Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Washing Machines Made in Sandusky

An advertisement in the 1874 Erie County Atlas stated the “The time for making women bend over the wash board has passed away.” John Cotner was a dealer in washing machines and clothes wringers at the National House in 1874, located at the corner of Market and Wayne Streets. You can see an antique Buckeye Washer at the Follett House Museum. David Losure and Charles Grafton also manufactured washing machines in Sandusky in the 1870’s.

The Easiest Way Manufacturing Company, which was incorporated in 1912, manufactured a variety of washing machines in Sandusky. An advertisement in the November 3, 1919 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal suggested that area housewives should strike against wash day drudgery, and demand a new Easiest Way electric washing machine, which sold for $95.00 at the Donahue Hardware Company.

You can read the name of the Easiest Way Washing Machine on the former building of the Easiest Way Manufacturing Company, which was bought out by the Peerless Stove Company. The building, originally the site of the Diamond Wine Company, is located at the northeast corner of Adams and Harrison Streets in Sandusky.
The copper washing machine pictured below was made by the Easiest Way Manufacturing Company. The washer was donated to the Follett House Museum in the 1970’s.

In the 1930’s washing machines were manufactured locally by the Holland Rieger Division of the Apex Electrical Manufacturing Company. Model names of some of the washers made by Holland Rieger included Dependable, Faultless, and Modern Laundress. Hundreds of jobs for area residents were provided by Apex and its predecessor Holland Rieger. The plant was located in the 1600 block of First Street. Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to view issues of the Apex Manufacturing company newsletter entitled “Hourglass,” which covers the years 1943 through 1948.

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