Hoover 'Keymatic' washing machine, 1963.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 26cm x 32cm

Hoover 'Keymatic' washing machine, 1963.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


The first electric washing machine was introduced in 1908 by the American Alva J Fisher. However, these machines did not become widely used until 1947-1950. This is one of the new type of automatic washing machines which incorporated full wash, rinsing and spin cycles and was extremely successful in the 1960s. The Hoover 'Keymatic' featured a novel means of programming the machine by using the 'keycard' to select the wash programme. This model 3224 was introduced in 1961. Three-quarter view, with door open. Digitally manipulated to remove manufacturer's logo.

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