Thread Number: 74668  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
1950s Kenmore automatic washer
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Post# 984771   3/1/2018 at 06:54 (206 days old) by Justingray87 (Taylorsville North Carolina )        

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Can anyone tell me anything about this Kenmore washing machine I just bought?

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Post# 984772 , Reply# 1   3/1/2018 at 07:22 (206 days old) by countryford (Phoenix, AZ)        

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First off, I want to say Welcome to our group. There is a great wealth of information on vintage appliances here. Not just washers and dryers. I have been a part of this group for just about 12 years now. I have received machines, parts and lots of information from the many members here. Not to mention several friendships.

As far as the machine is concerned, I personally can't give much information on it. But I'm sure there are some that could help you out.
Does the Kenmore work?

Post# 984773 , Reply# 2   3/1/2018 at 07:35 (206 days old) by Justingray87 (Taylorsville North Carolina )        

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I plugged it in and I hear the motor hum. It was sitting in an abandoned shop for the last forty years or so. Iím guessing it needs everything. This is my first project! Iíve had many wringer washers over the years which is what we currently use to wash with. Iím so glad to join the group! I want to get this up and running. For 30 dollars I think it was a good buy?

Post# 984776 , Reply# 3   3/1/2018 at 07:51 (206 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
It looks really nice!

Welcome! I'm sure the experts will chime in with more info.

Post# 984778 , Reply# 4   3/1/2018 at 07:54 (206 days old) by countryford (Phoenix, AZ)        

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$30 is definitely a good price for that. Since it has been sitting for the past 40 years, the hoses will most likely need to be replaced. The rubber tends to get hard and gets brittle. Being that this is a 60+ year old machine, the parts are hard to come by. You may have to do some creative thinking to figure out hoses for it. Not only local appliance shops but also your local auto parts store. I can't remember how many times I've taken a hose into Autozone for a washer to get replaced. When there they usually ask me what it is for. I get a weird look when I tell them it is for a washing machine.

You said you could hear it hum, did you turn the knob to see if the tub spins or the agitator agitates?

Towards the top of this page, there is a link titled "Manuals & Literature" It consist of owners manuals as well as service manuals for many different machines. I saw some early 50's service manuals for Kenmores. Wouldn't be a bad idea to download it. They do cost a little bit, but not much. You can use PayPal to pay for it.

By the way, Justin here.

Post# 984782 , Reply# 5   3/1/2018 at 08:07 (206 days old) by Justingray87 (Taylorsville North Carolina )        

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Iím Justin as well! The motor just hums the belt isnít spinning so Iím guessing something is frozen up. I have no idea where to begin. Iím guessing the agitator should spin by hand with the machine off? I canít move it. I will certainly check out those manuals. Not an appliance repair man by any means lol!

Post# 984785 , Reply# 6   3/1/2018 at 08:21 (206 days old) by peteski50 (New York)        

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Justin welcome to the club - you got a real gem the attached seems similar to your machine.
Best Of Luck

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Post# 984786 , Reply# 7   3/1/2018 at 08:28 (206 days old) by peteski50 (New York)        

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BTW can you take pictures of the interior and a closeup of the dials?

Post# 984788 , Reply# 8   3/1/2018 at 08:41 (206 days old) by Frigidaireguy (Wiston-Salem, NC)        

This is a great find. I love to find the older washers & dryers. My name is Bob and I live in Winston-Salem. I have a number of washer & dryers and would love for you to come over and see them if you like. My aunt had a Kenmore washer very similar to yours. I would love to see a close up pic of the console and also a pic of the inside which in the club here we call a "Money Shot". There are several members of the club that live in the surrounding areas. We occasionally get together and work on machines and would love to have you join us. Once again let me say WELCOME !!!!


Post# 984789 , Reply# 9   3/1/2018 at 09:12 (206 days old) by Justingray87 (Taylorsville North Carolina )        

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Post# 984790 , Reply# 10   3/1/2018 at 09:18 (206 days old) by peteski50 (New York)        

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Thanks much - again welcome!

Post# 984795 , Reply# 11   3/1/2018 at 09:45 (206 days old) by sfh074 ( )        
improved money shot pic best I could

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Post# 984796 , Reply# 12   3/1/2018 at 09:52 (206 days old) by Justingray87 (Taylorsville North Carolina )        

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Hey Bob, thanks for the welcome! Iíd love to see your collection sometime. Theyíre very hard to find these days. I bought this machine off Facebook believe it or not over in Mount Pilot. Iíve never rebuilt one so Iíll need lots of advice! I used to have several vintage automatics I bought at a used appliance store when I lived in Washington State for work. I could kick myself for leaving them behind. They were pretty easy to find out there and I took it for granted :( Iíve included a picture of a dryer I bought out there I left in the basement when I moved.

