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About Panasonic

Corporate History

Innovative Products
1951

Agitator-type washing machine



Agitator-type washing machineKonosuke Matsushita instructed his employees to develop and market a washing machine, saying that "a washing machine is an important product that frees housewives from the heavy labor of housework." He made this remark after he came back from a study tour of the U.S. market in 1951. And production of the first agitator-type washing machine, the MW-101with a 2.0-kg capacity, featuring a round enameled tank and an on-off switch, started in September.
Targeting monthly sales of 500 units, employees made every effort to sell the washing machines, driving trucks loaded with washing machines through upper-scale residential areas and demonstrating the machines at electrical appliance stores.
Stories regarding difficulties in design and production mention that the design staff relied on foreign periodicals and samples to develop a machine which was difficult to realize. They had to start developing motors, switches, oil seals, and other parts before developing the product, and they had to carry out laborious work setting up quality criteria, because there was no standard unstained cloth that could be used for quality inspections.

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