Thread Number: 82972  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
A Few of my Favorite Things
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Post# 1072279   5/13/2020 at 09:36 (1,382 days old) by SpiralDasher (North East Ohio)        

Over the course of about one year now, I have had the pleasure of acquiring three wonderful matched sets, various unmatched washers and dryers, and other small appliances. It is the purpose of this thread, however, to show those three aforementioned matched sets.

The first set I acquired on a trip up to Michigan to visit a good friend. It is a 1953 Kenmore bugeye suds-saver set. The washer I have yet to fill with water however all apparent leaks were fixed prior to my receiving it. The machine however works just fine and is the sturdiest Whirlpool-built machine I have ever been present to. The gas dryer tumbles well but I have yet to hook it up to gas. The only thing that the machines seem to need is a new washer timer motor.

The second set I acquired was this 1955 Westinghouse slant front washer and dryer pair. They still need a good cleaning on the outside but neither shows even a bit of rust. The washer tumbles fine, however it needs a new spin solenoid, pump, and timer motor. Those parts I do have to fix them with. The dryer is currently untested. The set was found at an estate sale through an online listing and was in service from 1955 through 2019 until the spin solenoid gave out. I would guess that in that sitting period the pump seized and the timer motor gave out. That estate sale was quite an experience too. I was able to get many a wonderful small appliance and nice dishes there.

The final set that I gathered up was this avocado green circa 1974 (to the best of my knowledge) Speed Queen solid tub set. They were still in service up until the owner passed. I purchased them a week or so after, along with the original Easy Spindryer. The washer works wonderfully and I currently have it in service as my main washing machine. The dryer works wonderfully too but doesn't heat. That is to be figured out this summer. I was made known of these by a fellow collector via an online listing and promptly purchased them the day after.

If either of the two people who helped me acquire the first and last sets would like to reveal themselves, that is at their own discretion. I do however greatly appreciate their help.

If anyone has comments on any of these machines, be it the exact ones I now have, or the models in general, I would find it wonderful to hear. Washing ability, comparisons to other models, pros/cons, personal opinions, stories and whatever else is all welcome and hoped for.

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Post# 1072302 , Reply# 1   5/13/2020 at 12:03 (1,382 days old) by Mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        
Hi Chris ~

mickeyd's profile picture
Interesting to see a Pushbutton TOL Frogeye. Easy to forget that there were TOL's before TOL became a thing, (smile).

Is the Apex you're working on a Spiral Dasher? That is one agitator I still long for.

Would be fun to see pix of your Wringer collection after the teaser pic in the Shopper's Forum. You have TWELVE of them; that's quite a number!

Post# 1072310 , Reply# 2   5/13/2020 at 12:34 (1,382 days old) by SpiralDasher (North East Ohio)        
But of course!

Here's a look at my non-automatic machines. Missing from this picture are a 1930s green tub Speed Queen, a 1940s Apex Spiral Dasher washer, a 1940s Easy Spindrier, and all but one of my apartment sized machines. The apartment size machines don't have good photos because I have yet to group them together. As far as the machines pictured go: 1915 or so Woodrowasher, 1920 Easy triple cone washer, 1940 Maytag with the first successful low-drive, 1935 AMC made by Prima which later became Beam, baking the basis for all sorts of fun automatics (On this machine, one pulls up on a knob on the top of the agitator-a wildly finicky design), 1950 or so Apex Spiral Dasher wringer, 1950 or so Speed Queen wringer with lint filter, 1952 Conlon wringer, 1950 or so GE wringer, 1940s Monitor apartment size washer, 1953 Kenmore wringer, 1960 Speed Queen wringer, 1967 Kenmore wringer, 1960s Hoover Twin Tub, 1970s Hoover twin tub with automatic rinse, and then a row of 6 wonderful Easy Spindriers.

