Washing Machine [Whiteway]

Maker and role
Fisher and Paykel Limited, Manufacturer
Production date
Circa 1970s
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Object detail

Accession number
Production period
A Fisher and Paykel Whiteway washing machine, model R with wringer on top. The machine comprises of a large rounded white unit standing on 4 castors. The lid on top comes off to reveal a large washing bowl and agitator inside. There is an agitator lever at the back with a rotary pump switch indicating ON/OFF positions. There is also a red overload reset button next to the agitator lever. The wringer is situated on top of the machine. There is a rubber overflow pipe from the rear of the machine. The accompanying instruction book is a blue and white book giving clear instructions on the use of the washing machine. On the back page is the Warranty which has a purchase date: 2-4-74.
Whiteway / Product of Fisher & Paykel Ltd. Maker's Plate
2-4-74 Hand-written
Credit Line
Fisher and Paykel Limited. Circa 1970s. Washing Machine [Whiteway], 2006.378. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).


Public comments

Just note that the picture shows the wringer in the pressure releaf having been operated.

- Steve Miller on 24-04-2020 01:58:50

Hi, I’m 56, a kiwi , but have been living in England for years. I grew up in New Lynn and know MOTAT very well. Doubtlessly, it’s changed immensely, but I remember when there was a little picket fence around some aeroplanes and my father climbed into a Lancaster, started it up and the propellers flattened the fence. Anyway, my point in writing is, I want to buy an old wringer, was googling around and saw your photo of one. That’s exactly what mum had and I used to do all the family washing in it in a Saturday morning in the old wash house outside. I was only about six when I started and had hair down to my waist. The fear and horror was my hair would get caught in the wringer. Mum always told me to tie it up and I did, but one day my pony tail started to get pulled into the wringer and went round and round, instead of out the other side into the big old concrete tub. But, being very used to it, I just reached up and slammed the release lever to stop the rollers rolling. My hair going through the wringer was less scary than the huge clank of the roller release thing whenever I tried to feed too bulky sheets through, instead of easing them through. The noise of it all jamming and then ‘exploding’ used to scare the life out of me. In 1978 mum got a semi automatic top loader, so that was the end of that. When I went flatting every house had an old wringer in it. In Avondale, mt Albert, western springs, mt roskill - without fail, every old villa I lived in had one. I used to work at glamis hospital in mt Albert and lived with three other nurses in an ancient, run down villa at the start of st Luke’s Rd. Back then , before the greedy landlord x sectioned the garden and built two home units on it, we had a clothes line running the length of a field , all the way back to the cemetery behind the church. The sight of all our gleaming white uniforms flapping around on that very long line is one I shall never forget. I am a bit mental when it comes to laundry, granted , but it was a thing of joy. You just done see it anymore, like nappies hung out in the sun. No other machine gets clothes as white as those machines. I used to fill the tub with piping hot water, loads of soap flakes and a really good dollop of bleach and off I went. That big old paddle doing it’s thing, making all the water roll round and round really was the business. I’ve been thinking about buying one for a couple of years now and seeing your photo has just reinforced the idea and spurred me on to try and find one for sale. I remember knowing they’re fairly indestructible, with the pump being the most common sticky point, if there is one. Do you have contact details of someone in Auckland who sells them? Thank you for bearing with! I know I must sound a nutter, but seeing that old thing has taken me back fifty years, when living in Auckland was very, very different than what it is like now. My great grandmother owned an enormous chunk of blockhouse bay and as kids, three generations used to run wild in the bush, for miles, gone all day, back when it got too dark to see. I only wish my grandsons could know the freedom to roam that I had as a kid. Anyway, rambling on. Keep up the good collecting! Please do let me know if you know where I can get an old washing machine? Thanks. All the best. Shirene

- Shirene clark on 13-01-2020 06:37:44

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