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Old 13th Feb 2021, 4:17 pm   #1
regentone001
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Default Bendix Washing machine

I am wondering if anyone has any idea of what model this machine I will describe is.
My grandfather opened, I am told, the first launderette in Britain. He got the idea after visiting America and, of course it was fitted with Bendix machines. These had to be bolted down to the floor, they had a screw in door fastening. The control was on the top at the back and was slightly conical and thumb operated. There was a little flap on the top of the machine by which means you added the soap when the red indicator light came on.
We eventually had one of the old machines when he had one of the shops refitted and it was an excellent machine, though it used to scare the dog who would hide under the table as it gradually worked loose on the floor bolts. I have had a look on the internet but so far have had no luck in spotting this exact model. I was 9 years old when we moved from the house where the machine was fitted and we left it there, and I am now 67.
Thanks for any ideas
Steve
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Old 13th Feb 2021, 4:49 pm   #2
Lancs Lad
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

Might be worth joining this forum, Steve.

It's called automaticwasher.org, and is a very useful resource for info on vintage washing machines etc.

Hope this helps
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Old 13th Feb 2021, 5:34 pm   #3
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

Bendix washing machines weren't actually made by the Bendix Corporation. By the 60s, I think they were being made by Philco. They sold very few domestic models in the UK because of their cost and complexity, but dominated the coin operated lauderette market which was developing at that time.
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Old 13th Feb 2021, 7:04 pm   #4
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

My next door neighbour had a Bendix in the early 60s, It was the first front loader I had seen and I remember being very impressed.

My mum only had a Hoover top-loader with a mangle.
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Old 13th Feb 2021, 7:12 pm   #5
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

Bendixes [bendices?] were always considered rather top-end as far as domestic washers were concerned. In the mid-60s one of our neighbours had a front-loading Bendix automatic washer and a separate Bendix tumble-drier [which ran on gas].

My mother was rather envious, and soon we acquired a Bendix automatic too,
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Old 13th Feb 2021, 9:52 pm   #6
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

In the mid 1960s my family bought a Bendix LT drier.
It was not coin operated but did the drying as well.
It could have done with being bolted to the floor.
You got a warning when it was going to go "on the run". The soap cover used to fly open and then it began to run around the room.
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Old 13th Feb 2021, 10:43 pm   #7
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

We had a Bendix washer in the middle 50ís, bolted to the floor, front loader. My mother had problems with her hands that made some tasks more difficult so they bought an automatic. I remember the installers laying a concrete square in the kitchen floor and putting the fixing bolts in. Plumber and electrician sorted out pipes and wiring.
Only fault we had was the timer failed after some years, dad fitted a new one.

Something like this one but itís 60 odd years ago so canít be sure.
https://www.historyworld.co.uk/content/bendix.jpg
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Old 14th Feb 2021, 12:08 am   #8
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

Someone in "tinkering about" with one like the one we had on Youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xhRDBfJfVQ
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Old 14th Feb 2021, 7:17 am   #9
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

My parents had a Bendix washer/drier that's a bit like the one you describe. It as a model DRS, the DR being the washer-only verson. The controls were somewhat conical on a sloping panel at the top rear, IIRC they were the drier thermostat, the water heater thermostat, the (mechanical)timer/programmer and a dual concentric control with the water level as the top knob (mechanically coupled to the pressure switch) and hot/warm wash (basically heater enable) on the bottom. Two indicator neons, yellow for the drier heater and red for the water heater. Between the 2 pairs of controls was the drier filter which fitted either way round to select washing or drying.

There was a flap on top to put the soap powder in. The door had a mechanical sliding catch (not any screw-down thing), with a microswitch to cut the mains to the machine if the door was open.

And yes it had to be bolted to the floor. The drum was rigidly fixed to the chassis so the whole machine would vibrate when spinning.

It was very well made. A capacitor-start induction motor to power it. There was a feedback line from the centrifugal starting switch which held up the timer until the motor was up to speed. The drain pump was on the front of the motor with a spring-loaded graphite shaft seal (a similar seal was used for the main drum shaft...). A solenoid-operated valve on the front of the pump was energised when it drained. On the back of the motor was a 2 speed gearbox with a solenoid to select the faster speed. Normal for washing, high speed for spinning.

