Speed Queen

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Cash card-operated Speed Queen commercial washers and dryers
Speed Queen washers and dryers in a store display

Speed Queen is a laundry machine manufacturer headquartered in Ripon, Wisconsin, USA. Speed Queen is a subsidiary of Alliance Laundry Systems LLC, which billed itself as the world's largest manufacturer of commercial laundry equipment as of 2004.[1]


Speed Queen makes a large variety of residential and commercial products, from 25-pound (11 kg)-capacity tumblers to 250-pound (110 kg) washer-extractors, as well as dryers. Its commercial machines are a popular brand for laundromats, apartment buildings, and hotels.[citation needed]

As summarized by product review website Wirecutter in 2018, Speed Queen's top-loader washing machines have a reputation for being "wasteful [and] ineffective", requiring much more energy and water than modern front-loading washers, however on the other hand are regarded as "exceptionally durable and repairable", with fans also praising their ability to thoroughly clean heavily soiled work clothes.[2] A 2018 design change, revealed as the TR7, introduced what the company described as a "radically different" washing mechanism, abandoning the separate movement of agitator and tub for which Speed Queen laundry machines had previously been known for.[2] The design faced criticism, receiving only a 4.2 rating from CNET, who described the design as that it "doesn't clean nearly enough to recommend it to everyone."[3] It also received a "poor" rating by Consumer Reports (CR) for cleaning clothes--the only washer tested by CR to receive such a rating. On the "heavy cycle" CR said the cleaning rating would be "fair".[4] In 2019, Speed Queen effectively reverted to the separate agitator and tub with the release of the TC5.[5]


Barlow & Seelig washing machine, 1908

The company was founded in 1908 by Joe Barlow and John Seelig as Barlow & Seelig Manufacturing. They got their start by taking existing machine designs and improving them.[citation needed] In 1922, Speed Queen was the first company to introduce washers with nickel-copper tubs. The brand name "Speed Queen" was created in 1928. During World War II, it switched production to support the war effort, manufacturing 20 mm shells, and parts for airplanes, tanks and guns. Later, it was sold to McGraw-Edison Company (which also owned Eskimo fans and Toastmaster), and then to Raytheon. In 1998, Raytheon Commercial Laundry sold the brand to Alliance Laundry Systems.[6]


  1. ^ "Speed Queen Brand Name Returns to the Consumer Laundry Market" (Press release). Alliance Laundry Systems. 2 November 2004. Retrieved 2 December 2019 – via Prompt Service Appliandce.
  2. ^ a b McCabe, Liam (7 March 2017). "Speed Queen: The Internet Commenters' Favorite Washing Machine". Wirecutter. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Speed Queen TR7 (2018 Model) Review". April 19, 2018.
  4. ^ Janeway, Kimberly (31 October 2019). "Speed Queen TR7 Review: Why This New Top-Loader Isn't Laundry Royalty". Consumer Reports.
  5. ^ "Speed Queen Introduces New Top Load Washer Model with Classic Design" (Press release). Alliance Laundry Systems. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 2 December 2019 – via Markets Insider.
  6. ^ "Raytheon completes Speed Queen sale". Milwaukee Business Journal. 5 May 1998. Retrieved 2 December 2019.

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