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.
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.
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. A 2018 design change 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 hitherto been known. The 2018 design of the TR7 received a "poor" rating by Consumer Reports 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". In 2019, Speed Queen effectively reverted to the separate agitator and tub with the release of the TC5.
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. 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, owners of the Speed Queen brand, was sold to Alliance Laundry Systems.
- "Speed Queen Brand Name Returns to the Consumer Laundry Market". allbusiness.com. 2 November 2004.
- "Speed Queen: The Internet Commenters' Favorite Washing Machine". Wirecutter: Reviews for the Real World. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
- "Speed Queen Introduces New Top Load Washer Model with Classic Design". Markets Insider. Retrieved 2019-07-14.
- "Raytheon completes Speed Queen sale", The Business Journal, 5 May 1998.