&M, and having "Easy credit financing",made Kenmores easier to purchase on time instead of cash or charge. That gave Sears the advantage. However, as we all learned on this life,shit happens to all of us and KMart buying Sears was one of the worst mistakes any retailers made. I have no potty for them after KMart had Sears and Whirlpool get a separation. Now, Electrolux, LG,Whirlpool and Samsung make Kenmore. Not just Whirlpool. 

   Now, I'm sold on LG

I have no regrets after seeing what's happened to the brands post 1970. I never, never liked ANYTHING made by Gibson, Hamilton, or the store brands made by them. Once GM sold the rights to the name to WCI, I was floored. I worked at Bernie and Harry's TV and Appliance store and got w Ticker Tape from MR.Ferris. He was the regional manager of FRIGIDAIRE Sales Corporation.  He worked the field at mid Atlantic region. I called him in shock and threatened to quit. I had Harry order as many washers,dryers,ranges and dishwashers,mostly Custom IMPERIALS in either white or Poppy red. The Customs in white or almond, and a few of the convertible Imperial or Custom Imperial models. Once they were gone, we dropped them Once we were shown their prototypes.  The old souped up sort of sad looking WCI/WORSTINGHOUSES!!

    I moved to Dell's Point with a puppy red FRIGIDAIRE appliances I got from Rudolf. They just recently closed their doors due to the big ads dealers like Lowe's and Worst Buys. He had sold a local family a GE Americana set in harvest gold to replace them. Not a trace of overuse or abuse. After eight years (seven absolutely happy ones), I broke up with my first lover,Ron, and made sure I was never returning.   After that, I had been having real bad seizures. Psycho motor, petit maul and grand maul. All with an aura prior to seizing so I'd try to let folks know. LOOK OUT!!!HERE IT COMES!!!!!! With little responses other then stares,laughs and their trying to feed me their fingers or a stick to attempt stopping my tongue from spasms it was having not realizing their fingers were getting bitten off. So, after moving down to My Vernon ( The Baltimore Gayto) , I had a nice apartment and a great hook up in my kitchen for a range and/or a dryer,a gas line for a range or dryer,hardwood floors everywhere but my kitchen with linoleum,  waxable,square tiles. I had just met John and he brought me a great,gorgeous GE Americana forty inch with everything but the instruction book. I had never gone electric and it changed my entire method of cooking. John also gave me another beauty. A Westinghouse Roaster with the clock and stand. Yet another beautiful piece. As time progressed, I had been in the Sun papers on Christmas of 1988. That began this entirety by connecting the dots. I had met John, I had met Tom S. and, as time progressed,I had a major brain surgery scheduled but previous tests,causing weeks of sick time were also communing up. On February tenth of '89, I received a call from Texas. A writer for Peoe Mmagazine was reading the article in the Dalas newspaper and wanted to publish a story in their anniversary issue.  That came out a month prior to my surgery. On April 26th, yes the same day as Lucille Ball died, I went for the first if two major brain surgeries.  I have yet to have any more seizures


Post# 845566 , Reply# 16   10/13/2015 at 03:39 (1,319 days old) by laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        

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There's more but I won't bore y'all. Thanks you Robert S. For having such a generous,free spirit. I wish you and yours the very best and a long loved friendship and devotion. It shows here. You are by no doubt the real FRIGIDAIRE QUEEN. I bow to you in confidence that you'll wear that gold crown forevermore. Stay well everybody. I'm probably not going to be here on line a while. I'm getting ready to sail out a few weeks to see other islands here. I have the time and gear along with a great teacher.  He and his wife invited me along and we're all ready. One new sail,plenty of water,CD radio, news,phone on board and no worries. I packed my meds and bringing my timers in a water proof Ziploc bag. I am excited to say the least. We already had a trial run sailing two islands up to Oahu and saw Diana Ross perform live there. Great time. Beautiful weather we had too. Aloha and Mahalo

Chuck


Post# 845613 , Reply# 17   10/13/2015 at 12:29 (1,319 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        
Thanks Jeff

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It helped me understand more about the club, founding members and others. I downloaded the .pdf, too. Thanks to everyone, this place and activity brought some fun and harmony to living.

Phil


Post# 845972 , Reply# 18   10/15/2015 at 18:07 (1,316 days old) by PeterH770 (Marietta, GA)        

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Do not forget the HGTV show that spotlit Greg Nunn's collection... I think that was 2010, but I'll leave the details to Greg...

Post# 845977 , Reply# 19   10/15/2015 at 19:26 (1,316 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
Chuck...

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I remember when that Balto Sun article came out, I looked up your # in the phone book and called you I was living in Westminster at the time, having grown up in Towson. I saw the article and couldn't believe there was another appliance nut out there. We talked and I wanted to see the museum but moved North and it never happened. My friend Tom and I used to skip class in 1968-72 to check out the appliance stores, Luskins on Perring Pkwy, BGE & E in Towson Plaza, all the ones in Towson &c. And I went to Rudolphs on Harford Rd more than once!


Post# 845998 , Reply# 20   10/15/2015 at 23:47 (1,316 days old) by laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        

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Hey Roger,

  We're waiting for the storm to clear so,we're out here about sixty miles south if Oahu. The storm should be subsiding by midnight.  

