Thread Number: 72728  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
70's GE washer information
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 960976   10/6/2017 at 17:28 (353 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

I bought my first washer in 1977 as a kid in college, an avocado GE Filter-Flo in the standard tub size--with matching dryer, of course. Loved that pair, kept it for several years until I sold the house and bought an 1986 TOL Filter-Flo.

I purchased the 1974 GE brochure on line here just to remind myself of that first set. I see a stripper model washer in there, one speed, with just the timer dial and a toggle switch for load size. The brochure really isn't very informative with the specs, unfortunately.

Question: did that washer just come with one water temp, possibly hot or cold? Obviously no rinse temp choice on the panel. Or was it tied to whether one chose the regular or permanent press part of the dial? I've never seen a Filter-Flo that basic before.

Thanks for anyone's reply.

Post# 960977 , Reply# 1   10/6/2017 at 17:42 (353 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

pulltostart's profile picture

Does the brochure not give enlarged views of the timer?  If the only toggle switch determines water level, I would guess that temperature options are contained in the timer - the longer the wash time, the hotter the water basically.  Probably all cold washes.


But - this is just a guess on my part.



Post# 960980 , Reply# 2   10/6/2017 at 18:18 (353 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

wayupnorth's profile picture
My aunt gave me a basic filter-flo of that vintage with one knob, one cycle. Set at 12 mins. it was hot, set at 8, it was warm and all rinses were cold plus one water level, full. I added a jumper wire let you adjust the water temp at the faucet. Worked fine lasted for 28 years when the next owner sold it. I think I could wash more in the sink than the capacity of that thing.

Post# 960981 , Reply# 3   10/6/2017 at 18:22 (353 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

yogitunes's profile picture
there could have been two options for that toggle switch....

water temp.....all full level fills

or water levels......cycle position determines hot or warm wash as mentioned, some may have offered a COLD wash, usually at the 6 minute mark....

Post# 960991 , Reply# 4   10/6/2017 at 19:32 (353 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

pulltostart's profile picture

Would it be possible to see a scan/pic of the catalog page that illustrates the model in question?



Post# 961010 , Reply# 5   10/6/2017 at 20:41 (353 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

The Canadian one dial-wonder machines were like Tim said, hot water fill was on the longest time, warm water fill was on the medium/normal length, and cold on the shortest. All cold rinses with full water levels.

Post# 961045 , Reply# 6   10/7/2017 at 02:23 (352 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
washer dial

I don't know whether it's acceptable to upload the pdf of the 1974 brochure that I purchased on here. I'd be happy to if it's all right. I went back, opened up that pdf again, and greatly magnified the dial. Nowhere on the dial is there any indication of temp. There's a regular cycle with the usual GE times on there, a 'soak' cycle which is part of the regular cycle, and a 'delicate' cycle which still uses the standard speed, just seems to add rinses. I saw and appreciate a comment stating that depending on how many minutes were set would determine the water temp. No, it certainly wasn't the one I owned, mine was the standard size, I think one speed as I remember (40 years ago) but it had wash temp on a toggle and load size on a toggle. It was avocado with its dryer in the master bath to match my avocado toilet, sink and bathtub. This was the seventies, after all!

I'm new here--people seem more interested in the TOL and upper-level machines. Call me weird but I'm perversely interested in what the very base level machines included. They're pretty stark; there's a strange Hotpoint from that brochure just before GE took over. It's so naked that the usual back dashboard for the dials was even replaced by putting the dial on top of the cabinet in the back like 30 years earlier! And it has a plain metal toggle switch next to the dial, looks like straight out of a hardware store. I think this was for two speeds, strangely. As with so many other things, it's easier to build an expensive something with all the goodies, as opposed to having to build down to a price, still produce a quality product, and still do the basic job required.

Thanks to all on here for your information.

Post# 961051 , Reply# 7   10/7/2017 at 03:10 (352 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
My grandma had a Kelvinator dryer with the operating knob laying horizontally, too... And a toggle switch, screaming Ace Hardware, as well, w/ a '1' (Heat) and '2' (No Heat) being as fancy (the short, backguard across the width of the cabinet, designated what the "numbers" were for) besides the 120-minutes of basic Hi-Temperature Drying as this appliance could get...

Too bad I cannot remember the washer there as clearly--I know there was probably just the one knob just for the timer, and a rearward-opening lid as this brand would have had at the time, which a more-featured left-opening GE replaced...

Cadillac built its last Calais in '76, concentrating on the more expensive DeVille, too--in understanding it got expensive to build something cheaper if it simply wasn't in demand, to name an example, there, John, of what you've said... (Building-DOWN to basics...)

