Vintage Kenmore dryer

vintage-kenmore-dryerThere was a vintage Kenmore dryer in the basement of the estate sale – right next to the deco-style steel sink cabinet. Sigh. I don’t know how much electricity these vintage dryers use…probably a lot. But they are so beautiful — and goodness, they have lasted a long time, that’s for sure!


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  1. says

    Wow! That dryer is great! I’m still using a vintage Kenmore dryer…but mine is a little newer. It was new in 1969, still works great, and is quieter when running than my parent’s new dryer from GE. I’m all for dependability!

  2. BobQSmith says

    Electric dryers are horrendously inefficient…new or old, it doesn’t really matter. They’ve been using the same basic technology ever since they were invented. About the only thing that can make an electric dryer more efficient is a sensor that will monitor the dryness of the load and shut it off the instant things get dry.

  3. says

    I wonder how the carbon footprint compares between a dryer that has been working for years and hasn’t broken but uses a bit more electricity vs a new energy efficient model that will break and be unrepairable in 5 years that you will then have to send to a landfill and buy a new one. I would think the old one would win.

    • pam kueber says

      @BungalowBill, I tend to think you are right regarding these “lifecycle” costs – especially if, as BobQSmith wrote, the technology has not changed all that much over time. Also, I read recently that a way to reduce the carbon footprint of electric dishwashers is to run them very late at night. They use the same amount of electricity, obviously, but late at night there is surplus electricity availalbe. I think that means: use it or lose it. On the other hand, if we all use more electricity during the day, that means that power plants must be built to accommodate our growth. So…if you have a dryer, perhaps there are loads you can run late at night rather than in the day, when the demand on the grid is not so great.

  4. Robert says


    Wow and notice the lint filter is on the top. I always hated those that way as you pull it out and the lint goes all over. Plus often dryers house things (table cloths, sheets and such) on top for a while and that means you can’t put it on top of that lint door. More and more dryers have them there as mine does.

    I thought that was a newer innovation but guess not. Who knew?? LOL

    Frankly I think it is a great inconvenience to have it there versus the ones between the drum and the outside that you just open the door and pull out.


  5. atomicbowler-dave says

    Then…if one were truly adventurous and dedicated…there is the thought of buying a NEW dryer (frt. Damage, maybe) and frankensteining a “new” dryer into an old enclosure. Sadly, one would probably lose some cool-factor in the controls, but maybe new non-stock cool factor could be created…

  6. TappanTrailerTami says


    I’ve owned ONE in my life with the lint filter on top and never will own one again for the exact reasons you list. They are truly the worst for keeping your dryer and adjacent washer staying unlinty (is unlinty a word? maybe now it is) –

    Sign me Unlinty in CA, with my lint filter in the door 🙂

  7. St. Christopher says

    Oooohhhh…..that is a ’57 Lady Kenmore! I almost bought one in PINK a few years ago. I was just about to leave on vacation to South Padre Isle via New Orleans. We had two weeks vacation, so on this roadtrip we were going to the GIANT flea market in Texas and I felt I had to keep alot of cash available for that. So I didn’t buy the dryer. Bwwaaaahhhhh….I should have bought it! It is one of the most regrettable failures to purchase that I have.

    Check out this link:

    And here is a link to the main page:

    These folks are HARD CORE!


  8. Justin says

    Beautiful dryer. Too bad they didn’t have the matching washer with it. I’ve got that same dryer in pink. I currently don’t use it, don’t have the matching washer for it yet. The washer and dryer set I do use is a 1963 Lady Kenmore set in turquoise.


  9. says

    Riegelman’s Appliances here in Gresham Oregon has a Beee-utiful late 50s turquoise washer/dryer set on display in their showroom. The salesman said they didn’t work anymore (wiring issues… I bet they could be repaired by any decent repairman) but looked absolutely perfect on the outside. They have the original paper work & manuals and apparently the lady who owned them actually waxed the finish. They looked SO nice, especially when sitting next to new models.

  10. St. Christopher says

    There was a beautiful set of turquoise Maytags in Salt Lake City on the C-List for something like $275 a few months ago. Ooohhhhh….my girlfriend had to hold me back. I was already printing out maps and calculating gas costs….

    I have the same set in harvest gold and they work awesomely!

    By the way, did anybody check out the rest of the pics in that persons collection? Check out the cool appliances in the kitchen!

    Looks like they have TWO vintage dishwashers! Little surprise considering the rows of washers and driers in the basement.


  11. nina462 says

    I found a Lady Kenmore washer (w/mangle) at an antique store last week for $250. Yes, I do know how to use a mangle (thanks Mom)…but already have a washer & dryer. I liked how it was labeled a “LADY” Kenmore….
    I also remember my mom teaching me to wash the whites first, colors second and darks last….because we used the same water! Funny, I still do the laundry that way, even though I have a modern washer…

  12. jimmy says

    Carbon footprint? Can we eliminate the political agenda in discussions about retro appliances? Gimme a break–really. I wonder if Al Gore worries about how much energy his appliances consume in that enormous 44,000 square foot warehouse he lives in. I bet not. Have fun and don’t be such fools

    • pam kueber says

      Jimmy, I tend to agree we should set this issue aside. Tip: If you are interested in finding out more about the energy efficiency of your old appliances, get a meter and test them individually. For example, contrary to what might be a knee-jerk belief, I have been told that old fridges can be pretty energy efficient – because they don’t have defrost motors. The defrosting in today’s models, I was told, takes a lot of energy. Bottom line: Test what you have … and I would say: Learn more about the energy used in your house in all ways and go for macro-solutions. I plan to blog more about this — home energy efficiency — in the future – it is a great interest of mine.

  13. Bruce says

    My dryer looks exactly like the one in the picture (but not quite as clean). Mine is a 1950 Sears-Kenmore (not a “Lady Kenmore”) GAS dryer model 5817801. It seems the only outward difference is mine has a pop out panel on the front bottom edge where the gas petcock is located. I don’t know how much electric it uses but it’s a 110 volt AC 6 amp motor. The machine is quite heavy with VERY thick sheet metal. It was the first (I believe) gas dryer to use an electric pilot (heat coil) ignition. It usually needs a new V-belt every 10 or 12 years but the belts are easy to change. I don’t think it will ever wear out.

    • Patrick Coffey says

      Bruce, from the partial model # you gave your dryer dates from 1958 NOT 1950. The dryers model # starts with 110. which signifies it was made by Whirlpool as like today Sears has all their appliances made for them by other manufacturers

  14. Lakon Williams says

    I just bought a house with a 1950’s Norge (borg-Warner)home double-chest farm freezer, mint condition and working! A 1950’s white Kenmore dryer in mint and working condition, and a 1954 Norge 41″ range, white in color. I cannot find any information on what my antique appliances are worth. Any information would be appreciated! -Lakon

    • Patrick Coffey says

      If you would like information on your vintage Kenmore dryer and 2 vintage Norge appliances I suggest you go to automatic, I know of a lot of people there who can help you date your appliances and help you with any problems you might have with them

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