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Washing Machine - Lightburn & Co Ltd, Lightburn Deluxe, circa 1955 Object Reg. No: SH 922977

Deluxe Washing Machine made by Lightburn & Co Ltd, circa 1955. It was found at a beach house purchased by the donor at Shoreham in 1988. The machine was used only once by the donor to satisfy their curiosity and they found that it washed very well.

Registered Design Numbers: 233639-43, 273027735, 2730227736, 24231, 26634/38.
Australian Patent Numbers: 135734, 143734, 1435758, 143394, 142717
Industrial looking metal unit, cream in colour. Twin tub. Larger tub rotates to wash the clothes and contains a black rubber tube. Smaller tub spin dries and contains a black rubber tube with smaller diameter than the one in the large tub. There is a white rubber tube attached to the back of the unit. The large tub has a screw out plug in the bottom.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mrs Audrey Harris, 1992
Discipline: History

More information

Tagged with: washing machines, domestic work, housework, domestic appliances
Themes this item is part of: Domestic & Community Life Collection, Engineering Collection
Primary Classification: DOMESTIC LIFE
Secondary Classification: Laundering - Washing
Tertiary Classification: appliances - electric
Inscriptions: 'Deluxe', 'start/stop', 'Serial number 20019140'

Back plate:
Se 20019140, 220/240 volts, phase 1, cycles 50, amps 3.7, HPS 0.5
Manufacturer: Lightburn & Co. Ltd., Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, circa 1955

Patent details approved 1951
Place & Date Used: Shoreham, Victoria, Australia, 1988


Chris Hawkes Posted on 17 Jun 2013 1:53 PM
One of these was still in use with the 6th RAR battlegroup in East Timor during Operation Catalyst in 2000
Bill Posted on 12 Oct 2013 2:10 PM
Good one. Ha!
Paul Whitman Posted on 16 Feb 2014 11:08 AM
These machines were used extensively by the RAAF on bases for living in personnel in the 60s and 70s...I never came across one which was broken and found them very robust in getting the job done...they don't make them like this anymore....
Leigh Boileau Posted on 16 Feb 2014 5:33 PM
The only problem with them was that it was common the find the drain plug/screw missing rendering them unusable..........unless you used the plastic closure from a bottle of Barossa Pearl. Remember that drop?
Craig Burgess Posted on 01 Jun 2014 12:08 PM
I started my Naval career at HMAS Leeuwin a junior recruit training establishment in Fremantle W.A. We had these to wash our clothes and the really took a beating and never let us down. fantastic washing machine and the sight of them bring back a lot of memories for hundreds of men who used them.
Debbie Posted on 03 Jun 2014 9:13 PM
When I worked at Gladesville Hospital as a nurse in the 70s & 80s we had them in all the wards. They were old then, but as Paul & Craig point out, they were incredibly robust. They were for the use of the patients, but we used to do our own washing in them when we were on night duty.
Geoff Beechey Posted on 13 Dec 2014 6:08 PM
Lightburn also manufactured concrete mixers, the washing bowl in this washing machine was the same bowl used in their smaller 2.2 cu ft mixers. I used to purchase these washing machines as they were traded in and convert the bowls to concrete mixers. A very strong and reliable washing machine.
John R Reay Posted on 22 Dec 2014 2:23 PM
We bought one in 1951, it had a steel body & rusted out in 10 years. We bought a new one that had a fibreglass body. We still use it twice a week & you can not get better & I am 88. The weak item was the pump so I removed it & the water goes direct into the S trap. I have a spare spinner motor. I have the manual.
John Reay Posted on 22 Dec 2014 2:32 PM
I took our son's photo in one in 1952 & he is now 61. He helps me now if I need to grease it.
J Reay Posted on 23 Dec 2014 2:48 PM
Leigh Boileau. The plug in mine has an extension that goes through the hole so when you undo the plug it stays in position.
Neville Anderson Posted on 18 May 2015 8:47 PM
I am a whitegoods technician and have fixed a number of these usually the belt or drum roller. They were used a lot on farms and guest houses as they would wash a large load. No service panel though had to tip onto a tyre on the big end to change belt which took about 2 hours as had to drop motor out which is under spinner and re running belt was a pain.

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