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How Does a Whirlpool Washing Machine Work?

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Agitation The earliest Whirlpool washers, first made in 1911 by Louis Upton, his brother Frederick and their uncle Emory of St. Joseph, Michigan, operated in the same basic fashion as today's Whirlpool washers. Once the clothing is inserted into the basket, water flows over the clothes and into the washtub. The difference between today's washers and the earliest models is the amount of human interaction with the cycles. Modern Whirlpool washers include a pump to insert water at various temperatures into the tub, while earliest models required the operator to hand-load water into the machine. The success of the first Upton Machine Company washer was in its motorized agitation cycle. Prior to the introduction of this washing machine model, homemakers wishing to agitate clothing to remove dirt were required to use a paddle to move the clothing in the water by hand. Unusual devices were sold to facilitate the movement of the water, including large springs and plastic suction-type sticks. ... more
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