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Post# 1072328 , Reply# 3   5/13/2020 at 14:37 (1,382 days old) by Gyrafoam (Wytheville, VA)        

I have a friend here in Roanoke,VA with a Frog-Eye washer very similar to yours. It still works perfectly and operates very quietly for it's age. I find the extra row of slots at the very top of the tub allows for more water to diffuse on the spray rinses and makes them more effective than later models. My '55 Frog-eye is one of my best rinsers. I do not recall that, back in the day. My memories of the old Whirly/Kenmore's is that they ALL liked to sudz-lock and needed every one of those "Seven Rinses"!

Beautiful SQ set. The washers are really very good and clean very well. I use my 1968 all the time. They also handle un-balanced loads very well for a solid-tub machine. Love the snapping solenoids! They can also be quirky. With mine you can mark the calendar, every two years it will need the belt tightened just a titch. Oh, and if one of those giant solenoids ever burns-up it will smoke like a tire-fire!

You have some nice machines!

Post# 1072343 , Reply# 4   5/13/2020 at 16:09 (1,381 days old) by SpiralDasher (North East Ohio)        

My Speed Queen is late enough to be of the reversing motor variety. It reminds me of a Maytag in the way it progresses through the cycle. I think that I got a bit of an oddball too: the agitator is white, and the wash tub is white porcelain. The dryer drum is also galvanized steel rather than stainless steel. I have also found that it will handle unbalanced loads exceedingly well. While it appears to be completely motionless in spin, the 1977 Filter Flo I have in place beside it is prone to shake itself off the ledge it's on if I don't attend to it.

I have yet to put my 53 Kenmores into service but once I do, they'll be the first suds saver machines I have ever used.

Another note to the Speed Queen: I found that to a certain point, I can cram clothes in it but once it goes into the wash it is as if I still underloaded it. It handles almost any wash load with ease.

Post# 1072348 , Reply# 5   5/13/2020 at 16:45 (1,381 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        
Hi Spiral

akronman's profile picture
Quite a collection!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I'm very glad a few of my old machines went to an appreciative collector, and I know they need work.
My frogeyes aren't pushbutton, you have a unique set there, congratulations. ME and others here can offer advice when you get to working on it, and the suds saver parts for Kenmore/Whirlpool were very common, you'll entirely enjoy suds-saving on that.
Major jealousy on your matched set Westy's, everyone here will be eager to see pics and offer advice on the repairs.
Ain't the solid tub SQ a unique experience?
Glad to see you posting, you've done good work and can both teach and learn here--

Post# 1072362 , Reply# 6   5/13/2020 at 18:31 (1,381 days old) by countryford (Phoenix, AZ)        

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I have a frog-eye Kenmore dryer like yours.It is also gas and I've not yet hooked it up to gas to test that. Everything else on it works.

Post# 1072378 , Reply# 7   5/13/2020 at 20:01 (1,381 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

maytag85's profile picture
I want to own a 50ís or 60ís Kenmore or Whirlpool belt drive set one of these days but most are across the country away from from me...

Post# 1072398 , Reply# 8   5/13/2020 at 22:15 (1,381 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Nice Collection Chris

combo52's profile picture

I think the early Kenmore pair that I have must be about 1 year newer than yours, they have about the same features but the trim is nicer and both the timer dials and the multi colored buttons are lighted, I would imagine that my pair was the first KM W&D with lighted controls.

John L.

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Post# 1072400 , Reply# 9   5/13/2020 at 22:35 (1,381 days old) by SpiralDasher (North East Ohio)        

Mine has lighted controls and a lighted tub too! Attached are pictures of the washer.

Mark, the Speed Queen is a joy to use.

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Post# 1072401 , Reply# 10   5/13/2020 at 22:38 (1,381 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Lighted Controls

combo52's profile picture

Very Cool Chris, I was not sure about your model, are the push buttons lighted as well ?


John L.

Post# 1072403 , Reply# 11   5/13/2020 at 22:52 (1,381 days old) by SpiralDasher (North East Ohio)        

The buttons themselves do not light up, rather the plastic piece around them by way of a light under the buttons. The timer escutcheon lights up in a ring around the edge of the decorative plastic circle containing the blue color and cycle sequence using two lights. As with any lighted panel, it looks better in the dark. However, it is much more easily seen in the dark than in the light.

