Thread Number: 85457  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
P.O.D 12.10.2020
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Post# 1100075   12/10/2020 at 10:02 (834 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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Regarding this Speed Queen automatic, of what material is the agitator made?  Is it a polished aluminum?  In the photo it is as shiny as the stainless steel wash basket.



Post# 1100076 , Reply# 1   12/10/2020 at 10:22 (834 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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In ‘62 we moved into a home that had a SQ just like this one.  The agitator had some areas where the shiny coating was peeling off, so my guess is that it was coated with chrome. The areas underneath the chipping looked like the agitator could have been aluminum.  My Mom hated that washer and dryer set BTW.  Within a month they were replaced with new Whirlpools.



Post# 1100085 , Reply# 2   12/10/2020 at 11:44 (834 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

When we got the '58 Lady Kenmore, we started taking the throw rugs to coin laundries.  We went to a store with SQ machines. I had to figure out how to keep the lid from locking, but other than that, I had no real problems with them. A lady on my paper route had a pair of these in her kitchen so I went to the back door to collect after she got friendly.  The machines had those big medallions on the front.


Eddie, what did you mom dislike about the machines? 


The commercial machines I was exposed to had either stainless steel or porcelain tubs and all had gray plastic agitators.

Post# 1100088 , Reply# 3   12/10/2020 at 12:01 (834 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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Tom my Mom didn’t like that the capacity was smaller than the ‘58 GE FF we had in our previous home and that the agitator had rough chips on the surface that snagged her undergarments.  It also was terrible at removing sand, grit and dog hair from the laundry.  Plus there was no lint filter and the clothes were always covered with lots of lint.


The dryer was as hot as the bowels of hell, and had only one heat, on fire or air, no in between.  I can remember taking a finished load out and was burned by a zipper badly enough that it left a red mark.


I remember that my parents were excited about the Speed Queens before we moved in, they thought they were top of the line.  After a few weeks of use their opinion changed.


I too used SQ’s at the laundromat in my early 20’s a few times, they were late 60’s early 70’s models and they cleaned as well as any TL laundromat machine did then.  But given a choice I would always go to a laundromat with Bendix FL’s, I liked watching them and they cleaned just fine, plus the laundromat I went to with the Bendix machines were only 20 cents to wash, all the others were 30 to 35 cents a load.  Making $39.90 a week net every cent mattered.  Seems funny to look at a 10 to 15 cents saving as meaning anything today, but this was ‘70-‘71, the world was a whole lot different.



Post# 1100103 , Reply# 4   12/10/2020 at 15:16 (833 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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Here's my 54 SQ, the agitator is cast aluminum.  It was probably bright and polished when new, but they likely embellished it in the POD ad illustration, have never seen one that shiny.  I used a metal cleaner/polish on my aluminum Philco agitator, just for kicks, but the meager shine I was able to get didn't last through the first wash.


In the third pic, you can see the top of the SQ agitator in too-close detail, that's it's normal state with use.  This is soap residue - I like using real soap in towels now and then.  

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size
Post# 1100124 , Reply# 5   12/10/2020 at 17:54 (833 days old) by Washerlover (The Big Island)        

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I had a ‘66 washer/dryer set in Coppertone. Loved the splashiness of the washer and the sound of the pump as it would kick in when set to “fill” since it was a timed fill machine. Sadly, the washer kicked into spin one day and the entire transmission cracked and broke...oil all over the place. Ended up donating the dryer to Goodwill. Sure do miss those machines.

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