Dishwasher Patent: Everything You Need to Know

The dishwasher patent, created by Josephine Garis Cochran in 1886, addressed the problem of washing dishes by hand and accidentally breaking dishes.3 min read

How the Time-Saving Patent Helped the Modern Dishwasher

Although washing dishes by hand occasionally saves water, the process has its drawbacks. You might drop and break slippery plates. It can also be a lengthy process.

In 1886, a woman named Josephine Garis Cochran from Illinois received a patent to address problems associated with washing dishes by hand. She simply desired a machine that washed the dishes without breaking them and quicker than her servants could.

Although there were already some dishwashers available, none were commercially viable. Mrs. Cochran didn't have access to any of these dishwashers. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) noted a few changes with her design:

  • She first measured the dishes.
  • She created wire compartments that could fit cups, plates, or saucers.
  • She had the racks rest inside a flat wheel situated inside the boiler.
  • She instructed the motor to turn the wheel and have hot and soapy water squirt from the boiler's bottom and rain down the dishes.

Her creation worked and helped Mrs. Cochran get out of poverty. She began working on her creation after her husband passed away since she only had about $1,500 in cash and a lot of debt.

Some friends and associates bought into her original design, but restaurants and hotels took more notice due to their volume of dishwashing and fractures.

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