In 2000, Lee Maxwell was awarded the Guinness World Record for world’s largest washing machine collection. He stores most of it on his farm in a 20,000-square-foot building decorated to look like an antique laundromat.
Lee Maxwell’s impressive collection has more than 1,400 antique washing machines from as early as 1840. Most of them were manufactured in the United States, but there are some from Austria, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and Great Britain.
The retired electrical engineering professor from Colorado State University started the collection in 1985. He’s taken apart, cleaned, and reassembled almost every machine in the place. He notes on his website there’s still “a barn full of machines not yet revived.”
He’s the foremost expert on vintage washing machines in the U.S., and feels their historical importance is overlooked. He even penned a book called Save Women’s Lives: History of Washing Machines—he believes the machines played a significant role in women’s rights.
Besides the massive collection, he has an array of refrigerators, butter churns, vacuum cleaners, and more. His website features a database of 23,000 U.S. patents for washing machines.
Know Before You Go
The museum is open only for guided tours. To arrange for a tour call (970) 454-1856 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The admission fee for groups with up to 10 people is $75. The charge for each additional person is $7.50. Tours, lasting about two hours, are usually scheduled at 9:30 or at 1:30. Ordinarily tours are not conducted during the coldest months.