Who Invented The Dishwasher?

The first successful hand-operated dishwasher was invented by Josephine Cochrane and the mechanic George Butter Cochrane in a tool shed in Shelbyville, Illinois in 1886.

Her friends loved her invention, so she made a dishwasher, called it the Cochrane dishwasher, and founded the Garis-Cochran Manufacturing Company. The dishwasher’s success at the Chicago World’s Fair led Cochrane to start the Garis Cochran Dish Washing Machine Company in an abandoned school house in 1897.   

Cochrane, accustomed to servants doing much of her housework for her, set about developing a dishwasher after realizing that fine porcelain would chip off if scrubbed in the sink. As Cochrane did not wash the dishes herself, she claimed her dishes had been crushed by staff and her dishwasher would simplify the process and reduce the potential for damage.

The first dishwasher similar to our modern model was invented in 1924. Over the decades, dishwashers have become a common part of the home kitchen. By the 1950s, the dishwasher had become an integral part of every kitchen in the modern house. 

There are reports that Josephine Cochran invented the dishwasher not to keep her own hands out of dishwater, but rather to prevent her servants from smashing or breaking her porcelain heirlooms.  

It wasn’t long before she wondered if no one had invented a machine that could do everything, and she sketched out an idea that would become the first successful automatic dishwasher. 

Their design used water pressure to clean, much like today’s dishwashers. The first dishwasher was patented by Joel Houghton in 1850. It was based on a wooden device in which water ran through wooden sanitary facilities to spray the dishes. This was the basic shape of a dishwasher, and its shape was the basis for the dishwasher model, which was presented at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. 

Josephine Cochrane used the first dishwasher as an advance in invention to develop the first fully automatic dishwasher. Cochrane built the dishwasher and it had a copper boiler that contained a wooden wheel. The dishwasher motor was driven by hand by pulley.

The first dishwasher was invented in America in the 1850s when Joel Houghton invented a wooden machine with a hand-turned wheel which splashed water on the dishes; it was a working machine but far from the first to be patented. The appliances attributed to the origins of the American dishwasher were hand-cranked wooden tools that sprayed water on the dishes but were known for their slowness and inefficiency. A crude hand-mounted sprayer attracted to a wooden pot was manufactured by the inventor, but in L. Alexander’s development it was not useful. The idea of adding a gear wheel to the spinning rack so that it could hold the dishes while spinning the tub with water was not a great improvement. 

The first documented evidence of a dishwasher dates back to 1850 when Joel Houghton made a crude, hand-turned spray gun in a wooden tub and applied for a patent. The first patent for a dishwasher was granted in the USA in 1850, but it was never brought to market. While the first patents for mechanical dishwashers date back to the 1850s, they were granted to Joel Houghton’s wooden machine, which splashed water on dishes and was powered by a hand-turned crank, as shown in the photo above of a patent drawing for a mechanical dishwasher. 

At the turn of the century, several other innovators and engineers worked to develop more efficient dishwashing systems using pistons, dishwashers, and propellers, among others. The first practical dishwashers worked by guiding dirty dishes through a hot jet of water using a conveyor belt and swivel basket. The popularity of machines soared in the 1950s, as technology, women’s attitudes to housework, dishwasher detergent, and more changed in favor of dishwashers. 

A resolute Josephine Cochrane built a dishwasher with the help of George Butter, a local mechanic employed by Illinois Central Railroad in the basement of her home. Cochrane’s basic idea for inventing the dishwasher was a device that could hold a dishwasher shelf under pressure and spray water to clean dirty dishes. The development of the dishwasher was not only about convenience, but also about survival.

Josephine Cochran decided to invent a more efficient dishwasher, inspired by Joel Houghton’s machine of 1850 that splashed water on dishes. She imagined a process in which you could clean dishes with hot water and soap instead of scrubbing them with your hands.   

The first reliable hand-operated dishwasher This was the first dishwasher to use water pressure as a scrubbing brush for washing and cleaning dishes, and quickly. An engine turned a wheel that lay flat on a copper kettle and pumped hot, soapy water from the bottom of the kettle into the dishes. Cochrane had done this by hand, but the first mechanical dishwasher kept the dishes in a rack and sprayed it with water to clean it. 

Although hotels and restaurants considered their dishwasher to be an invaluable invention, the dishwasher did not become a familiar household item for many years. The Garis Cochran Dish Washing Machine Company had great success, and the use of dishwashers spread to hospitals and colleges. After Cochran’s death in 1913, she further updated her dishwasher design by adding a centrifugal pump and drain, a rotating washing system, and other features that were transferred to modern appliances.

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