Post# 1072410 , Reply# 12   5/13/2020 at 23:57 (1,381 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

bradfordwhite's profile picture
lighted controls and a one piece top and upswept control panel. Very nice set.
Excellent condition.

Post# 1072467 , Reply# 13   5/14/2020 at 09:41 (1,381 days old) by Mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        
For its day, then ~

mickeyd's profile picture
Your Frogeye was the ultimate TOL--just look at those lights!

We had a wonderful member here, now in Washer Heaven, named Kelly Mixfinder. With his intelligence and good will, he convinced me that a childhood memory of mine, of a wringer washer, was faulty. One day our neighbor Rose, (59/60 Frigidaire with the two bars for fabric selection), had her often visiting mother, Mary Watts, move in for good. She brought her sweet wringer washer along, too. It had the vintage navy blue speckled porcelain tub.

Fascinated, I asked Mrs Watts how the agitator worked. It had a curved silver cap like the Easy's only not scalloped and a loose rim-like silver washer under the cap. She said you pull up on the cap to make it agitate and push down to make it stop. A sweetheart, she actually showed me the maneuver , but the machine was not powered up. Unfortunately, I never got to see it work, don't think they used it, always pushed to a far corner; but though all these years I thought it was a Frigidaire.

Kelly told me that although he had searched and searched, he was sad to disappoint but Frigidaire never made a wringer washer. Of course I believed him without question. He would be delighted to see though, that such an apparatus did exist to engage the agitator as in your AMC with its "wild finicky design," (smile), something very hard to forget or mis-remember, but yours is a much older machine, making this all so fascinating. Would really appreciate seeing a pic of the most usual agitator.

I love your theater of Wringers with silver opera drapes on stage. What a grand show your pictures make: the early Visimatic is real treat, and the filtering GE, as well. How 'bout a pic of that too, Mister? ;'D Thank you, Chris. What an amazing and impressive collection--even a timely Monitor ! I am very interested in your 40's Easy and your Spiral Dashers.

Post# 1072480 , Reply# 14   5/14/2020 at 11:53 (1,381 days old) by peteski50 (New York)        

peteski50's profile picture
I really like the Frog Eye models with the back open lids - its very stylish! I wish they would have kept that style instead of going with the side opening lid!

Post# 1072483 , Reply# 15   5/14/2020 at 12:18 (1,381 days old) by mrsalvo (New Braunfels Texas)        

What a fabulous collection. Anyone would be proud to have those. The memories they bring back. My mother was dyed-in-the-wool believer in those Speed Queens, she owned 2 sets back in the day, believed they washed better than any other washer.

Hope that you will post videos once they are hooked up.


Post# 1072513 , Reply# 16   5/14/2020 at 15:09 (1,381 days old) by agiflow3 ()        

Pete I agree about the frogeyes. Very stylish for that time or any time still. Whirlpool was just beginning to hit their stride with these cool looking designs.

Post# 1072516 , Reply# 17   5/14/2020 at 15:12 (1,381 days old) by agiflow3 ()        

I always thought the first generation oasis machines harkened back to the early rounded cabinet washers and dryers.

Post# 1072548 , Reply# 18   5/14/2020 at 19:38 (1,380 days old) by Hippiedoll ( arizona )        

hippiedoll's profile picture
i LOVE the AVOCADO Speed Queen set!

Can you post a clearer, closer picture of the control panels, pleeeeease?

And also, cool EASY spin-drier washer collection you have there!

Post# 1072640 , Reply# 19   5/15/2020 at 09:16 (1,380 days old) by SpiralDasher (North East Ohio)        
Catching Up:

Mickey, here's a picture of the agitator before I cleaned the tub out. It is a bit of an underpowered machine because the fins are halfway up the post and the clothes drag on them rather than just flowing down around them. That being said, it washes better than any other wringer washer I own except for the Apexes. It has about a 180 degree arc but it moves rather slowly.

