Thread Number: 84627  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
washing machine controlled by square plastic card
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Post# 1090472   9/24/2020 at 08:27 (1,248 days old) by tunde (glasgow)        

I think it was in the 70's or could be 80's we had a machine which had a square card with grooves in each edge and you selected the cycle by pushing the card into the machine. We used to say it was computer controlled but maybe it was more like a mechanical punched card device. Anyway cant remember the name or when it came out, does anyone know the machine and have any pictures?


Post# 1090475 , Reply# 1   9/24/2020 at 08:32 (1,248 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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Not sure, but I think that's a Hoover Keymatic.  But that's an educated guess from an uneducated Canadian... LOL 

Post# 1090483 , Reply# 2   9/24/2020 at 09:09 (1,248 days old) by alanlondon (London)        
Hello, please see this tread...

...UK market front & top loaders 195? to 1990 - theories, queries & rarities

I posted a brochure on the first Hoover Keymatics yesterday, which is perhaps the machine you mean. Bosch did one too, but in the UK this Hoover one was the most prevalent.

Hope this helps.

Cheers, Alan

Post# 1090484 , Reply# 3   9/24/2020 at 09:11 (1,248 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

That's right, with the impeller in the back of the slanted tub, as I remember.

Post# 1090514 , Reply# 4   9/24/2020 at 13:05 (1,248 days old) by matchboxpaul (U.K)        

Hi Tunde.

Welcome to the forum.

I don't think the UK market ever received the Bosch keyplate controlled model so, on that assumption, your old machine will have been a Hoover Keymatic for sure. Question is, which one?

There were a number of models, across a number of different ranges and sold new from 1961 through to 1982.

I was going to post a link to an old thread detailing all Hoover models made over 30 years from 1961 to 1991, but that would be a bit cruel making you trawl through all that (let me know if you do want to look through the thread and I will post the link separately).

To simplify your search, I have posted images of all the Keymatic models that Hoover made and sold in the UK. It should be one of the following models (note that the photos are posted in the order they appear in the list below):

3226 ... these were slant fronted machines, with angled drums and an impellar at the back of the drum

3203H (models 3203 and 3203H were visually identical)
3223H ... these models were built with a wider than usual bodyshell

3243H version 1
3243H version 2 (version 2 had colour changes over version 1)
A3050 ... these three models were from the 'Matchbox' range, the A3050, being an exclusive model, only available to buy at Electricity Board Shops

A3008 ... this was from the 'Superstyle' range

A3062 ... this was from the 'New Magic' range

& finally
A3112 ... this was from the 'Smoother Hoover' range

Let us know if your machine appears then, if we have more images, we can post some for you.
Unless you had an A3050, then the likelihood is that an example of your machine is preserved in someone's collection.


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Post# 1090518 , Reply# 5   9/24/2020 at 13:33 (1,248 days old) by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield, East Midlands, UK)        
Altogether now

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A selection of Keymatics - video courtsey of ChesterMikeUK


Post# 1090523 , Reply# 6   9/24/2020 at 14:18 (1,248 days old) by Jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        

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The Keymatic 1100 3112 - That was the machine I used at the Isle of Wight!!! 


Mike nice VID< Love "Klunk-Klick Living" !! They sound Bendixii whizzing off into spin !!!!


Post# 1090532 , Reply# 7   9/24/2020 at 15:07 (1,248 days old) by matchboxpaul (U.K)        

Hi Jon.
I remember you mentioning on a past thread about the Keymatic you used on the Isle of Wight.

Attached is the brochure from 1981 - enjoy!


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Post# 1090613 , Reply# 8   9/25/2020 at 04:05 (1,247 days old) by Kenmoreguy89 (Valenza Piemonte, Italy- Soon to be US immigrant.)        
Bosch and French Conord

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Bosch also had a version controlled by a washing card and a french agitator top loader had a similar thing but with discs.

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Post# 1090620 , Reply# 9   9/25/2020 at 05:33 (1,247 days old) by chestermikeuk (Rainhill *Home of the RailwayTrials* Merseyside,UK)        
Hoover Keymatic

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Welcome to the club Tunde, your in the right place for the revolutionary Hoover Keymatic, gotta love those clicks & whirrs of the keyplate reader and timer alone.
Let us know from the videos & selection of pics which was your family Keymatic ?

Here`s a video of Mathews 3226 slope front..

