The Constructa fully automatic washing machine
Engineering company Peter Pfenningsberg GmbH from Düsseldorf launched Germany's first fully automatic washing machine on the market in 1951. The machine was still without a name when it made its appearance at the Constructa building trade fair in Hanover. But the exhibition was to prove memorable. The washing machine was presented for the first time as Pfenningsberg Constructa at the spring fair in Cologne in 1952. The machine with the characteristic porthole could clean 4.5 kilos of laundry in 75 minutes. The Constructa boasted yet another highlight in being able to prepare the required amount of hot water itself. This eliminated the need for a hot water connection as was necessary with other machines, making the Constructa more versatile in where it could be used. Every cycle could be extended, shortened, repeated or skipped as required by setting the program knob, thus allowing the degree of dirt to be taken into account optimally in each case. At the same time "Operation of the machine (...) couldn't be easier and requires no specialist knowledge" as the advertising stressed.
The drum was produced from stainless Nirosta sheeting and designed so as to change direction of rotation every 15 minutes during a washing and rinsing cycle with 48 revolutions per minute. Because of the speed, a concrete base and four stone bolts were needed to anchor the fully automatic washing machine to the floor.
- BSH Corporate Archives, no signature, Constructa Document Folder, General Collection 1951-1958.