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Post# 984798 , Reply# 13   3/1/2018 at 10:11 (206 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        

motor might only have rust buildup between rotor and stator and can be "cracked"loose with a wrench on the pulley :)

Post# 984800 , Reply# 14   3/1/2018 at 10:25 (206 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

From your first photo, it looks like you found one of the rare early 24" wide machines. Congratulations and welcome!

Post# 984801 , Reply# 15   3/1/2018 at 10:30 (206 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

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A GE monitor top fridge next to the dryer! Hope you didn't leave that behind?

Post# 984802 , Reply# 16   3/1/2018 at 10:33 (206 days old) by justingray87 (Taylorsville North Carolina )        

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I did a quick measure on it and it is 24". Any idea on the year approximately?

Post# 984805 , Reply# 17   3/1/2018 at 10:38 (206 days old) by peteski50 (New York)        

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This is 1957 to my knowledge - I think!

Post# 984808 , Reply# 18   3/1/2018 at 10:45 (206 days old) by mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        
Welcome, Justin

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Looks like very early 50's. If you look at the model number, it will start with 110. The two numbers after that are the year of production.

Interested n your current wringer; love them myself. Welcome to the club. If I may, what did you do in Washington state?

Odd not to see a "SUDS" on the dial of a machine of that vintage.

Post# 984813 , Reply# 19   3/1/2018 at 11:05 (206 days old) by justingray87 (Taylorsville North Carolina )        

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The model number on this one is 5704110. I transferred with Lockheed Martin from Georgia, my home state, out there. We hated the weather and moved back south. Of course it's pouring rain here in North Carolina today!

Post# 984817 , Reply# 20   3/1/2018 at 12:04 (206 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
A Blast from the Past!

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Until I read through this thread, I never knew Mount Pilot actually existed!

Post# 984818 , Reply# 21   3/1/2018 at 12:53 (206 days old) by mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        
Thank You

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Pete was spot-on, a 57. Check out the wringer in the ad Pete posted. What a beautiful beast, full-skirted without the central seam, sporting a lid-mounted filter. What a treat, another "Never Seen!"

There are a lot of Wringer Men here, Justin, who love them as much as they do their automatics. When you get time, share your wringer history.


Post# 984819 , Reply# 22   3/1/2018 at 12:55 (206 days old) by mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        
Sorry, Ladies:Wringer PEOPLE

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Post# 984822 , Reply# 23   3/1/2018 at 13:16 (206 days old) by Justingray87 (Taylorsville North Carolina )        

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My Maytag wringer was the first appliance I picked up probably age13ish? Itís not worth anything other than the fact itís old faithful and my spouse wonít use anything else! Weíve had several automatics over our marriage but that wringer still got used more! Plus it looks great on the porch of our 1905 home 😉

Post# 984824 , Reply# 24   3/1/2018 at 13:56 (206 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        
Let's see a pic

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of t on the pourch! Bet it looks cool.
What about the monitor top?

Post# 984825 , Reply# 25   3/1/2018 at 13:57 (206 days old) by countryford (Phoenix, AZ)        

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Out of the two of you, who does the laundry more? Out of my husband and I, he does more of the laundry than I do. Our everyday set is a bit newer, but still older. The washer is a 1990 Lady Kenmore and the dryer is a 1987 Limited Edition Kenmore. The older machines are out in the garage and I play with them more. We only have one wringer, a Maytag from the 1920s with a gas powered engine to run it. I need to restore it and get it running.

Post# 984826 , Reply# 26   3/1/2018 at 14:14 (206 days old) by justingray87 (Taylorsville North Carolina )        

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I actually had to leave the monitor top at my house in Georgia when I sold it as the buyers made it part of the deal. Every house I've sold people always want my antique stove and refrigerator! Tim probably does more laundry than I do. I love the looks of it but it really is a pain in the butt to use it twice a week haha! I'm hoping I can get this new Kenmore up to speed as a backup up for rainy days so that every wash day can be a holiday as the ad says!

Post# 984827 , Reply# 27   3/1/2018 at 14:35 (206 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

Well, I grew up in Lenoir and now live in Mocksville, If you get a chance to go see Bob in Winston, he really has some great stuff and is a nice guy, If you are at all interested in vacuum cleaners and small appliances, then come see me, I have about 1000 or close to it vacuums and a bunch of other stuff, I have many old Sears catalogues from the 50s for reference.

