Beatty Washer

This article was originally written and submitted as part of a Canada 150 Project, the Innovation Storybook, to crowdsource stories of Canadian innovation with partners across Canada. The content has since been migrated to Ingenium’s Channel, a digital hub featuring curated content related to science, technology and innovation.

The Beatty model A was Canada’s first electric washing machine with an agitator. Source: Ingenium 1968.0399

The Beatty electric washing machine ushered in a new era of domestic appliances.The Beatty electric washing machine ushered in a new era of domestic appliances.

In the 1920s Beatty Brothers electric washing machines became the choice of households across Canada, heralding an era of electrical domestic appliances. Featuring an agitator that beat clothing, this Beatty washer represents the company’s innovative approach to manufacturing. Brothers George and Matthew Beatty founded the company in Fergus, Ontario, in 1874. They manufactured farm implements until 1900 when they began specializing in domestic goods, such as washers and irons, as well as barn and stable equipment. In 1911, the company built a large factory in Fergus where they developed new products and used modern assembly-line techniques. Beatty Brothers prospered with the extension of hydro-electric power throughout the country, and by the 1930s was selling electrical appliances and other goods around the world.

Beatty Brothers was sold in the 1960s and amalgamated with General Steel Wares Ltd.

Canada Science and Technology Museum Wringer Washer, ca. 1927 Beatty Bros. Ltd., Fergus, Ontario

Profile picture for user Ingenium
Ingenium – Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation

Ingenium represents a collaborative space where the past meets the future in a celebration of creativity, discovery, and human ingenuity.

Telling the stories of people who think differently and test the limits, Ingenium honours people and communities who have shaped history — and inspire the next generation.