Rare woddity: 1958 Gerrity Princess kitchen faucet “dishwasher”

Gerrity-Princess-Dishwasher-1950sEbay is like the Amazon Rainforest of rare vintage goodies waiting to be rediscovered — there are so many ‘species’ out there still to find. This week, Pam the Adventurer stumbled on what she believes to be a super rare 1958 Gerrity Princess faucet with built-in dishwashing attachments. It’s for sale as part of a midcentury woddity wonder kitchen. We’ve never seen one of these before, and even the Ebay seller — a longtime fan of Retro Renovation and avid collector himself — has never run across another one.

Gerrity-Princess-Dishwasher-1950sEbay seller rethinking has been collecting bits and pieces of high end, rare and amazing parts to construct the ultimate midcentury kitchen over the years, and is now selling them off as one big wonderful set. While each part of the kitchen is amazing in its own right, the 1958 Gerrity Princess faucet with dishwashing attachments is really something special.

From the Ebay listing:

 … A vintage kitchen this over the top could not have a faucet over it’s built in stainless steel sinks.  I considered adding a vintage Dishmaster but then found something even more intriguing, and once again, it’s the only one I’ve ever seen.  It’s a 1958 Gerrity Princess faucet with built in dishwashing attachments.  It is NOS in the original and super cool wooden crate with all instructions and pieces and is in as new condition from 56 years ago. …

Gerrity-Princess-Dishwasher-1950sprincess-dishwasher-faucetprincess-dishwasher-faucet Gerrity-Princess-Dishwasher-1950sThe seller was kind enough to send me some additional photos of the faucet, and several of the attached instruction and installation manual. How cool is that?

The instructions for use in the above brochure read:

Operating Instructions

Your Princess Dishwasher has been carefully inspected and tested and will give good service. Follow these instructions:

  1. Remove white plastic cover. Pour one teaspoon of liquid detergent (not soap) into white detergent container. Fill container with cold water and replace plastic cover.
  2. Your Princess Dishwasher is now ready for use.
  3. Turn on the hot water. Turn on the cold water gradually until water coming through the spout is of desired temperature.
  4. With the white plastic handle in hand, pull ou white diverter control knob. Water now flows through the hose.
  5. Place your thumb on the white control button for rich, creamy suds, and for a clear sanitary rinse remove your thumb from button.
  6. Wash glassware, china, and sliver with your nylon brush. Wash pots, pans, etc., with your brass wire brush (optional at extra cost).
  7. Turn off the water and the diverter control will automatically close. The next time you turn on the water, it will flow through the spout.


princess-dishwasher-faucet-brochureMega thanks to Ebay seller rethinking for allowing us to feature this amazing faucet.

Read about more unusual vintage faucets:

  1. Mary Elizabeth says:

    Love this! It’s a beauty. Besides saving power by not using a dishwasher, it surely saves dishwashing detergent.

    But I will have to ask the resident Prince if he would like to have a Princess dishwasher–he does almost all the dishes at our house. That’s one improvement over the 1950s-style household. 🙂

    1. Sandra says:

      I doubt it saves power. Washing under running water uses power not only to heat the water, but to clean and deliver it, so a dishwasher that recirculates the water could well save on power by using less water. It depends on how many dishes you are doing at a time.

      It’s one of those things like plastic grocery bags and styrofoam cups: they’re better for the environment than paper, because to make paper you cut down a whole tree, throw most of it away, and bleach and process the rest at a very high energy cost with toxic waste, whereas the plastic products are lightweight and much smaller volumes, with little waste in the process.

      Still, it looks cool.

  2. midmichigan says:

    I’ve used Dishmasters many times when I was much younger but this is something I’ve never seen before. It’s definitely cool! It must be just before the Dishmaster was manufactured.

    I see that both, Dishmaster and Princess dishwashers were made by Gerrity-Michigan Company in Adrian, Michigan. Maybe the current Dishmaster Company could give more information on the history.

    1. pam kueber says:

      ahhhh – i hadn’t made that connection re dishmaster manufacturing… i also wonder whether this reflected industry consolidation — THANKS MM!

  3. ElectraChime says:

    Perhaps that wooden case is not the shipping container but a one-off creation for a salesman to haul the product to trade shows or client offices? Few products of that size were still packed in wood boxes by 1958 as cardboard was already the norm. The handle is another clue. As is the fact these are apparently so rare. I’m guessing this was a demonstrator.

  4. Hipkat says:

    Just looking at this makes me think of Scotty’s line from one of the early Star Trek movies: “The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.” I’m guessing it’s rare because it was prone to breakdowns with all those parts and functions. But so cool looking!

  5. Jay says:

    NASA called, they want their parts back. Seriously though it seems kind of Edsall looking. A bit overwhelming. At first I thought that was an electrical cord sprouting from the top then realized it was the brush hose.
    I wonder if it ever went into production or for a very short period of time.
    Pam, is the princess RR hoarder excuse me I meant collector going to snap this one up?

  6. Mary Beth says:

    My cousins who lived in Michigan had one of these. As a child from a home with an ‘automatic’ dishwasher, I was fascinated that you could watch the soap level go down as you ‘played’ in the sink. I thought the brush also spun around??? or maybe we just did a good job of spraying soap around the room while harassing my male cousin!

  7. Kit says:

    I saw one of those just last night on eBay, using a search “1950’s vintage kitchen”‘ my normal Saturday night entertainment while my husband and I watch TV.

    It took my eye because initially I thought It might be a Dishmaster, in a design I have never seen, and I knew that I would have to have that that one! But there was not a closer up photo of just that.

    Unfortunately, included in the sale is the whole kitchen, for $2,000,00, and you have to dismantle it yourself! This includes two ovens, sink, the dishwasher, countertop, and cabinets, all from, as the seller states, a well preserved mansion.

    I Love it and would love to have one! Even if just for my laundry room tub, where the energy issue wouldn’t be such a big deal! My laundry room is on our main floor and will be a part of our makeover once the main parts of our home are done.

  8. Justin says:

    I actually have that a unit like that. Mine is also made by Gerrity. The only difference I can tell with mine, is that it doesn’t have those fancy flaps on the side. Mine has just a simple little holder for the brush. I bought mine several years back off of ebay. It came in the original box.
    I still have not installed it. One of these days I’ll have it installed.

  9. Kit says:

    Well, I was so excited to see ‘another’ when I opened my email this morning that confess to not fully reading the story behind it before chiming in here!

    Pam, looks like we share the same hobby of scouring eBay for unusual items.

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