Thread Number: 73195  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
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Post# 966862   11/8/2017 at 15:41 (320 days old) by danelto (State College, PA)        


Yesterday was the first time I've seen pictures of my two dream machines--the Kenmore washer and dryer.

The washer, I believe, would've had a golden Roto-swirl agitator.

Does anybody here have a picture of either one of these that they'd be willing to share?

Gordon, I had to wonder if you had one of these (or two, or three) in one of those sheds of yours.

Oh--and what year were those machines?



Post# 966867 , Reply# 1   11/8/2017 at 16:48 (320 days old) by cycla-fabric (New Jersey)        

Hey Dan,
I didn't see the POD from yesterday, but might this be the shot you are looking for. This is from my 1974 Kenmore 800 as it has the golden Roto-Swirl agitator.


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Post# 966874 , Reply# 2   11/8/2017 at 17:19 (320 days old) by agiflow2 ()        

Were yesterdays POD Canadian Kenmores ? I didn't know US Kenmores went to center dials that early .

Post# 966875 , Reply# 3   11/8/2017 at 17:20 (320 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

wayupnorth's profile picture
Both of the descriptions said it was a straight vane agitator. My mother had a similar model as the featured model but was 4 cycle, enzyme soak. Hers had the same agitator cap but was straight vane.

Post# 966896 , Reply# 4   11/8/2017 at 19:06 (320 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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If I remember from the POD, what surprised me was this center dial console arrangement and it still had the metal grab handle for both the washer and dryer, which would mean no later than 1971 or 1972 at the absolute latest.  When the 64 Norge Dispensomat bit the dust in early 1970 or 1971, I began keeping an eye out on Sears weekly ad that was on the inside page of the front section of the newspaper.  I didn't want anything with preprogrammed buttons, even if it was an LK, even though I knew my parents would never spring for one.   There was a machine that was on sale (and I think it would have been on sal3e for $199 or $179 and it had the 3 basic cycles enzyme soak, and 5 temps and wither 3 or variable water levels and bleach/agitator mount softener dispensers.  It had all I wanted and had a similar or same console arrangement.   I went straight for it at the store but I guess my mom thought it was a bit too plain.  My mom decided she wanted the Kenmore 800 instead--which had essentially the same features but with full-width lighted console and all timed dispensers.  Which I gladly accepted since I knew a LK wasn't in the possibility. 

Post# 966910 , Reply# 5   11/8/2017 at 19:57 (320 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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My mother got ours in 1970 and fought with Sears because what she saw in the paper was now not available for a few months. To shut her up, they delivered the similar model with better features for $129. Not bad, but my mother would never say no. Guess thats why I am the same. My sister and I always would never back down for any questionable bill, without fully questioning it and dont even try to deny any claim as you will never hear the last of me. Ma taught us to be pro-active and not let anyone try to run you over. Question it, write stuff down confront with the facts, Thats when Ma said we will have a better washer here tomorrow when she hung the phone up from Sears.

Post# 966913 , Reply# 6   11/8/2017 at 20:08 (320 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

Ugliest machines Kenmore ever made.

Post# 966916 , Reply# 7   11/8/2017 at 20:21 (320 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        
Yesterday's POD

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I believe was the 1970 Kenmore 500 set, catalog pic.

I did have one of these washers, and also a derivative which had a self clean filter and Pre-wash and Pre-soak. Both were stolen from storage back in 2009. There have been a few posted in Shopper's Square since then, including a nice Avocado set. I will post some pics.


Post# 966918 , Reply# 8   11/8/2017 at 20:29 (320 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        
A few pictures

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The 1970 500 models had the gold straight vane agitator with the tapered cone cap.

The machine on the right is the standard 500 model which was featured in the ad. Mine was built in 1972 and thus it was built with the notched lid without handle. I first thought the lid was from a donor machine but the instructions underneath proved to be correct.

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Post# 966919 , Reply# 9   11/8/2017 at 20:33 (320 days old) by Kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        
The Avocado machines

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  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 7         View Full Size
Post# 966920 , Reply# 10   11/8/2017 at 20:34 (320 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Gordon, I think the 1970's panel is more classy looking than the 1972.   Did any of the dryers in the 500 series have buzzers/signals?  Sounds like the washer with the prewash & presoak was the full-featured top end version of this 500 series.  Quite a jewel actually.  Like the one I saw in the newspaper ad. 