Although it no longer works, when I moved house I brought it with me and it's still in the garage. I feel it needs to be restored one day.
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Old 15th Feb 2021, 9:31 pm   #10
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

Sounds like the Bendix Triomatic.
I grew up with one, both parents being used-car dealers, and normally out most of the day.
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Old 16th Feb 2021, 8:05 am   #11
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

The earlier bendix machines were obsolete before they all wore out as I believe there a fire or some similar disaster with spares warehouse. We had to turn down repairs on these unless we could bodge some alternative part in. This doesn't apply to the latter Philco made ones which were quite reliable till the outer tub rotted out. Later models had stainless tubs which also failed due to spot welding brackets to them without allowing for the increased fatigue cracks with stainless. Bendix were merged into Electrolux empire which rebadged Zanussi models and descended into the modern era of unrepairable junk!
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Old 16th Feb 2021, 3:40 pm   #12
TonyDuell
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigham View Post
Sounds like the Bendix Triomatic.
I grew up with one, both parents being used-car dealers, and normally out most of the day.
Exactly. That was the 'user' name for it, but the serial number plate, circuit diagram, etc, call it the DRS.
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Old 28th Feb 2021, 5:41 am   #13
TonyDuell
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

I've attached a scan of a rather tatty copy of the Bendix DRS(Triomatic) circuit diagram.
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 9:42 am   #14
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

... as found on the inside of the lid!
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 10:47 am   #15
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

We had one of those second-hand soon after were were married in the '60s. I thought it was a brilliant machine, utterly reliable but of course there was very little in them, they did the job well though.

We even brought it down to Dorset when we moved here, someone local bought it from us and I think it was still working well into the '70s.

Peter
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 12:39 pm   #16
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

This reminds me how I recently forgot to take the transit bolts out of a new washer - and came in to the plaintive cries of my 13 year old as she hung onto it in its first spin and tried in vain to slow its progression across the floor. I considered bolting it down until I had a dim memory of SP25 arrangements and went a-looking
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 12:53 pm   #17
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

Quote:
Originally Posted by regentone001 View Post
There was a little flap on the top of the machine by which means you added the soap when the red indicator light came on.

Thanks for any ideas
Steve
My mother had one. I must have been a nightmare child as not only did I severely burn my hand on the gas cooker but I also opened the door on the Bendix whilst it was washing. Fortunately it was bolted to a concrete floor so no lasting damage. There was no red light on our machine so perhaps yours was a later model.

Try a Google image search: 1950 bendix washing machine

Peter
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 4:59 pm   #18
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

There have been quite a few "Bendixes" over the years - a lot of WWII-era US military/aircraft-radios/radars/navigation-gear was built by Bendix Radio,

Bendix/King also produced a range of well-respected two-way-radio gear.

They also made missiles and computers.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bendix_Corporation

which interestingly notes that Bendix never actually made washing-machines - they licensed the name to another company for use on domestic appliances.

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Old 3rd Mar 2021, 8:50 am   #19
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

My wife caught me on my phone yesterday watching dodgy videos of................old washing machines on YouTube.

She now thinks I'm weird, and I blame you lot...
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Old 3rd Mar 2021, 9:34 am   #20
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Default Re: Bendix Washing machine

My parents had a Bendix automatic machine which I suppose dated from the late Fifties. Before moving to Wales my father owned an electrical shop in Cheadle and doubtless got a good deal on it.
The machine was cream in colour but I don't remember much else about it. When it finally died in the late Sixties he stripped it for parts. He welded the front and back drum parts together to make a flying saucer shape, mounted it on the original shaft, sprayed it gold, painted numbers on it and made a giant roulette wheel for me! Trouble was the bearing was so good it took several minutes to land on the number by which time my friends had given up waiting.
Replacing it with another automatic was difficult so they bought a twin-tub - a Rolls....
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