Hippiedoll, I have also attached pictures of the control panels on each. The dryer has one timed cycle and three heats-high, low, and air. The washer has two cycles, one regular and the other short. One can only select the motor speed for both the wash and the spin at the same time, but it is a two speed machine. The water temperatures are Hot/Cold, Warm/Warm, and Cold/Cold.

And to all, than you for your kind words on my Kenmore set. I hope to have videos up sometime in the future on my machines.

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Post# 1072646 , Reply# 20   5/15/2020 at 09:46 (1,380 days old) by Golittlesport (California)        
amazing collection!!!

golittlesport's profile picture
Thank you for sharing pics of your collection. Brought back many memories. Neighbors had that same 53 Kenmore set when I was a lad. Beautiful! Love the wringer washers and spin driers. I see some vacuum cleaners too! Keep taking and posting pictures!

Post# 1072803 , Reply# 21   5/16/2020 at 09:30 (1,379 days old) by Mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        
Thanks, Chris

mickeyd's profile picture
That's a great picture: the agitator is like a giant-size version of the Kenmore Table Top; be fun to see it in operation.

SO.......... An ancient mystery solved ! Mary Watts must have had a later version of the AMC, or another brand using the same engineering. It was not a fantasy. What a really cool coincidence, Chris!

Interesting to realize that the KM Veriflex Agitator operates its extending fins via a doohickey on the cap, too--different function, but same principle. Back to the future.

Amazing to see that you have the NE OH adjunct site to the DC museum well under way. Wonderful !

Post# 1072912 , Reply# 22   5/17/2020 at 00:09 (1,378 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

gansky1's profile picture

Great collection,  the SQ set looks like it's in good shape.  How does it work?

Post# 1073062 , Reply# 23   5/17/2020 at 21:39 (1,377 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

swestoyz's profile picture
Chris - thank you for sharing your collection! Are you planning on making a wash studio out of the building the washers are housed in?


Post# 1073149 , Reply# 24   5/18/2020 at 12:43 (1,377 days old) by SpiralDasher (North East Ohio)        

Mickey, there were a few other brands that used a similar system, notably Apex on some early agitator washers they made.

Greg, so far out of the few machines I have had in service, the Speed Queen is my favorite to use. The only issue seems to be a slight agitator squeak that goes away about halfway through the wash cycle.

Ben, I have yet to figure out exactly what I will end up doing. Certainly I would like to have an area suitable to multiple hookups though.

Again thanks all for your kind comments! They are much appreciated.

Post# 1073177 , Reply# 25   5/18/2020 at 16:04 (1,376 days old) by Hippiedoll ( arizona )        
Thank you...

hippiedoll's profile picture
for the pictures of the Speed Queens.
I see the water level is in the timer knob.

I really like the Speed Queens, and of course, I likes that AVOCADO green too!

Post# 1073267 , Reply# 26   5/19/2020 at 03:03 (1,376 days old) by chestermikeuk (Rainhill *Home of the RailwayTrials* Merseyside,UK)        
A Few of my Favorite Things

chestermikeuk's profile picture
Great to see your collection Chris, from wringers, twintubs and to Top Loaders with style, I love all the different aspects of your machines, variety is great.

That Spiral dasher looks like it could make a great suds cake, your 1940 Maytag was built under license here for Hotpoint (BTH) UK.

Cheers for sharing, look forward to seeing more !!


Post# 1074732 , Reply# 27   5/28/2020 at 16:15 (1,366 days old) by SpiralDasher (North East Ohio)        
Hotpoint Maytag

I have seen one of those Hotpoints before! At a glance you will notice it right away because it has an electrical switch and no other Maytag had one. There was that E2L with the timer but all it did was disengage the agitator while the motor continued to run.

The twin tubs are very fun to use but I, having neither complete, cannot enjoy the full experience. I don't have any hoses that connect to faucets, the yellow machine is missing the yellow belt for the pump, and the white machine has a bad spin bearing that squeaks something awful even when turned by hand. The Monitor wringer washer works on the same principal as a Hoover, but the bearing for its pulsator is stiff and the pump on it has a bad feel and needs lubrication. I would be using all three of those machines regularly if they worked though! For some things they are just so very convenient.

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