Thread Number: 73166  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Maytag 160
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Post# 966411   11/6/2017 at 13:48 (322 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

I recently purchased the August, 1960, Consumer Reports where they tested TOL washers against BOL washers of the same brand.

They found 3 different types of controls among the TOL brands: 1) those that were totally automatic, lacking even a timer to set (eg Maytag 160); 2) machines like GE and Frigidaire that had pre-set buttons for fabrics but also a rotary timer to operate; 3) machines like the Hamilton that permitted all parameters to be manually selected if preferred.

Not being familiar with Maytag in general other than seeing so many of those center-dial models, I'd never seen this 160 control panel with just a row of buttons/switches and no dial at all! For their test there were only 3 machines that were like this: the Maytag 160, the Sears '6495', and the Philco-Bendix W-208.

I'd appreciate learning a little more about this Maytag. It must not have been extremely successful because I think I'd have seen one in vintage ads, etc. Were there specific problems with it? CR wasn't crazy about this type of machine because there was so little user input permitted for wash times, etc. Did this machine break more often? It was listed at $409 in this test which was the most expensive washer by far.

Thanks for your reply.

Post# 966417 , Reply# 1   11/6/2017 at 14:17 (322 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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It went through several iterations, ending as the A906 (1966 to 1973-ish).

The controls were quite restrictive.  All cycles were a full fill except Whites (cottons) and Colored (cottons) had either Full Load or Partial Load choices.  Wash time, speeds, and temperatures were hard-wired into the cycles, although a cycle can be restarted from the beginning by pressing the button again (to repeat the wash before it drains).

They're fairly rare but several collectors have them.

The linked thread is an example of previous discussion.


Post# 966422 , Reply# 2   11/6/2017 at 14:37 (322 days old) by RevvinKevin (So. Cal.)        

revvinkevin's profile picture



The model just below these (142, A700/702 & A806) were much more versatile in terms of cycle adjustability (everything Dadoes listed above), and you'll often find one of these models paired with the TOL push button dryer (below).  


Here's a fun 4.5 minute video of 906 showing the cycle selection and start, among other things.

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Post# 966428 , Reply# 3   11/6/2017 at 14:59 (322 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

Thanks so much for your replies! I never noticed that pair on the Hillbillies or Bewitched...and that YouTube video has great music to wash by.

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