Thread Number: 85574  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
1958 General Electric Two Speed Filter Flo Washer
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Post# 1101206   12/19/2020 at 17:39 (1,219 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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It arrived this afternoon via a Uship contact.  All I had time for this afternoon was to give it a surface wash-down.  It is surprisingly complete, I don't see any rust or holes in the wash basket, two (old) water hoses are present, what appears to be the original cord is there, only the drain hose has been cut - at the back panel.  It has an incorrect filter pan, don't know why, but the correct, original pan will not fit the top of the Activator.  I'll have to see what is the problem.  Should keep me busy for a while just making it look good.



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Post# 1101208 , Reply# 1   12/19/2020 at 18:17 (1,219 days old) by eronie (Flushing Michigan)        

The correct filter pan is metal usually copper color. Looks to be in nice shape good luck!

Post# 1101218 , Reply# 2   12/19/2020 at 20:20 (1,219 days old) by CleanteamofNY ((Monroe, New York)        

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This is beyond gorgeous, and the lights on the control panel are lit up,

Post# 1101219 , Reply# 3   12/19/2020 at 20:24 (1,219 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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How excellent is that!

Post# 1101225 , Reply# 4   12/19/2020 at 20:56 (1,219 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        
A few more pics, from the seller

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Not sure why my pics (above) are so fuzzy.  On the phone and in my computer files they're much sharper.


These photos were sent by the seller.  First is the washer being loaded, the last 3 show the original (nasty) condition of the washer when it arrived.



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Post# 1101236 , Reply# 5   12/19/2020 at 21:26 (1,219 days old) by Sambootoo (Moody, AL)        

BEAUTIFUL!! Congratulations

Post# 1101267 , Reply# 6   12/20/2020 at 02:22 (1,219 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
Am no expert

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But have seen those older GE filter flow washers before, and agree, that isn't proper filter pan. It's supposed to be copper, something like this...

Congrats on your new toy! Just in time for Christmas too!

Love when seller cooperate with U-ship carriers and go extra mile to make sure collection goes smooth.

Post# 1101275 , Reply# 7   12/20/2020 at 05:29 (1,219 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Very nice, Lawrence! Santa definitely had you on his ďgoodĒ list this year.

Post# 1101279 , Reply# 8   12/20/2020 at 06:20 (1,219 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Remember one of these washers-in turquoise-in the Holloman AFB house quarter we lived in-Dad in the air Force at the time.Was like 10 yrs old.So remember that copper plated aluminum lint dish!and that washer did a great job.Sometimes we had a maid using it.Liked to sneak watches while it was going.

Post# 1101289 , Reply# 9   12/20/2020 at 08:45 (1,219 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
I have been looking forward to this post.

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At some point in this beautiful washer's life, likely after 1966 when your particular filter-pan was produced, somebody lost or broke the original copper-colored aluminum filter pan and a GE serviceman not only brought them a new plastic filter-pan, but also replace the original activator mount with a mount used only in 1960 to accommodate the new plastic filter pans. The irony there was that those new filter pans NEVER fit too well on that mount but the whole design was changed for the roll-out of the new perforated Filter-Flo's in 1961.


There are a few copper/aluminum filter pans still out there somewhere; the mounts are going to be harder to find. They came in 3 colors: grey, pink and turquoise.


These examples are from Unimatic's WA-955R:

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Post# 1101328 , Reply# 10   12/20/2020 at 12:23 (1,218 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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That's exactly what I figured must have happened.  The cap on the Activator is fine, but the resilient collar below the cap is wrong; the diameter is insufficient to support the correct pan - which I do possess.  The plastic filter pan must be pressed down on the Activator, it doesn't seat itself.  And it doesn't surprise me to hear you say that the part that is wrong will be difficult to find.


I wonder if that might be a part that Bud (in Atlanta) could reproduce?



Post# 1101329 , Reply# 11   12/20/2020 at 12:25 (1,218 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Beautiful machine. The original collar on the Activator wore down to where it did not hold the filter pan with enough tension to keep it level when water was pouring into it so the retrofit collar shows that the machine was kept in tip-top condition. That plastic filter pan was good in that it protected the top of the agitator shaft from the moisture of the filter stream far better than the  little screw on cap. 

