Thread Number: 79318  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Speaking of appliances that Kmart had before Kenmore...
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Post# 1032450   5/12/2019 at 10:23 by Kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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I noticed and enjoyed Greg’s revived thread from 2010 regarding the appliances that Kmart carried before Kenmore.

I wanted to ask the experts, do I accurately recall Whirlpool in some Kmart stores in the mid 1970s? I would estimate approx 1975. I had seen a ‘one knob wonder’ type BOL Whirlpool washer, with the full slanted panel, but no controls besides a timer, thus a fixed water level and timer set temps.

I am pretty sure this was in one of the Detroit area Kmart stores. Besides the single control knob, I would swear the machine had a semi transparent Surgilator agitator instead of WP white.

Does anyone have recollections of these too or have more details?


Post# 1032454 , Reply# 1   5/12/2019 at 10:44 by appnut (TX)        

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Gordon, yes, they had Whirlpool too.  When I bought my 1st house in 1980 neighbors (and a coworker) lived down the street and they'd gotten married in like 1976 or 1975.  They had a harvest gold Frigidaire and WP washer & dryer set, all purchased from Kmart.  

Post# 1032455 , Reply# 2   5/12/2019 at 11:03 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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WP for sure had BOL, one-knob models through the years.  I don't recall any semi-transparent agitators but that is not to say maybe I just never saw one.

WP at KMart for sure during that time frame, typically middle- to low-end models in my recollection.

Another discount/department store in a nearby city, FedMart, also carried WP.  It was where I saw an LAA9800 pair (in avocado), first time for running across a TOL WP model anywhere.


Post# 1032458 , Reply# 3   5/12/2019 at 11:37 by appnut (TX)        

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We had a FedMart less than2 miles from our old house.  I think that store was in that location until the late 1960s or early 1970s.  I remember being in the store a few times (had to have been between 1959 and August 1961).  I remember they had a TOL Maytag washer & dryer (the all-button Washer).  I remember one shopping trip there my mom got me a Skip Stick and she also got a new laundry basket in the same pale yellow.  It's extremely similar to the laundry basket that was in yesterday's Salvo POD.  I used that laundry basket all through college and beyond.  I still have it.  Incidentally, the basket is such that it fits on the seat of my walker and that's what I am now using rather than getting one of those carts I inquired about a week or so ago.  And the basket filled up is a full load in the Duet.  I remember when I was little, that basket full was 2 loads in the GE and just about full was a full load for the Norge15.  

Post# 1032459 , Reply# 4   5/12/2019 at 11:53 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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our Kmart had Whirlpool and GE appliances....

I only seen one agitator like Gordon mentioned, but it was sort of like a frosted look/color to it....just seemed like an odd one....I always thought it was a mishap during production....

also seen the Super Surgilator with a blue tint to it.....I thought it was a dye transfer/stain, or reflecting the color from the tub....but as I came across more, I figured it was a color they were shooting for...

places like TwoGuys and Dee's Appliances had every brand and model on display...

interesting when buying from certain places as to what you got....from Sears, or even now, Lowes and HomeDepot, you select a machine, they order it, and a new one coms from the warehouse....

places like Kmart/TwoGuys/Dee's.....the model you picked on the floor is the exact machine you got....

thing was, places like Kmart didn't basically bought it like anything else, load on a cart, and through the register, right out the front bought it, and were taking it home long as you had a truck, or a friend with one....

Post# 1032526 , Reply# 5   5/13/2019 at 09:47 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

We had GEMCO (Government Employees membership something or other).  By the time I got up here in 1976, the stores were MEMCO which maybe stood for Membership Co. I started looking for a portable dishwasher. They had WP, which I wanted because I knew how important the upper wash arm was, but the model they were offering had the shorter white upper wash arm. When I went home, there was a Kmart near the Krogers where I took mom to shop. I ducked into the Kmart and saw a newer model of WP with a longer, blue upper wash arm. Shortly after that KA came out with the 18 series and my cheap dishwasher project changed course.

Post# 1032540 , Reply# 6   5/13/2019 at 11:00 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
We had a store in Lenoir NC called Ames

They sold Westinghouse I know, I don't remember what else, but the KMart moved into that building when they left, I remember them having some appliances but im not sure what, I think GE, then we had a Woolworth at the mall that sold Whirlpool.

Post# 1032610 , Reply# 7   5/14/2019 at 09:47 by golittlesport (California)        
Maybe I'm crazy...

but I seem to remember Kmart selling Westinghouse top loaders when they were first introduced, must have been 1965. It was the first time I saw a Westy top loader in person. I also recall Norge wringer washers, with a big sticker on the tub advertising a power rinse, which made me wonder what in the heck that was.

Post# 1032616 , Reply# 8   5/14/2019 at 11:13 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

That power rinse was part of the "extract" portion of the cycle where a static drain became a spin drain accompanied by a spray rinse.

Post# 1032632 , Reply# 9   5/14/2019 at 13:33 by Washerlover (Lake County, California: Wines With Altitude)        

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But would there have been a spin drain in a wringer washer?

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