Remembering Grandma’s Washer

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A selection of antique washing machines from the collection of Lee Maxwell near Eaton, Colo.

Back in the April 2018 issue of Farm Collector, there was a nice article on Patrick Everett’s Maytag washer collection. He said, “Most of the stories are lost or forgotten over time.” How true — unless you lived through that time.

Back in 1949, my grandmother Allen bought a new Maytag J2 washing machine with the famous Maytag 72 twin-cylinder engine. It was bought in Winsted, Connecticut, from Park Place Hardware and Appliance.

She lived in a house that had a walkout basement and she had a washtub sink. The Maytag washer was in the room and she would have the long exhaust hose go out a partially opened window into a bucket of water.

I loved to watch her do her wash and sit by the washer. She always did two loads and it was a thrill for me at age 15. She used it until 1965 when she died. It makes me sad to know the washer went to the dump in running condition. I am so lucky to have the manuals and paper to this wonderful memory.

I would greatly enjoy seeing pictures of all gas-powered washing machines. Maytag washers are the most plentiful and popular, but I would like to see others as well. Briggs and Stratton made many models of stationary gasoline engines specifically for washing machine use.

William Rogers, Hannacroix, New York


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