Give ne back my hat!

old appliances used to work for ages

interesting discussion

http://recraigslist.com/2015/10/they-used-to-last-50-years/

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13909365

race to the bottom price? was it better materials, no planned obsolescence? wrong impression due to survivor bias? all of the above?
Permalink OyOyOy 
March 20th, 2017 2:16am
Combination of different stuff.

I have some very old electrical motors that work quite well and continue to hold up under stress.

They still make motors like this for industrial stuff but its expensive.

You can buy a vacuum cleaner now for a fraction of what you could 50 years ago, inflation adjusted.

A portable 1956 Electrolux, marketed as an affordable low end vacuum, was advertised at $77.50. That's $694.09 in today's money.

Yes, you can buy a vacuum for that much now, but at the high end. A low end vacuum comparable to the 1956 runs now about $75, or 1/10 as much.
Permalink Pestular Croaker 
March 20th, 2017 2:35am
also the article says that nowadays its impossible to figure out which one of them is high quality and meant to last - that it is not easily determined by the price.
Permalink OyOyOy 
March 20th, 2017 3:21am
I can buy a steel colour matched electric kettle for £30

I can buy a white plastic kettle for £3

Both are available in my local supermarket.

You make your choice and pay the money.

My current cheap kettle has lasted 5 years and is still going strong.

The expensive kettle is not going to last 50 years+ and even if it did, it would probably no longer colour match.
Permalink Sangamon 
March 20th, 2017 3:46am
Over 30 years ago a high-pressure salesman tried to convince me to buy a Kirby vacuum cleaner, with all the accessories, the total cost came to over £500.

Had I bought it, no doubt it would be still working today, it was built like a tank.

However the way it operates was rendered totally obsolete around 20 years ago by modern cyclone based bagless cleaners as pioneered by Dyson.
Permalink Sangamon 
March 20th, 2017 3:52am
35yr-old Sharp foodnuker out there just keeps nuking  our carrots and warming coffee.

Had to replace a lightbulb in it once - found it had *TWO* 110V bulbs in series to cope with our voltage and a spare was going to cost ten times the cost of any normal local oven bulb.

Meh. Fuck that.

It now sports a single 240V oven bulb with the other socket bypassed. Just as bright as before. Come to think of it that bulb's been in there for twenty years ...
Permalink trollop 
March 20th, 2017 9:50am
Devices are evolving rapidly, using less power and getting smarter, who wants to be locked into something for more than a few years?
Permalink The Great Orange 
March 20th, 2017 2:17pm
My electric kettle broke earlier this year (Costco exchanged it for free). 

I imagine an old fashion non-electric kettle would work for a hundred years if taken care of properly.

So what?  They're not the same appliance any more even though they accomplish the same thing.
Permalink Kenny the Robot 
March 20th, 2017 2:20pm
I work in the appliance industry designing washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators.  This article was written by someone that doesn't understand whats going on in the industry.  You can't sell those nice older appliances that they made 30 years ago.  Not because people don't want them, but they don't meet newer energy standards.  Just like cars have to meet MPG requirements, appliances have to meet new energy standards or they can't be sold.  Unlike cars, people won't pay more for appliances.  You can still buy a basic washing machine or refrigerator for the same price it was 30 years ago.  We can't get pricing increases on our products like the auto industry can. So, to keep the prices the same (or cheaper), something has to give. Parts have to be made cheaper and they just won't last as long.
Permalink Send private email Mountain_Dewd 
March 20th, 2017 3:35pm
But the cheaper components have been optimised through long experience, so the cheap products are not all that bad.
Permalink Lotti Fuehrscheim 
March 20th, 2017 3:53pm
I remember the tv, washing machine and even the vacuum cleaner needing repairs when I was a kid.
Clearly they were relatively very expensive for that to be worthwhile. I'm not sorry that's changed.
People who still have stuff that works after very many years are just experiencing survival bias. Most of that old stuff broke down years ago.
Permalink Wick 
March 20th, 2017 6:30pm
Everything fixed is one less thing in the garbage.
Permalink trollop 
March 20th, 2017 7:40pm
You can keep fixing that old washer, but that new one will use much less water. It will also spin your clothes at a much higher RPM extracting more water so your dryer won't use as much energy to dry them.
Permalink Mountain_Dewd 
March 20th, 2017 7:57pm
And get rid of the old freezer in the garage.  Those old ones may run forever but they waste a lot of energy.
Permalink Mountain_Dewd 
March 20th, 2017 8:00pm

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