Thread Number: 81454  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
US front loaders from the 70s and 80s
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 1054924   12/20/2019 at 13:12 by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Aside from Westinghouse, which brands made front load washers during the 70s and 80s for home use? Post pictures if you can!


Also, what is the model of Westinghouse front loader they made during that time?

Post# 1054925 , Reply# 1   12/20/2019 at 13:27 by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

goatfarmer's profile picture

Most of the WCI brands, such as Kelvinator, had front loaders.

Post# 1054935 , Reply# 2   12/20/2019 at 15:01 by Lotsosudz (Sacramento, CA)        
WCI had many brands

lotsosudz's profile picture
Gibson was another WCI brand that a pretty long run. Marginal quality, but were produced for quite a while.

Post# 1054942 , Reply# 3   12/20/2019 at 18:15 by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        

as far as I know,"3-belt"westinghouse was the only US front load for home use during the 1970s-80s-these were sold under the usual WCI brands and I have seen "Kenmore"3-belt westy machines too.

Post# 1054952 , Reply# 4   12/20/2019 at 20:26 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Far as one knows

launderess's profile picture
Only Westinghouse (later White-Westinghouse) was last (and only) domestic USA producer of H-axis washing machines by 1960's -1970's. Once WCI got their mitts on Westinghouse appliances (if not maybe before) you saw many various brand names, but under the bonnet all were Westinghouse.

Post# 1054956 , Reply# 5   12/20/2019 at 21:03 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
It is important to remember absent early attempts by Launderall, Bendix, GE, Maytag and others who built either early H-axis washers, and or combo W/D units the USA appliance market was just not interested in such machines. American housewives went from wash tubs to wringers to top loading automatics by and large.

Much of this is has we've discussed many times here in group; Bendix held all important patents on H-axis washers. If anyone didn't want to pay up, they had to invest in R&D to find ways around. This often meant complicated designs and or very expensive (relative to top loading) washing machines. Most housewives just stuck with what they knew and could afford.

Indeed were it not for US government forcing energy restrictions down people's throats it is highly doubtful front loading washers would have seen explosion of growth over past few decades. It wasn't that long ago only European brands (Asko, Miele, Creda) and various rebranded Italian (Malber) or later Asian built units were only things on offer.

Post# 1054984 , Reply# 6   12/21/2019 at 00:57 by bradfordwhite (space coast)        

bradfordwhite's profile picture

I didn't even know there were any residential FL washer left in the 70s. 


All I remember was in the late 80s seeing a WCI machine in an independent appliance store called Speeds Appliance's for the first time and was like   whoaaaa.... mind blown.   I thought, I would never use a front loader.


But I'm so glad they came out and I was intro'd to the Duet in 2007. 


Let's face it, the 70s was probably the decade of wastefulness.  Big heavy cars, uninsulated homes, clunky appliances,....  We needed the oil crisis to slap us into consciousness.  

Post# 1054987 , Reply# 7   12/21/2019 at 01:59 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Sure there were front loaders in 1970's

launderess's profile picture
Westinghouse even joined the "Harvest Gold" or "Avocado" color schemes that were all rage then as well.

Westinghouse long with Bendix introduced front loaders to American consumer market. Bendix eventually only concentrated on commercial h-axis washers, but Westinghouse kept with it until WCI finally gave up.

Westinghouse/WCI sold decent numbers of those washers and matching dryers in NYC and many other areas where high density housing often meant space for laundry appliances was tight. These were the only washers/dryers that handled full size loads one could have built in under counter. Thus a boon for apartment dwellers, persons who wanted laundry in kitchen or any other area besides basement.

You know Westinghouse was serious when they signed Miss. Pearl Bailey as their spokesperson.

Pity that WCI ended things with Westinghouse front loaders. Had they continued to invest R&D who knows; might have even beat or bested Maytag's Neptune.

Post# 1055013 , Reply# 8   12/21/2019 at 08:32 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Kenmore combo washer/dryer frontloaders were available until 1971.  GE went to 1972.

Weren't WCI/Westinghouse/Gibson/Frigidaire/etc. frontloaders available in the 1980s if not 1990s?  Maytag promoted the Neptune in 1997 as if it was something that never previously existed ... marketing.

Post# 1055045 , Reply# 9   12/21/2019 at 16:31 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Totally forgot about White-Westinghouse

launderess's profile picture
White-Westinghouse, Frigidaire, Gibson, and Sears/Kenmore brands of front loaders were introduced in early 1990's (1992 want to say).

