Rare miniature Ling-Temco automatic dishwasher — New Old Stock in original box

LING_TEMCO_automatic-dishwasher-retroHold onto your dirty dishes, and get ready for some in-the-flesh kitchen appliance amazing: An itsy bitsy 1950s Ling-Temco “eye level” automatic dishwasher — New Old Stock in the original box. Previously, we’ve seen the Ling-Temco in a 1961 advertisement and in Peggy’s aunt’s kitchen before. But yowza — here’s one new in the box to lust after! 

LING_TEMCO_automatic-dishwasher-retroThe Ling-Temco dishwasher — which looks to be about the size of modern day microwave oven — was designed to be mounted under wall kitchen cabinets at eye level, into the base cabinet right under the countertop, into a wall, or even as a floating or suspended dishwasher. The dishwasher itself is a thing of beauty: Gold and silver decorative front panels frame a glass door that allows the user to sit back, relax and watch the dishwashing process — good, clean entertainment and a much needed break from domestic duties.

Matt writes:

A friend of mine hosted a Mid-Modern event at a house in Kettering that you wrote about.  She suggested I reach out to you regarding a very special item I have.

LING_TEMCO_automatic-dishwasher-retroIt’s a Ling-Temco Automatic Dishwasher “Eye Level” from the late 50s.  It’s very rare.  It seems they were made in Texas, and marketed to builders all across the country with the idea they would install them in their new model homes.  The product didn’t sell as well as the larger, under-counter versions, and quickly disappeared from the market.

LING_TEMCO_automatic-dishwasher-retroBelieve it or not, it’s new and still in the original box.  This is a museum quality item.   The serial number suggests it’s the 357th one to roll off the assembly line.  It was originally shipped to an architectural firm in Columbus, Ohio.

LING_TEMCO_automatic-dishwasher-retro LING_TEMCO_automatic-dishwasher-retro LING_TEMCO_automatic-dishwasher-retroTo the right person (or museum), I believe this item could fetch quite a price.  Whenever else are rare and obscure kitchen appliances discovered new, in the box, and including all the original documents and instructions?

LING_TEMCO_automatic-dishwasher-retro LING_TEMCO_automatic-dishwasher-retro LING_TEMCO_automatic-dishwasher-retro LING_TEMCO_automatic-dishwasher-retroI think this is one of those amazing finds you come across once in a lifetime. The truth is, I bought it at the garage sale of an elderly couple in a small town in Southwest Ohio. I didn’t haggle too much and feel like I got a pretty good deal on it.  Honestly, I have no idea what to do with it, and bought it only because I feel I am the right person to be the custodian of this treasure until I find someone else to love it.  I really do think it belongs in a museum, but maybe I’ll find an individual who will care for it.

LING_TEMCO_automatic-dishwasher-retro LING_TEMCO_automatic-dishwasher-retro LING_TEMCO_automatic-dishwasher-retroLING_TEMCO_automatic-dishwasher-retroI found a letter written to Popular Mechanics in the September 1975 issue in which the writer asks where he can buy parts for his dishwasher.  He states that all his correspondence requesting parts have been returned undeliverable, and he doesn’t know what to do.  The staff of PM responded by explaining “James Industries in Will Point Texas” manufactured it for Ling-Temco, and they’re out of business now.

I do not intend to take it out of the box.

LING_TEMCO_automatic-dishwasher-retroWow, what a find Matt. We’re so glad you recognized how special this dishwasher is and became its custodian. Note Pam’s addition — this appliance seems to have been introduced for sale in 1961.

Mega thanks for letting us share the photos of your find here. We hope you can find a proper home for this museum quality piece of kitchen history.

Read more:

ling temco dishwasher
More photos from 1961 advertising materials for the Ling-Temco dishwasher
Peggy’s aunt’s Ling Temco, installed

  1. Jonathan Bitner says:

    My sister and I were just reminiscing about the glass front dishwasher we had in our kitchen when we were kids in the 60s and 70s. After a few failed Google search attempts, we found this page, and this is exactly the model we had! Ours was mounted below the counter, directly beneath a turquoise colored drop-in electric range. The house was in Lansdale, PA and was built in 1962. We used to sit on the kitchen floor and watch it run. Thanks for taking all those pictures!

  2. Suzy says:

    this is DO DARN COOL!!! I bought a 1959 home, and STUPIDLY removed some vintage items (early 90s) before I got into the vintage vibe about 3 yrs ago … since then I have been lucky to find some great items … however I have a hodge podge of different era’s from the 1940s to the 1980s and plan to reconfigure my kitchen soon to best display / use my items … I have a 1948 cast iron double bowl, double drainboard sink ($100 craigslist from NM), a 1970s canary yellow GE Frost Guard Refrigerator with beautiful chrome trim & pull out freezer ($225 craigslist Denver), I got a Thermador built in can opener $35 (craigslist WI), actually found a Modern Maid built in wall 4 slice toaster for $3.50 at a local rehab store, a Marchand paper towel, wax paper & foil buit in dispenser (ebay for $35), an Amana microwave oven from 1982 (ebay for $80), a 1985 Hobart KitchenAid dishwasher (rehab store $100) and a beautiful GE Double Oven with chrome trim around the edge of the door and around the windows on the doors ($100 craigslist SFBay) … cant wait to have it ALL installed

  3. Justin says:

    If you are looking to sell it, you might check http://www.automaticwahser.org It is a site with people who are into vintage washing machines and dishwashers. A guy there, who lives in the D.C. area and owns an appliance repair business, also has a museum of vintage machines, He would be interested in it, if not someone else from that site would. I for one would too.

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