Thread Number: 72584  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
POD 9/24/2017
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Post# 958889   9/24/2017 at 11:29 (365 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

Bendix was fumbling with trying to at least stay afloat in the game of the laundry machine industry with machines that were interesting. Even though most of them worked poorly in comparison to other machines, they did try to compete. Personally, I never cared for any of the Bendix machines and even though the top load rubber tub washer seems to have washed well, the extraction was so poor it was not worth having in my opinion. The combo units were huge heavy tank like machines that held very little and barely did an adequate job of cleaning and the front load washers were much the same way. By the time the 60's came along, Bendix was practically a memory. Bendix washers were one step up from a wringer washer, but not much more. They began the race of automatic washers at least here in the USA and were eliminated fairly early in the race. But they really did start something BIG!

Post# 958940 , Reply# 1   9/24/2017 at 20:51 (365 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

When I think of a combo, it is this machine I picture in my mind. This was the first combo I ever remember, and I used quite a few in action.I never recall a complaint about them, however, they didn't seem to be very long lived. The last one I saw in use was Gansky's. I think they used the sound of the "rythmn-spin" a lot when they made the old "Outer Limits" television series.

If I ever found one in good condition I would snatch it up.

Post# 958946 , Reply# 2   9/24/2017 at 21:33 (365 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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2 of my aunts had those horrid Bendix squeeze tubs and one of them kept her wringer next to it to wring before putting everything on the clothesline. We had a similar Bendix dryer as a kid that had one cycle, 0 to 60 on BAKE at high heat. No thanks, I'll keep my Maytag and clothes come out fine after a few days of forgetting them in there.

Post# 958948 , Reply# 3   9/24/2017 at 22:03 (365 days old) by peteski50 (New York)        

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I knew someone many years ago and had the squeeze tub - it did wash well but of course poor extraction! My Grandmother had a mid 50's FL Bendix and it washed very well. She used to save laundry for when I went their cause she knew I loved to watch it run! I used to take the hose and spray my sister with it! What memories!
I wish they made washers like that today - so simple and quick!

Post# 958950 , Reply# 4   9/24/2017 at 22:24 (365 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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The first automatic washer that my Mom had was a Bendix Economat. We didn't have a dryer yet and she either hung the laundry in the basement or outside if the weather was good. I can still see the clothes all mashed onto the agitator when the cycle was complete.

My paternal Grandma had one too, but hers was yellow. When my Dad bought her a new Signature FL in 1959, we took the Economat to our cabin. I can't recall Mom ever complaining about the finished loads being too wet, but as young as I was at that time I probably wouldn't have even comprehended why they thought they were too wet anyway, to an 8 yeqar old, wet is wet.

Post# 958993 , Reply# 5   9/25/2017 at 06:18 (364 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

What you don't say about the Economats was that many young families of soldiers back from the wars lived in apartment houses where they could not have washers that spun to extract water because of the vibration, nor washers that needed bolting down, nor washers that needed permanent plumbing connections. The Economat-type washers were inexpensive because they only needed a wringer washer transmission and they could be hooked up to the sink so they did not need permanent connections; just the ticket for young families in apartments. For women with children, the machine sure beat having to try to get to a coin laundry with children in tow.


I thought that the POD (Brand and description would be nice in the heading) was the 36" Duomatic which was the most successful of the combination washer-dryers and even liked by the consumer testing magazines. They were tested with 8 lb loads and performed well, washing as well as the Whirlpool top loader in the 1954 CU tests. I'm wondering how much actual experience you ever had with the original design Duomatics. The larger tub greatly improved washing performance over the tumble washers with the small tub. The Magic Heater kept the wash water hot and the full speed spins between water changes gave good rinsing results. 

Post# 959001 , Reply# 6   9/25/2017 at 06:42 (364 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

A lot of manufacturers offered a carrage to convert a machine into a portable, but Bendix was the only one without spin vibration to offer.. My Maytag Super 101 had one, I took off and kept. A heavy, cumbersome thing.
Had a friend whose mother had a 55 Pulsamatic on one. Just heave-ho over to the kitchen sink and lock the wheels.

My Aunt in Miami had a beautiful '53 Combo as pictured. She would toss in a couple of tablespoons of All and everything came out nice and clean. I loved to watch and listen to that beautiful machine.

Post# 959020 , Reply# 7   9/25/2017 at 09:32 (364 days old) by wft2800 (Leatherhead, Surrey)        

That's odd, when I checked the POD yesterday it was showing a detergent ad, nothing to do with a Bendix - what did I miss?

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