Post# 984828 , Reply# 28   3/1/2018 at 14:49 (206 days old) by justingray87 (Taylorsville North Carolina )        

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Awesome! Yes I'd love too. We moved here right before Christmas to enjoy the four seasons. Georgia was just to hot but I didn't want to leave the south. I like small appliances as well. I have about six percolators and some other small vintage appliances but nowhere close to 1,000. I used to have a bunch of antique tvs but the repair bill was breaking me every time the repair man came out to replace capacitors or what not.

Post# 984829 , Reply# 29   3/1/2018 at 14:52 (206 days old) by countryford (Phoenix, AZ)        

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I have a collection of TV sets as well. You can see in my profile picture a 1956 Philco, next to me. I do have some others as well.

Post# 984857 , Reply# 30   3/1/2018 at 16:39 (206 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        
Nice machine!

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Unplug it, and grab the belt, and see if you can move it. Maybe just stuck from sitting.

Post# 984861 , Reply# 31   3/1/2018 at 16:57 (206 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Justin, welcome.  I hope the experts will give you all the information you need to get this wonderful machine up & running!!  You found a jewel!!  I used to chat with a guy that lives in Taylorsville!!!  Bob

Post# 984865 , Reply# 32   3/1/2018 at 17:54 (206 days old) by Losangeles (Muscle Shoals, AL 35661)        
1950's Kenmore

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I am drooling over your jewel of a find.  My mother had a 1950's Kenmore only the lid opened from front to back.  She used to stand me up in it to get me out from under foot.  Fell in love with washing machines from that point on.  You have just entered the University of Washing Machines.  Can't wait to see this beauty up and running.  Keep us posted.

Post# 984868 , Reply# 33   3/1/2018 at 18:11 (206 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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My grandmother had a similar 24" model from the 50's but the lid opened front to back, no temp control, had 1 hose and set at faucet, no lint filter but the same winged agitator cap and Kenmore label.

Post# 984887 , Reply# 34   3/1/2018 at 20:44 (206 days old) by glhturbo2 (Reidsville, NC)        
Welcome fellow North Carolinian!

Hello and welcome to this great site! I live slightly north of Greensboro in Reidsville, NC. I just moved to the area from Rockford, IL in 2016. I also started collecting the wringer washers and it blossomed to automatics. My first washer, in fact, was the match to the 1954 Whirlpool dryer you pictured. Now I have about 20 machines. Great find you have there! It always amazes me what is still out there lurking in the shadows and waiting to be discovered.
I hope you stick around and can make it up to see Bob's collection. He is a great host and a great cook! There are a lot of great members who are great hosts as well. All within a few hour drive from here. I plan to host a get together sometime in the Spring, we close on our first home this month. Feel free to get in touch, great to see another younger member!


Post# 984919 , Reply# 35   3/2/2018 at 06:34 (205 days old) by Justingray87 (Taylorsville North Carolina )        

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I appreciate the welcome guys! My parents thought I was nuts as a kid dragging home old appliances. Iím glad to know Iím not the only one with a love for these machines! Iíve included a picture of me as a teenager inspecting a Bendix I believe?

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Post# 984921 , Reply# 36   3/2/2018 at 07:04 (205 days old) by lesto (Atlanta)        

Welcome to the club, Justin! This is Les in Atlanta. Right now I have three vintage washers: a 1962 Maytag, a 1968 Speed Queen and a mid 70's Norge. I love the older Kenmores so you should have a lot of fun with this one. My husband thinks I'm nuts with my vintage appliance obsession but he never complains when I bring another machine home. I got hooked on vintage washers when I was about four years old. Keep us posted on your progress with the Kenmore.

Post# 984925 , Reply# 37   3/2/2018 at 07:42 (205 days old) by Frigidaireguy (Wiston-Salem, NC)        
1953 Bendix Duomatic

If I'm not mistaken that is a '53 Bendix Duomatic (the first made). Don't you wish you still had that one.

Post# 984935 , Reply# 38   3/2/2018 at 08:09 (205 days old) by justingray87 (Taylorsville North Carolina )        

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I sure do. When I moved out my dad scrapped them all. He saved the knob with the date written on it of when he hauled them off. Just to piss me off I think!

Post# 984936 , Reply# 39   3/2/2018 at 08:10 (205 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Cool 57 Kenmore Automatic

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Welcome to the site Justin


The 57 is a cool find, it is always fun to find the more basic models as well as the TOL machines we all seem to love.


This 24" wide machine was popular for its slightly lower price and smaller size which allowed it to fit in kitchens and apartments where the full sized machines would not fit. Very few 24" machines had the Suds-Saver option, again because there usually was no laundry tub since the machine was purchased to fit in a smaller space.


This washer could be turned into a fairly reliable machine, but certainly needs a good going over if you expect it to work properly and last very long. It would be easy to add a Suds-Saver which would make it work well if you also use your WWs much. The water capacity of the 24" washers is 16 gallons and they were rated for 8 pound loads of cotton fabrics.


