Gowrie youth restores 1927 Maytag washer
By KRISS NELSON
DES MOINES – There are many different types of exhibits 4-H and FFA members work on throughout the year to have featured at the Iowa State Fair.
Those exhibits include animals, tractors and even washing machines.
Erica Nordin, a 17-year-old senior at Southeast Valley High School, in Gowrie, and a member of the Central Plains FFA chapter, entered an old washing machine at the Iowa State Fair – a project that earned her top honors.
Nordin’s 1927 Model 90 Maytag earned her a purple ribbon and second place overall honors in the restored farm equipment category.
Although Nordin keeps herself busy with various activities both in and out of high school, she was eager to try a restoration project.
“I decided to restore something and enter it in the Iowa State Fair to give myself a personal challenge and further my knowledge in some of our history,” said Nordin. “I also wanted to represent our FFA chapter and school.”
Nordin decided on restoring the Maytag after her father, Matt Nordin, was reminiscing with her about rebuilding Maytag engines with his grandfather, Joel Nordin, in their shop near Gowrie.
“When thinking of what project to enter, one day we happened to be in our shop where my great-grandpa and dad worked together on making old Maytag motors work,” Nordin said. “This ended up helping me make a decision to restore the 1927 Maytag washing machine. I also thought it would be neat to see one of these machines restored and looking almost brand new.”
Nordin said she had to do quite a lot of work on the old appliance.
“I had to do several things to the machine that ranged anywhere from using a wire grinder to using enamel gray dove paint to finish up my project,” said Nordin. “I did these things and so much more to keep the washing as original as possible, all the while focusing on completing it with as little help as possible.”
Earning high honors at the fair and being able to see the finished product, Nordin said all of the time she spent working on the unit was worth it.
“Although the project took a lot of time and effort,” she said, “looking at the finished product fills me with such satisfaction and I would do it all again.”
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