Post# 966923 , Reply# 11   11/8/2017 at 20:45 (320 days old) by Danelto (State College, PA)        
One More Question

Does anybody have one of these babies for sale?

Thanks for the photos and information, everyone.

Post# 966925 , Reply# 12   11/8/2017 at 20:51 (320 days old) by Danelto (State College, PA)        
One More Question

Does anybody have one of these babies for sale?

Thanks for the photos and information, everyone.

Post# 966926 , Reply# 13   11/8/2017 at 20:53 (320 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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Yes, I like the "fancy" 1970 500 too. Didn't lack much, and had an odd level of features for a 500, Sears did that over and over during the first half of the 70s until they returned to previous features levels in 1976.

I had never seen this model before, and I think only one since, featured here also in Shopper's square, but in really worn cosmetic shape.

The fancy 500 is one of the few machines lost in that trailer that I would really have liked to keep.

As to the dryer buzzer, I am not certain Bob, but I doubt they did, not in 500s. I think the majority of buzzer equipped KM dryers were Wrinkle Guard models in that time frame.


Post# 966932 , Reply# 14   11/8/2017 at 21:34 (320 days old) by sears9000 (Pensacola, Florida.)        

Bob, I bought a similar dryer used back in 99, and it didn't have the buzzer, or drum light. For a basic dryer, it did a good job in drying the clothes. The only buzzer I heard on it was if the dryer got overheated, it would sound a buzzer to tell you to stop it, and that was it. That only happened one time. 7 years later it gave up the ghost, but not bad for a used dryer. Had I been old enough to buy the set when it came out brand new, I wouldn't hesitate to buy them.

Post# 966951 , Reply# 15   11/8/2017 at 23:23 (320 days old) by toploadloyalist (San Luis Obispo, CA)        
Kenmore cycle dial placement

I believe it was in 1972 when the Knit/Delicate and Permanent Press cycles switched positions.

Post# 967051 , Reply# 16   11/9/2017 at 16:49 (319 days old) by agiflow2 ()        

I didn't realize Kenmore had the center dial going on as early as 70. They have an almost Maytag elegance about them. I like these models. A lot of bang for the buck!

Gordon...did the 500 series have porcelain tops on these ?

Post# 967053 , Reply# 17   11/9/2017 at 17:13 (319 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

wayupnorth's profile picture
No Patrick, they could not be porcelain as that one my mother had rusted bad after 10 or so years inside the lid and corners of the top.

Post# 967055 , Reply# 18   11/9/2017 at 17:41 (319 days old) by agiflow2 ()        

I thought being early 70s they would still have the porcelain tops. Ahh..oh well. Those straight vanes were pretty powerful agitators. My mother's first automatic Kenmore washer had the black Bakelite version of these.

Post# 967089 , Reply# 19   11/9/2017 at 21:27 (319 days old) by Kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        
Porcelain tops

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The machines being discussed here did indeed have porcelain tops.

There were a number of 500s in the 60s, and many in the 80s that did not have porcelain tops, but these models for 1970 did. Kenmores were pretty feature laden during the first half of the 1970s, so 500s got porcelain. There was a 400 model for 1970 which looked very much like these, with the same panel design, etc that did not have a porcelain top or lid.

I never liked that Kenmore made so many models with painted tops. They were cheap and not competitive with GE and Maytag, in my opinion. In 1979 even an 80 series had a painted top.


Post# 967096 , Reply# 20   11/9/2017 at 22:10 (319 days old) by agiflow2 ()        

Thanks Gordon . These have such a nice combination of features and performance for the money.

Love the metal handle machine on the left. Great value and quality. Love the straight vanes moreso than the roto swirls though I like all the WP/KM agitators, but the straight vanes and surgilators are my overall favorites.

It's the center dial that gets me though. I had no idea we had these were in the US this early.

Looking at the black face Kenmores today in 2017 I think they are still handsome machines that have held up extremely can see the difference in quality of those old Kenmores compared to what's out there now.

Post# 967109 , Reply# 21   11/9/2017 at 23:45 (319 days old) by 70series ( Connecticut.)        

These were pretty popular. My aunt, my friend's mom, and two other neighbors all had the original 1970 standard models of these with the basic features. Definitely was my favorite model to watch in action.

Looks like the avocado one has the plastic tub ring. I knew these models ran into 1972, but could this one be a 1973 issue?

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