Since it won't run try loosing the motor mount at the base plate and get the belt off the pulleys, then you can see if the motor is free to turn etc, the water pump is the most likley item to size and of course the belt may just be rusted to the pulleys.


I have any parts you might need to rebuild this washer, a few years ago I rebuilt several BD WPs for myself and others and I need to schedule another rebuilding session as I have several other machines I want to do, when I do this you might want to bring this one up and do it at the same time. Get in touch some time for details.


John L.

Post# 984939 , Reply# 40   3/2/2018 at 08:19 (205 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Hi Justin, welcome to I also agree with previous posts saying the most likely culprit is the water pump being frozen up by old water scale.

There is a three part service manual to these Kenmore Machines available on Automatic Ephemera if you wish.

Kenmore Washer Service Manual Part 1
Kenmore Washer Service Manual Part 2
Kenmore Washer Service Manual Part 3

This is a 1957 Model, here is the Fall/Winter '57 Sears Catalog page with your washer, it was sold for $144.95 (which is $1282.74 in today's dollars)...

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Post# 984951 , Reply# 41   3/2/2018 at 09:46 (205 days old) by justingray87 (Taylorsville North Carolina )        

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I'm going to start tearing it apart next week. Should I start with the water pump then? I'll post pics before I start and as I progress. This will be my first project.

Post# 984957 , Reply# 42   3/2/2018 at 10:46 (205 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I believe that the 24" dryer to match this washer is in the Beltsville Museum. I remember when it was found.

Post# 984959 , Reply# 43   3/2/2018 at 10:59 (205 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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The KM above has no water temp control, the descriptions says "manual water temperature selection" ... meaning via the tap faucets.† Yours has a control for Warm, Med, Hot.

Post# 984975 , Reply# 44   3/2/2018 at 13:33 (205 days old) by bradross (New Westminster, BC., Canada)        
Ditto what Mike said about your wringers ...

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Hello Justin,

Wow, what a response to both your membership here as well as your post! I must say - even though I'm mainly a "wringer man" - that Kenmore looks great! I'm sure you'll keep us posted on the restoration process. Fantastic that you have some fellow club members close-by in N.C.

I must say something, as I'm sure some other older members of the club will attest, it's great to see younger guys taking an interest in these old machines. They'll live on for another generation! Hopefully, the interest keeps getting passed down.

In a separate thread at some point, please post some pics of your wringer(s).

Have fun!


P.S. chucked at your comment about hating the weather in the Pacific Northwest. After 32 years here, I'm starting to feel the same!

Post# 984976 , Reply# 45   3/2/2018 at 14:31 (205 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        
Whirlpool counterpart

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This advertisement appeared in the October 1956 issue of 'House+Home' magazine.  I assume that the ad is promoting 1957 appliances, and if so, here's Whirlpool's 24'inch washer and matching dryer.  These were being promoted to the builder market.



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Post# 985242 , Reply# 46   3/4/2018 at 11:55 (203 days old) by Justingray87 (Taylorsville North Carolina )        

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The motor still hums but I have the belt where I can turn it by hand. I have some wires hanging that appear to connect to a mystery part?

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Post# 985245 , Reply# 47   3/4/2018 at 13:07 (203 days old) by Justingray87 (Taylorsville North Carolina )        

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Post# 985247 , Reply# 48   3/4/2018 at 13:18 (203 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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your missing the wigwag on the trasmission and a fill valve, which according to the temp selector might be a 3 solenoid version....

consider bringing this to DC for a workshop rebuild, I would love to see the rebuild of this unique machine......

is the filter cartridge missing too?

Post# 985265 , Reply# 49   3/4/2018 at 15:49 (203 days old) by Justingray87 (Taylorsville North Carolina )        

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Iím not sure about the filter cartridge. Would it be possible for me to buy these parts?

Post# 985298 , Reply# 50   3/4/2018 at 20:10 (203 days old) by Washerlover (Lake County, California: Wines With Altitude)        

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I agree with Martin ó looks like the wig-wag is missing. Not sure if a modern replacement would work...

Post# 985320 , Reply# 51   3/4/2018 at 21:56 (203 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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The wigwag is definitely missing, the plungers are sitting askew with nothing to anchor them from above.† A new-style wigwag will work but the plungers will also have to be changed to the newer style.

There's no way for it to shift into (or out of) agitate or spin (other than by someone manually moving the cam bars) without the wigwag (aka control magnet assembly).

Post# 985327 , Reply# 52   3/4/2018 at 22:53 (203 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        
Last in line

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Welcome, Justin! I hope you enjoy the stay and get your machine(s) working as you like.


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