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The First Electric Washing Machine


The Thor washing machine was the first electric clothes washer sold commercially in the United States. Right- Thor Electric Washing Machine Ad from The Jewish Monitor in 1921

The first mass-marketed electric washing machine was the Thor, a tumble washer produced by the Hurley Machine company in 1908.  The machine worked by tumbling clothes with wooden drum, in two directions, at eight revolutions per minute. The drum's rotation mechanisms were powered by a single Westinghouse Electric company electric motor and connected together via drive belts. Most inventively however, the Thor featured an Integrated clutch which allowed the machine switch revolution direction be held in a stationary position once power was applied.

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  Working Mechanism 

 The drum turned at eight revolutions per minute before reversing direction to spin again. 
 The machine's chain-driven wringing mechanism could be reversed through the operation of a top-right- mounted lever.
 Unlike modern machines, the Thor did not have an on/off switch, instead requiring users to physically disconnect its power cord to turn it off.
 The Thor's drum was made of wood, into which a galvanized tub was inserted to hold clothes. 
 A control lever on the left side of the machine was operated to engage and disengage its clutch.

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