Post# 1090622 , Reply# 10   9/25/2020 at 05:50 (1,247 days old) by chestermikeuk (Rainhill *Home of the RailwayTrials* Merseyside,UK)        
Hoover Keymatics

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We have just renovated the 2nd style of Hoover Keymatic, the wide bodied Hoover Keymatic 3203 of Als, which was originally found at a household recycling tip by our friend Gary (Electron1100)

Heres the video:

And the link to the thread on it here.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO chestermikeuk's LINK

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Post# 1090623 , Reply# 11   9/25/2020 at 05:56 (1,247 days old) by chestermikeuk (Rainhill *Home of the RailwayTrials* Merseyside,UK)        
Hoover Keymatic A3008

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And a video of my Hoover Keymatic A3008 Superstyle range, this was the simplest of style designs, always reminds me of 70`s hi fi control panels, now wait for the Jet Speed ramp up !!

Post# 1090624 , Reply# 12   9/25/2020 at 06:01 (1,247 days old) by chestermikeuk (Rainhill *Home of the RailwayTrials* Merseyside,UK)        
Hoover Keymatic Isle of Wight

chestermikeuk's profile picture
Hi Jon Jetcone, really glad you have found the model keymatic you used in the Isle of Wight all those years ago...just got there in time as it was the last one produced, promoted as "New fabrics, New Keyplate for Programme Action,
never quite worked out like that, the first model alone had 4 timer upgrades along with 6 harness changes !!

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Post# 1090628 , Reply# 13   9/25/2020 at 06:37 (1,247 days old) by chestermikeuk (Rainhill *Home of the RailwayTrials* Merseyside,UK)        
Hoover Keymatic

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Keymatic Boys !!

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Post# 1090652 , Reply# 14   9/25/2020 at 10:08 (1,247 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

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Now we're summing up other machines than the Keymatic, I think the Swiss Schulthess Super 4 has to be mentioned here. It works with cards that slowly are pulled through the card reader, it works like a timer. Every programme has it's own card. The card on the right shows the number 25a, so a lot of cards. must have been available.

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Post# 1090655 , Reply# 15   9/25/2020 at 10:58 (1,247 days old) by ServisChris (Southampton, Hampshire UK)        
Schulthess Supercard

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On the topic, here's a slightly later Schulthess Supercard. Id love one!

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Post# 1090661 , Reply# 16   9/25/2020 at 11:41 (1,247 days old) by alanlondon (London)        
Great pictures

thanks Louis for the info on those machines, never saw them before.

thanks Mike for posting those great videos and pics of the Keymatics (mine is sadly now under the stairs awaiting a big repair...) btw still have that heater for you ;-)

Cheers, Alan

Post# 1090662 , Reply# 17   9/25/2020 at 11:48 (1,247 days old) by Jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        

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a big thank you for the brochure! Mike fun to now see it was the 1100 as I had remembered a chrome ring around the window but no chrome square door so I was confused. What cool machines. Louis I hope  you find a Schulthess ( skuthis??) machine those cards are pretty cool tool.


Gotta get this covid thing behind us I need a UK Wash IN again !!!


Post# 1090699 , Reply# 18   9/25/2020 at 17:05 (1,247 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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On commercial/industrial side of things many washers in 1950's through 1970's (IIRC) if not later used some sort of card system as "automatic" programming.

Computers/electronics were just coming into their own and trickling down into all sorts. Those old enough or maybe otherwise will remember when punch cards were used to program computers.

Programming if you will via a punched "card" had been around for a good hundred years or so. It was how looms were "programmed" to create embroidery and other design patterns on fabric.

Post# 1090747 , Reply# 19   9/26/2020 at 04:30 (1,246 days old) by matchboxpaul (U.K)        
Mirroring Alan's thanks

Thanks to Louis and Chris from me also, for posting the Schulthess images.
Never see that system before - quite an eye opener and a new variation for me on the traditional keyplate system.

Bosch also did a keyplate controlled twin tub too. Did any other manufacturers go down the keyplate road for their domestic machine offerings?


Post# 1090753 , Reply# 20   9/26/2020 at 06:04 (1,246 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

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Bosch actually had two models, the earlier one that was recently found and the successor of that model, that looked more modern. I can't remember any other twintubs that worked with some kind of keyplate or card system, but there were so many brands back then that I can't tell for sure.

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