Maytag Model 72 With Fruit Jar Engine

Maytag befor restoration

The machine when I found it.

Content Tools

Rt. 2 Box 2 Carrollton, Illinois 62016-9601

This is a story of how I got the Maytag Model 72 aluminum washer. I have been collecting Maytag items for about ten years. On a Thursday several years ago, a couple of my friends and I, who are also engine nuts, went to Newton, Illinois, to look at the items that were to be offered on a sale the following Saturday. The man who owned the items to be sold told me about a Model 72 Maytag washer that he had on display in a Maytag showroom in a nearby town. So, of course, my friends and I drove over to the next town to look at it. It was a very nice machine. Then we went back to the man's house and I tried to buy the machine from him. But in the meantime, he had decided not to sell it, but said that he might later. A day or so later, the sale was over, and I called him again, but he still didn't know whether he wanted to sell the machine or not. After several other conversations with the gentleman, I was finally able to buy the machine and I went to get it the next day.

When I got the machine home, I took it all apart, cleaned it up and painted it. The Model 70 Maytag is the same machine with an electric motor, but the Model 72 was powered by a gasoline engine. This washer was the result of four years of attempting to cast a 30-inch aluminum tub washer that was adjustable in height for the housewife's convenience, with a wringer that was low enough so she wouldn't have to lift the wet clothes great distances to wring out the water. Production of this washer began in 1919. The serial number on my machine is 177089. Indications are that it was made between September 1920 and April 1922. Only 2988 were made, and the cost to the consumer was $85.00. An unusual motor was designed for this washer, using a fruit jar for a gas tank. I had been lucky enough to find a half-horsepower fruit jar multimotor, serial #101153, so I added that to the washer. This particular washer and motor were not in production very long, because by 1922 the Model 80 electric and model 82 gasoline series were already in the works. Since many of the parts I didn't have were the same as on the model 82 series, I was lucky enough to find what I needed. In 1984 after my father died, my brother and I found an original exhaust pipe and muffler in the basement of my father's home while cleaning it up. So there again, I was lucky to be able to add this to my machine.

A friend of mine found another model 70 Maytag washer, and there is another in the Maytag museum in Newton, Iowa. I also have a Maytag sausage grinder from a model 82 washer that will work on the model 72. If anyone else has one of these model 72 series, I would like to hear from them. By the way, have you ever seen a Maytag racing car?

I always enjoy showing my Maytags and if I don't see you anywhere else, look for me in west central Illinois at the Tri-County Antique Show on August 28, 29, and 30,1992 in Jerseyville, Illinois.