By definition the kitchen is a room used for food preparation that is typically equipped with a stove, a sink for cleaning food and dish-washing, and cabinets and refrigerators for storing food and equipment. Kitchens have been around for centuries, however, it was not until post-civil war period that the majority of kitchen appliances were invented. The reason was that most people no longer had servants and housewives working alone in the kitchen needed culinary help. Also the advent of electricity greatly advanced the technology of labor saving kitchen appliances.
Everything changed thanks to Joel Houghton, who patented a wooden machine with a hand-turned wheel that splashed water on dishes, in 1850. This was hardly a workable machine, but it was the first patent. This was just the beginning, though, and advancements came pretty fast. Thus, in 1865, L.A. Alexander obtained a patent for a device that used a hand crank and gearing to spin a rack of dishes through the dishwater. Again, this didn’t do to much to clean dirty dishes.In 1886, Josephine Cochrane (granddaughter of John Fitch, the inventor of the steamboat) proclaims in disgust “If nobody else is going to invent a dishwashing machine, I’ll do it myself.”And she did, Cochrane invented the first practical dishwasher. She was a rich woman who had a lot of dinner parties. She had servants to wash her dishes but she wanted a machine that could do the job faster without breaking so many. So, she built a dishwasher herself!First, she measured her dishes and then built wire compartments – each specially designed to fit plates, cups, and saucers. The compartments fit in a wheel that lay flat inside a copper boiler. A motor turned the wheel, while hot soapy water squirted up from the boiler and rained down on the dishes. She unveiled her invention at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, and won its highest award.
Cochrane’s friends liked her dishwasher, and soon, Mrs. Cochrane was getting orders for the machine from restaurants and hotels around Illinois. She patented the design and went into production. Her company is now the well-known upscale kitchenware corporation KitchenAid. Other companies made dishwashers for restaurants and caterers that were powered by steam. They worked by passing the dirty dishes under jets of hot water using a conveyor belt or spinning basket which were inefficient. It was not until the 1950s, when dishwashers became cheaper and smaller, that they caught on with the general public.Models installed with permanent plumbing arrived in the 1920s. In 1937, William Howard Livens invented a small dishwasher suitable for home. It had all the features of a modern dishwasher, including a front door for loading, a wire rack to hold crockery and a rotating sprayer. Electric drying elements were added in 1940.
Adoption was greatest at first in commercial environments, but by the 1970s dishwashers had become commonplace in domestic residences in the US.
Got a Dishwasher Problem?
Call Absolute Appliance Repair!
Call Absolute Appliance repair NOW to set your appointment
(415) 831-1259 San Francisco Dishwasher Repair
(415) 388-0690 Marin County Dishwasher Repair
(650) 525-0512 South SF / Daly City / Pacifica Dishwasher Repair