Vintage Washing Machines
We will take a look at what are now Vintage Washing Machines through the advertisements and articles that appeared in newspapers around the country. Many of these Vintage Washing Machines have names that you may never have heard of, although they are the beginnings of the modern appliances we are familiar with today.
Here is an article that appeared in the New York Tribune in 1920. It breaks down the different types available to the housewife of the day. While reading this article, keep in mind that electricity was just starting to make its way into rural areas and the electric companies were often the ones who posted these advertisements and articles as a way to gain a new customer. Another noteworthy point is that the housewife of an average sized family had to devote 1 or more FULL days to keeping up with the family laundry in those days. Before electricity, a wash tub, wringer and a clothes line were the tools of the day. These modern wonders promised to cut the housewife’s drudgery in half 🙂
The Vanishing Maid Makes It Merely a Question of Which One – A WOMAN’S time may be worth little or much. There may be blessings to be wrung out of continuous drudgery if it cannot be escaped, but there is no virtue in drudgery as such if you can make your head save your heels und hands, and by using electrically driven machines for your routine work set the human machine free for activities that are more valuable and varied work the machine can’t do. Watch the men. They never work with their hands if a machine directed by brain can do it for them.
In the average family washing and ironing are weekly chores and often it means engaging a woman two days or more a week. With labor scarce and higher wages demanded many families will have to find some other solution of this problem.
A simple and practical solution where electricity is available is the purchase of an electrical washing machine, since by its use the washing and ironing can be done in one day, with a saving both in labor and wear upon the clothes. Also, it may be possible to perform the work without the assistance of outside help. At least, it means saving one day’s wages and paying for the cost of the machine within a year.
A laundress gets $3.60 a day and meals. A washing is usually a day’s work for an average family (five). The electric washer would handle four charges at about 10 cents for power, and the washing could be done, including wringing, in two to three hours, with no real labor, merely supervising and guiding the machine.
Personal preference enters into the selection of a washing machine, but those on the market to-day are of one of four types:
Leading Types – First, pressure and suction, second, the oscillating tub, third, revolving cylinder; and fourth, the “dolly” and washboard.
The “pressure” and suction” or vacuum type has metal cones or cups, which are pressed down on the immersed clothing and raised, producing the suction which extracts the dirt. For this principle is claimed minimum wear on the clothes.
The “oscillating” machines operates back and forth, the tub containing the clothes, soap and water, and thus by rotation the cleansing is accomplished.
The “revolving cylinder” machines consists of a perforated cylinder metal or wood, in which the soiled clothes are paced, and the motor revolves it in a tub containing hot soapy water. The direction of rotation is usually automatically and periodically reversed.
The “dolly” type is so called because the central agitator, which keeps the clothes in motion, resembles a four-legged milk stool. The “washboard” machine mechanically reproduces the scrub-board action by rubbing the clothes between two corrugated board surfaces . The “dolly and “washboard” type machines are usually constructed of wood and require care to prevent shrinking and drying. Also, they are especially adapted for washing heavy article of clothing and are most popular on farms.
The other types of washers an generally made of metal, possess numerous protective and convenient features, are durable, and hence more expensive. Any of these machine can be depended upon to do good work if not overloaded am given sufficient time.
Important Points – When purchasing a washing machine it is always well to plan to have it permanently connected to the drain system and so placed as to have convenient to a stationary tub for rinsing and blueing, Connection with the drain will eliminate the carrying and lifting of water, and with a swinging wringer, the clothes can be more readily wrung directly into the tub.
Hand-driven machines are also labor savers, since they can wash more pieces in a given time and with less labor than hand rubbing, but of course the electrically operated multiplies this saving considerably and therefore is the most advantageous purchase.
When buying one of these machines look at the driving mechanism to make sure that it is inclosed and easily lubricated and substantially constructed. Particularly when there are children in the household, note how carefully the moving parts are safeguarded.
A direct gear drive, of course, is the stronger and more positive, since there is no belt to become slack, and if this gearing is inclosed and running in grease, abuse by a careless or ignorant servant is practically impossible. The operation controlling levers should be simple and readily accessible. Also, it should be possible to carry on the wringing and washing operations separately or together, as desired. The wringer should have hard rubber rolls and spiral springs. Steel ball bearings, a convenient and practical pressure release and rolls that are reversible in operation are all advantageous points. An automatic release is an excellent fixture.
The initial cost of an electrical washing machine is its greatest expense (varying from $100 to $165), but the money is wisely invested. The cost of washing with these machines is about 2 cents an hour at a 10-cent per kilowatt hour rate, or with the wringer, 2 3/4 cents. The machines vary but little in cost of operation and final efficiency, but do vary as to capacity, duration of washing period and endurance of materials used in construction.
We will now take a look at these now Vintage Washing Machines one by one. Click on a link below to see the different brands of Vintage Washing Machines and their specifics with the advertisement of each seen in those days.
- ABC Super-Electric Washing Machine
- Apex Electric Washer
- Automatic Electric Washer
- Blue Bird Clothes Washer
- Cataract Motor Washer
- Easy Vacuum Electric Washer
- Geyser Electric Washer
- Laun-Dry-Ette Washer
- Locomotive Electric Washing Machine
- Maytag Washer
- Thor Electric Washing Machine
- Western Electric Washer