Post# 1101399 , Reply# 12   12/20/2020 at 17:31 (1,218 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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Lawrence, congratulations on this stellar find!!  I can't believe what great condition the filter-flo pan support is in!!

I think I have a plain aluminum filter pan (possibly from a 56) that would fit this. Assuming I remember to look for it...

Post# 1101402 , Reply# 13   12/20/2020 at 17:55 (1,218 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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My mom had a ‘59 GE FF and it had the copper filter pan with a turquoise cap on the agitator and the control buttons were also turquoise.  I used to play around with it while it was on washing a load and there was no safety shutoff when the lid was opened even when it was spinning.  Its a miracle that I didn’t get hurt.



Post# 1101406 , Reply# 14   12/20/2020 at 18:08 (1,218 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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I do have the correct "copper" filter pan, but like I said the collar is not large enough to support this pan.


We had a similar 1959 model, like Eddie mentioned, when we live in Air Force housing.  Where this 1958 has pink accents, the 1959 models used turquoise.



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Post# 1101432 , Reply# 15   12/20/2020 at 20:50 (1,218 days old) by rickr (.)        

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Wow! What a great, and rare find! Congrats!

Post# 1101435 , Reply# 16   12/20/2020 at 21:16 (1,218 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Lawrence -

Your new '58 GE looks to be in wonderful shape! In fact, it still has the back panel in place. Amazing. The rubber for the Filter Flo outlet is also in really nice shape, even with the bit of discoloration.

It's no surprise the mount was upgraded at some point in your GE's life. Who knows - maybe the original pan flew off during a spin cycle, or the owner complained the original 6 lug mount was no longer holding the original style pan. Either way, it's the reality of what these washers went through. The copper pan will not push through on the late 59/60 mount, period, as you've experienced. It would be my hope that someday someone who has a minty example of the revised 12 lug mount is willing to let a mold be made from it, and someone is able to pop out copies. If that someone is me in the future, or Bud, or anyone of us, I do know there are many out there that would be thankful for a chance to use their solid tub Filter Flo washers with an original style filter pan, someday.

Keep us posted on the progress of getting this one up and going. Is the full model number 1WA850R1?


PNs for 1957-1960 Solid Tub filter mounts:

6 lug grey - WH1X1261
12 lug grey - WH1X1479

6 lug coral - WH1X1351
12 lug coral - WH1X1419

6 lug turquoise - WH1X1182
12 lug turquoise - WH1X1451
Plastic filter mount - WH1X1516

Plastic filter mount - WH1X1516

** 1955 would use a grey, and 1956 would use a turquoise mount

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This post was last edited 12/20/2020 at 23:51
Post# 1101437 , Reply# 17   12/20/2020 at 21:30 (1,218 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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Thanks for the information!  I was hoping that, should someone choose to reproduce these mounts, that there would be a sufficient demand to make it worthwhile.


I believe that is the correct model number.  I looked at it yesterday but did not write it down.



Post# 1101440 , Reply# 18   12/20/2020 at 21:37 (1,218 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        
Yay! Congratulations

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Wow that is so super cool that you got the machine Lawrence, I can't wait to hear how it works! I have seen those filter mounts pop up on eBay several times over the years so do keep a look out.

Keep us posted, can't wait to hear about the first wash load in it!

Post# 1101463 , Reply# 19   12/21/2020 at 00:07 (1,218 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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That's a handsome looking devil.

Post# 1101481 , Reply# 20   12/21/2020 at 08:06 (1,218 days old) by eronie (Flushing Michigan)        

Cut a section of bicycle inner tube and stretch it over the filter mount.
It might be enough for a temporary fix! Double up if necessary.

Post# 1101484 , Reply# 21   12/21/2020 at 09:33 (1,217 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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I took some more photos this morning, with bright sunshine, hoping for better images.  But I'm not sure that I was successful.



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Post# 1101485 , Reply# 22   12/21/2020 at 09:48 (1,217 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Thank you for the extra shots! Nice to see the original lid bumpers are in tact. The smaller 1960 and later style are out there, but finding these larger sized ones is impossible. The two remaining rubber screw protectors for the lid hinges don't look dry rotted, either.

