Thread Number: 95061  /  Tag: Wringer Washers
can anyone tell me the year of this machine?
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Post# 1197026   1/13/2024 at 07:15 by thedrycleaner (walton)        

hello folks its me the drycleaner. I was able to get the model and serial of my vintage visimatic here it is,please let me know-serial-33690 model-503251 I had thought that it was a 51 because of the last two digits of the model but by 51 the pants model was already out as the visimatic. please let me know, thanks Bill

Post# 1197032 , Reply# 1   1/13/2024 at 09:32 by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

repairguy's profile picture
Looks like it’s a 1950 model. I assume there is 110. In front of the model number.

Post# 1197164 , Reply# 2   1/15/2024 at 07:16 by thedrycleaner (walton)        
the year of the visimatic

1950 seems like a good bet ,but wasnt the pants model out by then? perhaps the pants one was from 51? thanks for the reply-Bill

Post# 1197165 , Reply# 3   1/15/2024 at 07:24 by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        
OK I have to ask....

ozzie908's profile picture
What is the Pants model what makes it different to other WW ??

Have never heard of such a machine before 😀😀

Post# 1197168 , Reply# 4   1/15/2024 at 08:18 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
Kenmore (Sears) WP built wringer washers early on (so called pants) model had about an 8lb capacity. Later models (with full skirt) had larger tub and were rated at 9 to 10 lbs, maybe a bit more.

Pants or skirt it all came down to styling and some other bits. Whirlpool/Sears soon enough switched from "pants" model WW to full skirt so that was that.

Early on many wringer washers had tubs suspended on legs, pants or no pants. Gradually as capacity grew tubs became deeper.

Later Kenmore "Visimatic" wringer washer.

Post# 1197219 , Reply# 5   1/16/2024 at 06:46 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
The skirt around wringer washers

combo52's profile picture
Made them much more stylish and much safer from the prying fingers of small children. Also made the machines run a little more quietly, it was interesting that Maytag never upgraded to the safer quieter design.

Maytag really wanted to be out of the wringer washer business because of the safety concerns of the ringer when they came out with the porta washer. They advertised it as a replacement for ringer washers because they knew they were going to discontinue the wringer washer.

Whirlpool discontinued their wringer washers in 1971, Maytag continued till about 1984 and Speed Queen went a full decade more into the mid 90s.


Post# 1197221 , Reply# 6   1/16/2024 at 08:24 by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        
@launderess and combo 52

ozzie908's profile picture
Thank you both so much now I understand it had nothing to do with what could be washed, Which was what I was thinking...

Post# 1197259 , Reply# 7   1/16/2024 at 20:16 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
Drum beat that began post WWII grew into ever louder voices calling for end of wringer washers. Consumer groups and even federal government understood their need prior, but by 1950's onwards with automatic washer production rapidly increasing it was felt there was just no need for "dangerous" wringer washers.

By 1960's or so (cannot recall exactly when) Congressional hearings were held, papers written, endless research... all pretty much with same goal; either make wringer washers safer or better yet cease production.

Maytag responded with their safety pedal device which added a layer of improvement safety wise to what themselves and others already had. Things like ringer rollers that popped open when something too thick attempted to go through (such as an arm or hand), those sort of things.

In USA sales of wringer washers peaked in 1948 at 3,421,000 with still 379,000 sold late as 1968, starting in 1951 automatic washers sales in USA surpassed wringers.

Thus while wringer washers were dying a slow and natural death in terms of new sales, plenty of households had them and for various reasons couldn't or wouldn't have automatics.

Maytag made it's reputation on their famous wringer washers and I'm sorry but that "Porta-washer" twin tub was *not* an adequate substitute.

Before Maytag discontinued their famous WW in 1983 they laid in enough stock of spares to last at least 25 years. No such effort was made for their Porta-washer IIRC.

Post# 1197264 , Reply# 8   1/16/2024 at 21:26 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

When I worked at the hardware store that was a Maytag dealer, between April and October 1977, we sold at least three wringer machines. The main store was located in Hillsboro, OH, which had a larger rural population, and they sold way more wringer washers than the location I worked at.

Post# 1197268 , Reply# 9   1/16/2024 at 22:10 by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
Wringer washers are in big demand out in rural areas for those who make a living cooking up drugs out in the sticks. They are also coveted by those who live off the grid.

Post# 1197276 , Reply# 10   1/17/2024 at 00:15 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
Wringer washers along with other semi-automatic washing machines enjoyed a much longer heyday up north (Canada) then USA for several reasons. Top among them was Canada had far more rural areas that remained so post WWII and people wanted or needed to conserve water.

Many Canadian housewives on farms, lumber camps and other areas where aghast how much water automatic washing machines used. Worse that water was often used just the once then went down drain. Front loaders touting how they did several rinses with "fresh clean" water caused jaws to drop. Even those in towns or suburbs who had indoor plumbing with central hot water supplies weren't always thrilled with fully automatic washing machines.

Then you had facts that Canadian manufacturers had long been set up to produce wringer washers so costs of cranking them out was rather low. This compared to totally retooling to build automatics.

All this and more explains why you can still find wringer washers, often little used to NIB for offer up north.

As often stated about wringer washers, if one knows what one is doing and how to go about things it is easy to crank out lots of wash in short period of time.

Post# 1197282 , Reply# 11   1/17/2024 at 03:31 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Wringer Washer Safety Report To NIH

launderess's profile picture
Chicago/Evanston Illinois area, circa 1964.

Note Maytag, Kenmore and Speed Queen were top of list wringer washers causing injuries. This may have been influenced by sales numbers; with nationwide in most markets those were top selling wringer washers.

Note Whirlpool was decidedly low on above mentioned list. Sears (under Kenmore brand) sold more wringer washers than Whirlpool even though machines were totally built by latter. At one point IIRC Sears owned a major share of Whirlpool and basically held that company by short and curlies when it came to certain appliances WP produced for Sears.

It was the Nixon administration in 1971 what was poised to take aim on consumer product safety. Wringer washers by then were squarely in federal government's crosshairs. By now long associated with "low income" families injuries from wringer washers still were unacceptably high.

Maytag among others went on about how their newest model wringer washers had a "dead man's" safety device (that famous or infamous foot pedal). Consumer watchdog groups and others correctly pointed out such devices were easily bypassed. Indeed salespersons often advised people how to get around those foot pedals.

Tagging onto another recent post of one's another device was also in federal government's crosshairs as well; unvented gas heaters. Also considered a device by then largely confined to "low income" families, but still caused high numbers of deaths, fires and so forth.

Post# 1197444 , Reply# 12   1/20/2024 at 06:47 by thedrycleaner (walton)        
thanks so much

my thanks for all the cool info, I also have a full skirted visimatic in pank. thanks Bill

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