IIRC it was our webmaster or another member who contacted Maytag and set them straight about Neptune washers being "first" or whatever front loaders in USA.

It was a dumb claim to make as clearly Westinghouse (later White Consolidated Industries (WCI) now White-Westinghouse) washers weren't that distant a memory. This even if Maytag's people were ignorant of Bendix, Launderall, GE history.

White Consolidated Industries (WCI) was purchased by Electrolux in 1986, becoming White-Westinghouse. Interestingly owners of Westinghouse Appliances (CBS) still own rights (now CBS/Viacom) to Westinghouse brand, Electrolux merely has a licensing agreement.

Over years a few members have had various Frigidaire and other front loaders from White-Westinghouse/Electrolux.

Post# 1055050 , Reply# 10   12/21/2019 at 17:30 by appliguy (Oakton Va.)        
Actually Launderess

appliguy's profile picture
Westinghouse sold its major appliance division to White Consolidated industries in 1975 and that is when Westinghouse major appliances became known as White Westinghouse! In 1986 WCI was bought by AB Electrolux who then renamed WCI The Frigidaire appliance group. WCI had bought Frigidaire in 1980. PAT COFFEY

Post# 1055051 , Reply# 11   12/21/2019 at 17:46 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Not all WH front loaders were three belt units. When Electrolux tried their hand at modifying the WH FL, they put an electronic motor controller in it. Some of you might have seen the Kenmore Dual Tumble washer which was the Electrolux machine with reversing tumble action. At first they had the original tub with two offset vanes.

Also in the 90s, I think, Amana was trying to introduce a Front Loader, but they had trouble with the design and sold the business to Speed Queen.

Post# 1055052 , Reply# 12   12/21/2019 at 17:58 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Pat Coffey

launderess's profile picture
Then guess I muddled Wikipedia information.

Post# 1055061 , Reply# 13   12/21/2019 at 19:03 by bradfordwhite (space coast)        
Nice video of the Harvest gold FL washing

bradfordwhite's profile picture

I almost forgot the 1983 proper demonstration of how to use a FL in Mr. Mom.  Don't know what year the washer was but most likely something from mid-70s.


And where are the catalogs/brochures for WCI?   I've seen Sears, Whirlpool, GE, Maytag, JCPennys, Wards, and even other off brands..... have I just not paid attention to WCI or is there no literature for them?

CLICK HERE TO GO TO bradfordwhite's LINK

  View Full Size
Post# 1055127 , Reply# 14   12/22/2019 at 10:49 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Front Loading Washers In The US

combo52's profile picture

Were pretty much always available from some version of WHs FL washers.


When WCLs WH designed FL washer was purchased by Electrolux around 1986, they stopped selling FL machines for about 6 months as they redesigned the three belt FL washer that had been built since 1959 to a one belt design which came to market in June of 89. This is when Sears got a FL washer again [ there was never a 3 belt kenmore FL washer ]


This machine stayed in production through 1994 and then in 97 an all new Electrolux FL design came out along the time MT came out with the Neptune FL washer.


And laundry history is still unfolding today over 20 years later.


John L.

Post# 1055130 , Reply# 15   12/22/2019 at 11:10 by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

ea56's profile picture
I bought a new White Westinghouse FL and dryer in October of 1987 for $995.00. This was one of the very best washers I ever owned, if not the best. Seven trouble fee years for us.


Post# 1055232 , Reply# 16   12/23/2019 at 11:14 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
‘70’s-‘80’s of these in those time-frames:

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
Hardly a “Harvest”-Golden-era for front-loaders, once the ease of loading and unloading top-loaders dominated the washing machine market, despite the fact water efficiency being strived for had simultaneously taken a back seat...

I picture a variant of a Montgomery Ward Signature or “underline” Montgomery Ward model, a Westinghouse/White-Westinghouse with an accommodating Norge back-guard/control panel for the TOL sporting such, while whatever other models keep the controls over the door, along with other retailers sourcing their F-L’s along with or outside of their regular product-line, before imagining Sears really stepping out of their Whirlpool-supplied box, during this sort of era, riding on the die-hard success of every Kenmore being a top-loader vs. fearing any loss of sales due to this type of competition or maybe whatever examples, otherwise, I’ve just never seen...

— Dave

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