Any chance you could take some closeups of the timer dial and the toggle switches?

Post# 1101489 , Reply# 23   12/21/2020 at 10:12 (1,217 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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See if these are clear enough.  Not sure why the clarity is not surviving the transmission and compression process...


It's a beautiful day here so I guess that means I need to abandon this fun stuff and get back to work on my exterior painting. 



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Post# 1101498 , Reply# 24   12/21/2020 at 11:29 (1,217 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        
Miss Coral!

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Wow Lawrence, that machine is beautiful and appears to be low mileage after your extensive cleaning job!  I love GE laundry appliances and stoves from this period with their raised consoles.  Other than that, the console color scheme, dials and switches are nearly identical to the '58 (I think) dryer I found that ended up with Roger in Tucson.


The pink and charcoal reminds me of Miss Coral, our next door neighbors' inboard motor speed boat from the same period, named after the family matriarch. 


Based on the speed selectors, could this be yet another machine that offered a slow wash/fast spin option, or did those two switches work in tandem?

Post# 1101504 , Reply# 25   12/21/2020 at 11:59 (1,217 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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All of the switches operate independently of their mate.  So a slow/normal combination is possible.  Although not TOL, this machine offers more flexibility than the Keyboard model.  However, only the TOL model had the Rinse Injector and the fully-illuminated console.



Post# 1101505 , Reply# 26   12/21/2020 at 12:00 (1,217 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Lawrence, again thank you for your generosity with the additional photos.

The '58 GE line-up is near and dear to my heart, and I've always felt this particular model was an oddball.

In the original publication of the 1958 R series Service manual, as well as the '58 Owners manual, the first version of the 850R/855R control panel is featured which is basically a slightly restyled 1957 P 850, sans pedestals and florescent light.

In the 1958 Product Man, GE mentions that the 850R1 was introduced in January of '58, with pedestals and the revised panel design that takes the pattern of the 950 panel and incorporates the toggle switches.

What I'm curious about is if GE even made the first version, which I'll call the 850R0, knowing GE never sold an revision 0 washer or dryer and started production models with a 1. The master parts catalog does not have a dedicated diagram for the original 850R0 version of but only the panel version of the 850R1. There also was a revision later in the spring of '58 for the 853R1/858R1, which has the revised 850 panel, sans the pedestals.

But, if the original version had been produced, why didn't GE give the revised panel an updated revision number, say 850R3?

As anyone ever seen in person the original version of the '58 850 control panel?


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Post# 1101513 , Reply# 27   12/21/2020 at 13:45 (1,217 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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In a post above, Ken has a photo of a 'Use and Care Guide' front and back. (I forget if it's for the washer or the dryer).  The back features four matching pairs of their 1958 appliances, and the 850 pair is like your first pic, above.  I've never seen this in person and until Ken posted the pic I wasn't aware that they even existed.  I have a copy of the same 'Use and Care Guide' and on the back of mine, the 850 pair is just like this washer.



Post# 1101517 , Reply# 28   12/21/2020 at 14:36 (1,217 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        
Use and Care Guide

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Ah, I hadn't caught his second post to the original thread. It looks like GE has that model labeled as an 853R on his screenshot, which would be the pedestal-less 850. Suspect it was a later version of the same guide that is posted to AE, which features the unexplained R0 version of the panel.

Maybe they didn't want to steal the thunder of the 950 on a promotional advertisement?

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Post# 1101726 , Reply# 29   12/23/2020 at 09:53 (1,215 days old) by lesto (Atlanta)        

Wow! I've never seen a 58 with a pink control dial, only the 57's. This dial is identical to the one on my mom's 59 except it was turquoise. I hope you can fins the correct filter mount and pan for it.

Post# 1101806 , Reply# 30   12/24/2020 at 10:00 (1,214 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
Good idea!

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Lawrence, I had the same thought. I wouldn't mind lending the one I have to Bud to let him experiment with it. It's not in good condition, but it might be enough for him to create a mold and then we could buy them in each color that was produced.