Charlie Rudolf and his sister in law, Elsie ran that store and had two generations of customers. Families they "FRIGIDATED" to buy predominantly FRIGIDAIRE,Kitchen Aid,Maytag,Whirlpool, and JennAir.  They gave me promo stuff, suites catalogs, promo pens,signs for my bedroom and appliance magazines. I gave then great business for decades and rode there,about twenty miles from my home every weekend or day off school. One night, I had gotten a flat on my bike and Charlie offered to throw it in his truck and take me home. We got there and he walked me up.  My Dad came out,grabbed me by my neck and threw me inside the hours. After that happened, Charlie promised me I could come to his store abd hang out as long as I wanted abd let me sell appliances while there. We'd talkvahoptalk and speak f the history of many brands. They finally closed about half a year ago.Charlie died of cancer back in the late nineties and she ran that store.

Back around 1993,Rudolfs took Baltimore gas and Electric to court and won the case regarding utility companies selling to customers with poor credit that couldn't buy anything with a card but let them put it on their gas and Electric bill. It went national and the Supreme Court gave privately owned appliance dealers a real boost.  However, the big boxes took over and they closed for good. I have many fondue memories. The funniest being that, on Topaz Rd., a couple who owned and ran a FRIGIDAIRE CION CLEAN CENTER on North Point Blvd. Right across from the A&P and the sewerage treatment plant that fed Back River where everyvodies shit was treated and the water filtered before it was sent back. On a hot, blustery day when theorizes blew,you'd smell the stink and try to get out of its path. Anyway,we're gonna rest a while then take up anchor and sail to Oahu. There, we'll go get a few supplies,party a little then sail back out. As long as we have access to internet,I'll try to keep in touch. The waves were peaking at around seventeen to twenty five feet. Not as severe as a while ago. We took in some but bailed it out enough then tipped and the rest went over. We were around 70° tilt. Just so you can understand, this is a trimaran. A sailboat with three sections held together with two rubber,perforated, trampoline like structures that lay flat and connect the three together. There's a big size galley where it can sleep ten. We,have a crew of seven and it's tight but comfortable enough to sleep,eat,or shit. I don't recommend going down there just to hang out. You will get seasick. Trust me. Been there,Done that,won't do it again. I stay where I'm comfortable and steer or guide the sail. We take turns so nobody gets bad calluses.  That,meeting strangers who may or may not be homeless hut prefer being out in the rough. ANYBODY can wing it here without any living quarters. I know at least thirty homeless people whom I love and help out. I never give out money. I buy or catch food,cook it in a bonfire on the Bayfront and "POW". Thats what we say when it was so "UNO"which means one ate all of what they took. Gone. 

I met a girl before we sailed. O was hanging out waiting for Mack to call and I was smoking some bad ass weed and rock n rolling. She asked for a hit and did not sound local. She was born in Taiwan, moved with her mom to Chicago, then,after graduation,became a paramedic and was on a six month visa here to train am no drivers here. She's leaving in a month and her apartment will be vacant.  I want to get my own place and this may be it. It's safe,it's right smack dab downtown and has a nice view. Tour hundred fifty a month including g&e, water and you may have your own a/c. I told her we'll see each other before her leave. Take care and come see the paradise where I live now.


Post# 846223 , Reply# 21   10/17/2015 at 13:22 (1,315 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
Wow Chuck... sounds amazing!

firedome's profile picture
living in paradise...not sure I could handle those big waves however! We've got a 24' pontoon but I won't go out on the lake if waves are more than 2-3ft! My best friend from MD has 2 boys living in Honolulu, he says you can't buy a shack for under a million!

Post# 898175 , Reply# 22   9/10/2016 at 20:32 (985 days old) by jeff_adelphi (Adelphi, Maryland, USA)        
Update, September 2016

jeff_adelphi's profile picture

This thread was set up to serve as the AW club archive of significant events.  So, here goes--

 

In August 2016, another "national / international convention" was held for three days in Beltsville with 60 plus members and guests from 19 states, Australia and Canada.  After a Friday night "meet and greet and front loader wash-in" at AW Jeff_adelphi's house  (featuring Rosalie's zero suds laundry powder developed and patented in 2016 by AW Jetcone), the focus was Saturday evening in the further improved Appliance Museum of AW Combo52 and Surgilator68.  A bountiful feast was prepared using classic ranges and ovens by AW Kevin313 and AW Norgeway.  Trips to the Smithsonian Museums and other local attractions, as well as leftovers rounded out what has been reported as a good time by all. 


Post# 1032268 , Reply# 23   5/10/2019 at 05:59 by Easyspindry (Winston-Salem, NC)        
This is the most . . .

. . . fascinating story I have ever read. Thank you for writing and publishing the history.

I had just retired when I met Hans Craig. And quite by accident, I discovered a newsletter with a picture of Robert sitting atop a Bendix washing machine. Hans informed me of the club and that there was going to be a convention in Omaha in a couple of weeks, but he couldn't go.

I told him, "Well, I'm going. Where is it?"

Having known each other for 2 whole weeks, we jumped in the car and drove from North Carolina to Omaha to Greg Nunn's house. I was dumbfounded. I have never enjoyed anything as much and met such wonderful people in the process.

That got it all started and I have since met and gotten to know John Lefever and was able to attend the wash-in at his museum a few years ago. I came home from there with my Speed-Queen front load.

This group is wonderful!!!

Thank you.

Jerry Gay





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