Firsts Mark Maytag's Love Affair With Washers

| July/August 1988

Pastime corrugated wooden tub

1907 Pastime

1771 Conrad Avenue, San Jose, CA 95124.

The following story is reprinted with permission from the November, 1987 issue of Appliance Manufacturer, ©1987, Corcoran Communications, Inc.

Eighty years ago, the Maytag Company manufactured its first washer, the 'Pastime', to offset the seasonality of its farm machinery business. A hand-cranked dolly with four twirling wood pegs was positioned under its lid. The dolly pulled the clothes through the water and against the corrugated sides of a cypress tub.

This labor-saving invention was followed two years later by the introduction of the 'Hired Girl' wringer washer. The washer replaced hand cranking with a pulley mechanism operated by an outside power source.

'Today, we have almost 110 conception of what these primitive washers meant to the daily lives of housewives,' says Susan Martin, a Maytag spokesperson.

'They were a tremendous improvement over the washboard. But washdays still meant carrying and heating water, followed by a long series of rinsings, blueings, and bleachings. Washing clothes was one of the housewife's most exhausting chores.'