Altorfer Bros. Company

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The Altorfer Bros. Company was a washing machine manfacturer founded by brothers A.W. and Silas Altorfer in Roanoke, Illinois in 1909.

The brothers first created a power clothes washer after watching their sisters and mother hand-washing piles of clothes. It was basically a wooden tub mounted to a bench with wooden "fingers" to wash the clothes, and attached to a gasoline engine. After two years, sales of the new power washer were in the thousands.[1] They called the machine the Roanoke Power Machine.[2]

The company became known as the ABC Washer Company and its appliances were sold under the ABC brand. The company built a new factory in Peoria, Illinois, and the wooden tub was replaced with a metal tub. In 1926, ABC produced the first porcelain-lined tub. In 1928, ABC took over the Federal Washing Machine Company of Chicago, Illinois, which was producing washing machines for the Insull utilities company founded by Samuel Insull. ABC became Insull's supplier and made washing machines under the Fedelco brand exclusively for them.[2]

In 1952, Altorfer Bros. Company was purchased by the Nash-Kelvinator company, and began manufacturing products under the Kelvinator brand as well.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Early History of Kelvinator and the Subsidaries". Howard Clutter. Retrieved on 2008-12-16. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Swain, Tim (2008-04-18). "Swain Country". written at Peoria, Illinois. Peoria Public Library. Retrieved on 2008-12-16.