Many of us grew up with washing the dishes as one of our regular chores. It is not likely we noticed that this appliance, that is so important in the modern kitchen, was missing. The modern dishwasher may be loaded with impressive features, but this appliance actually has a history that dates back approximately 160 years.

The Evolution of the Dishwasher

The earliest dishwasher in history was developed approximately 160 years ago. This was the forerunner for the sleek dishwashers we have in our kitchens today. The patent for the first dishwasher was issued to Joel Houghton in 1850. The design was based on a wooden device where water was passed through the wooden plumbing to be sprayed over all the dishes. This was a very basic form of dishwasher, but it shaped the basis for the dishwasher model presented at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Josephine Cochrane used the original design, but advanced the invention to create the first automated dishwasher.

The Cochrane dishwasher featured a copper boiler that contained a wooden wheel. The dishwasher motor could be driven by hand using a pulley or powered. This allowed the dishes that were fitted into wired compartments to be spun and sprayed with soapy water. Although Cochrane didn’t wash any dishes herself, she claimed her dishes were often chipped by servants, and her dishwasher simplified the process, reducing the potential for damage.

The first dishwasher resembling our modern models was invented in 1924. This involved a rotating sprayer and rack system common in today’s dishwashers. Unfortunately, while the design was sound, the lack of indoor plumbing meant that dishwashers were only owned by the super wealthy.

Making Chores Easier

Until the 1950s dishwashers remained a luxury item, out of reach for most American families. The models continued to evolve, with drying functionality added in the 1940s, but the dishwasher wasn’t considered a necessity until well into the 1970s. These days, 75% of American households have a dishwasher in their kitchens. This popularity has led to dishwashers being even easier to use. Many appliances are now equipped with removable trays and racks, pre-soak cycles, improved rotating spray arms and special cycles for delicate items. The modern dishwasher is truly a remarkable invention. According to the US Department of Energy, newer model dishwashers save both water and energy, making them more eco-friendly than hand washing. The dishwasher is also considered to be an essential time saving device. There is no need to spend hours a day standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes and soaking pots or pans. You can simply load everything into your dishwasher, and it will take care of itself.

Although the modern dishwasher was born out of a fairly simple invention, patented back in the 1800s, newer models boast a myriad of features to make our lives easier. Many of us would find ourselves lost if these fantastic appliances were to disappear from our kitchens. So, next time your kids complain about having to load or empty the dishwasher, you can explain to them just how the dishwasher has changed our world.

Find the Ideal Dishwasher For Your Home

Whether you’re looking to replace an old dishwasher or are building a new home, purchasing a new dishwasher is an investment in the convenience of modern life. A dishwasher promotes effective organization and brings time saving possibilities to your kitchen. Now that you know the humble beginnings of this time saving appliance, you will be better prepared to assess the features of modern models to find the ideal appliance for your kitchen.

You can begin to search for your new appliance using this online collection of dishwashers or contact a home appliance professional for further assistance.