I’m telling you right now this is one of the most exciting topics to talk about. The fact that we’ve watched this machine spin to wash our dirty clothes takes us back to when it looked like a wooden tub with a scrubber. Through the years, the washing machines have evolved with new looks and new features. They made huge changes in domestic life between 1800 and 1900. We have to thank our genius ancestors who had painstakingly spent their years perfecting any nook and cranny that can save us from doubling our work daily.
Now, we get the convenience of just tossing the dirty clothes into the washing machine, and not worry about getting our poor hands to look like old prunes. Now we do not have to curse the harsh winter weather every time we do the laundry, hello spin dryers! Not to forget how indoor plumbing made washing clothes convenient too. And to remind us on how great they’ve served us over the years, we might as well take a tour of its evolution.
#1. Boss Washing Machine Number 1 – Patented in 1891
This washing machine was made by the Boss Washing Machine Company of Cincinnati. This model is marked “E.H. Huenefeld of Cincinnati”, who may have been the storekeeper who sold the machine. This item has a wooden body, including the portion of its agitator for stirring liquid. And with most machines back then, the common operating tool to make it run is a hand-powered metal crank. Originally, the one built before this was in 1871 by William Blackstone of Bluffton in Indiana. However, it was only perfected in 1891.
#2. “WONDER WASHER” – Patented in 1919
A product of The Victor Mfg. Co., Leavenworth, Kansas. This strange looking four-legged washing machine was only identified and presumed as a salesman sample because the first photograph showed one of the two men holding the “Wonder Washer” sample.
#3. DOLLY’S WASHER No. 115 Doll Washing Machine – 1930
This 14 inch tall by the 8-inch washing machine that seems to resemble a keg is a product made by Buffalo Toy in the 1930’s. It features a clock type windup motor allowing the agitator to work.
The majority of the early washing machines back then were made of steel with heavy lids. The common washers used by middle-class families were even made from wooden tubs. Many of the early washing machines before were operated by a low-speed single-cylinder hit and lack a gasoline engine. Yes, gasoline engine, think of steampunk. Electric-powered washers were not as popular, at least until the 1930s, despite the first electric-powered washing machine invented in 1908 by Alva J. Fisher.
#4. Maytag Wringer Model E2l Washer – 1960
For some reason, vintage washing machines are often with legs. Since this one was made during the 1960’s it has an added feature that is quite odd – but perhaps it was for functionality purposes. It was designed with castor wheels.
#5. 1948 Kenmore Model # 110-73230 Wringer Washer
Seeing stuff like this feels like seeing an old classic car. The stand is really cool! I can’t blame you if it cracks you up to think that the old folks had to use those bulky washers back in the old days. This model washer was designed around the 1940s.
#6. 1950 model K4FS Constructa
A german brand and one of the first front loader washers. Already looking much more like a modern washing machine.
#7. Maytag A107 Harvest Gold – 1958
I can tell this was drop-dead gorgeous back in the day. Did you notice it comes in pairs? Well, the other one is a dryer. These washers back then were considered high performance, heavy duty washers.
#8. Maytag Model YA700 Washer – 1978
Don’t mistake it for an oven. The avocado color and the door may look like it’s something that should be settled somewhere in the kitchen, but it’s not. This washing machine already includes a dryer and was priced around $600 in 1978.
#9. Smeg WMFABP1 Retro Cream Washing Machine
Now, this is a familiar face now. Smeg washing machines are retro fanatics, even their new models never got rid of the classic, rounded corners signature look.
#10. Dollhouse Miniature Washing Machines
I think Dollhouse made a very clear point of combination, innovation, usability, and a little play on their laundry machines. Take this two mini washing machines for example.
From the late 1990s, up to this day, most washing machines have pretty much stayed on the same styles. As the washing machine industry took off, innovators used various technologies to enhance the machine. Most of the washers now have LED lights and are automated with sensors and invisible buttons. Although we still practice the hand wash for delicate textiles. Nevertheless, there’s a reduction of the wash around basins with paddles and fingers. If you own one of these old-school washing machines, better keep those babies and handle them with care. They are part of the history of the greatest laundry inventions. Please share this post with friends on Facebook