-- Dave

Post# 961150 , Reply# 8   10/7/2017 at 15:21 (352 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

It seems like the brochures and "catalogs" from GE only showed certain models. The local GE dealer had a loose-leaf binder, which had individual sheets with lots of variations. I think some of them were special models for the buying group that this store was part of. I know that Woolco and other such discount chains had models that were not the same as those at appliance and department stores.

Post# 961152 , Reply# 9   10/7/2017 at 15:55 (352 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
It's all anybody really needs

bajaespuma's profile picture

Tom is spot on about the GE catalogs and brochures; there were, it seems, infinite variations on basic models that were featured in the catalogs and had decimal model numbers like 5500, 7500 and 9600.


The almost rock-bottom BOL you're describing was set likely to provide a Hot wash with a Warm rinse on the basic cycle, and, if there was a Permanent Press cycle, a Hot wash with a Cold rinse. You never know, however. After 1975 people were beginning to worry about energy savings and the rinses could have all been cold. A lot of people who bought machines without temperature switches installed the machines with mixing valves so they could adjust temperatures manually.

  View Full Size
Post# 961234 , Reply# 10   10/7/2017 at 21:34 (352 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Basic GE FF Washers

combo52's profile picture

Some models only had a single inlet valve so you had to connect it to a faucet where you could make temperature selections at the faucet.

Post# 961238 , Reply# 11   10/7/2017 at 21:59 (352 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Here is Canadian semi-one dial wonder. There is water level adjustment, in variable form!? But the temp is selected from the timer.

  View Full Size
Post# 961274 , Reply# 12   10/8/2017 at 02:11 (351 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

Dave--the problem with the Calais was that it got so close to the deVille series in price that it just didn't make sense any more. If you are a car guy, you may remember that the original deVille was just a Series 62 with a fancier interior. Then, when Cadillac replaced the x-frame with the perimeter frame and body in '65, that was the year that the Calais replaced the Series 62. However, power windows and seats were still extra and of course it was missing some lighters and other stuff. In 1968 the windows went powered, standard. Still couldn't get a vinyl roof on the Calais. Over the next several years the differences to the naked eye shrank: Calais never had the door lights, didn't have back seat lighters, and didn't have leather. But 'regular' people would never notice. Just as it made no sense to built the Sixty Special along with the Brougham after 1970, it made no sense to build the Calais when Cadillac shrunk in 1977. I remember well the second gas crisis and people were practically giving those huge things away!

Post# 961294 , Reply# 13   10/8/2017 at 06:38 (351 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
Yes, thank you, John! --For citing more commentary on what I had just thought of--The Caddy Calais!

--And to think, I would only miss the rear arm rests (which is all you didn't mention) and to me, the door lights replaced by the reflectors wouldn't be as missed on the four-doors, as much as in my case, a GLARING deletion on the Coupe--and might I say, I LOVED the PLAID some of the DeVilles and nearly all of the Calais boasted, even more than the crushed velvet/leather, on the former, which the many buyers/owners greatly preferred... (Well, in short, try finding ANY of those today...)

Back to topic, an era of what fanciness that the consumer demands, in abundance is what we live in today, and of course, standard, just because it is driven by it...

Likewise, there's the fine line between that, and the still scarce, but out there, BOL, basic...

-- Dave

Post# 961452 , Reply# 14   10/9/2017 at 06:47 (350 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
Well, don't look now, but 'that' GE washer & dryer are P.O.D.

I see, right then & there, that demand for water levels, and all three basic wash temps 9w/ every rinse in cold) were in demand that what you see there was as base-model-washer as you could get...

Ditto, for the dryer: Hi, Low & Air! (Plus, Start...)

So, NO Delicates--Dryer Temps, Too High; Wash Speeds, Too Fast!

-- Dave

Post# 961481 , Reply# 15   10/9/2017 at 09:29 (350 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

wayupnorth's profile picture
The one my aunt gave me looked just like that one in the POD, minus the 2 toggle switches for temp and water level.

Post# 961518 , Reply# 16   10/9/2017 at 13:56 (350 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Those 1-speed FilterFlo models with 3 water temp combos, 3 water levels, normal & PP cycle and the paired dryer were very common and popular at the time.

Post# 961531 , Reply# 17   10/9/2017 at 15:14 (350 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
base level GE

DADoES - I know that for me as a college kid with a new home, I was so very proud of that little avocado GE pair. Oh, it may have just had one speed--but that speed did my clothes just fine and got everything clean. I was really into cycling, golf, and photography and I could generate piles of smelly clothes in a heartbeat. I used Boraxo back then and still do at times. The matching dryer did have two heat selections and fluff, controlled with a switch to match those on the washer.

I also bought a GE dishwasher to replace the one in this older home. It was great, at least for me. It was one of those cool models that had the switchable front panels on the dishwasher so the owner could match the other appliances. I used to change it every so often just to have something different. Why don't any of these machines have that feature now?

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