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Post# 1101813 , Reply# 31   12/24/2020 at 11:09 (1,214 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Ken - does that 6 lug mount hold a pan in place, with confidence? If so, then yes I'd say it's very much worthy of making a mold from.

But, if anyone has a 12 lug mount they'd be willing to lend, that would be the one to reproduce.


Post# 1101823 , Reply# 32   12/24/2020 at 12:01 (1,214 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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I have one Iíd be willing to lend. A couple of the lugs are a little messed up so I donít know if it would be copy worthy but Iíll get a picture and let yíall decide.

Post# 1101858 , Reply# 33   12/24/2020 at 17:12 (1,214 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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Well I donít think this one will work. I would imagine it has to be perfect to copy, but here it is anyway.

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Post# 1101862 , Reply# 34   12/24/2020 at 17:55 (1,214 days old) by sfh074 ( )        
Take a picture .....

 of it top and bottom and post here.



Post# 1101866 , Reply# 35   12/24/2020 at 18:46 (1,214 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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Will do Bud. Not sure why I didnít do it the first time. Iíll get them tomorrow if I remember.

Post# 1101877 , Reply# 36   12/24/2020 at 20:13 (1,214 days old) by sfh074 ( )        
From the 3 pics ....

posted so far, if you were to use that particular part shown ...... I would remove the loose bits and then use blue modeling clay to rebuild the missing or damaged nubs so they resemble a like new part. Then cast a mold of it. You can even make the nubs taller to make the part hold the filter pan tighter if desired ..... whereby having nubs that allows the user to remove nub height if necessary depending on what the filter pan needs. Just a thought but a nail file can be used on the newly casted part to remove nub height to custom fit pan tightness. Looks like an easy part to make a 2-part mold of.


Post# 1101879 , Reply# 37   12/24/2020 at 20:16 (1,214 days old) by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        
Whatever happened with all the hype over 3D printing?

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Would it be possible to 3d print these parts and more?  Adam Savage should know about this!

Post# 1101881 , Reply# 38   12/24/2020 at 20:35 (1,214 days old) by sfh074 ( )        
3D printing ......

The part would have to be defined in a CAD program. Extensive measurements have to be taken to reproduce the part in software to then have the 3D printer print it. Also rubber parts can't be printed, only hard plastic. Way easier to take a semi good part, fix any defects and use it to cast a mold .... to then cast new parts from it.

Post# 1101928 , Reply# 39   12/25/2020 at 08:01 (1,214 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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Hopefully I did better this time.

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Post# 1198491 , Reply# 40   2/3/2024 at 11:38 by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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Thanks to Lawrenceís generosity and patience I was able to give this old filter flo a new home in southeast Texas. I took an eleven hundred mile round trip over the past several days to grab this good looking washer. Itís raining here today but I hope to tinker with it soon. The motor was frozen but after working it back and forth for some time the washer spins and agitates in both speeds and the timer advances. Also want to thank Lawrence for the excellent clean up job he did. The filter flo looks great. Hopefully more to come.

Post# 1198505 , Reply# 41   2/3/2024 at 13:46 by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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Melvin is the perfect next-owner for this one.  He wasn't at the house 20 minutes when he had that washer spinning and agitating!  It was such fun to see it in action.  Of course it was a 'dry run'; the fun will begin when water is mixed into the equation.


Melvin - it was great to meet you and  your sidekick.  Enjoy the washer.  Amy says to tell you "woof"!



Post# 1198506 , Reply# 42   2/3/2024 at 15:02 by appnut (TX)        

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Glad you got to meet Melvin. I look forward to the day when I get that honor of meeting him too.

Post# 1198510 , Reply# 43   2/3/2024 at 15:46 by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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The sun came out this afternoon and I couldnít help but try the washer out. I believe this machine sat unused for 40+ years. Itís in great condition for its age. Itís gone through two complete cycles under itís own power. The brake is not functioning in the transmission so the basket spins during agitation. I felt the boot from underneath and it is still very soft and flexible. The pump leaked a few drops but that was the only leak. Very impressive.

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Post# 1198511 , Reply# 44   2/3/2024 at 15:56 by qsd-dan (West)        

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Get some turbine oil on those bearings/wickings or it'll destroy them and the motor shaft. This motor can be disassembled.

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