Thursday, December 30, 2004


In 1850, Joel Houghton patented a wooden machine with a hand-turned wheel that splashed water on dishes, it was hardly a workable machine, but it was the first patent. In 1886, Josephine Cochran proclaims in disgust: "If nobody else is going to invent a dishwashing machine, I'll do it myself."

Josephine Cochran had expected the public to welcome the new invention, which she unveiled at the 1893, World's Fair, but only the hotels and large restaurants were buying her ideas. It was not until the 1950s, that dishwashers caught on with the general public. Josephine Cochran's machine was a hand-operated mechanical dishwasher.

The first electric dishwasher was developed in Germany by the Miele Company in 1929, but it wasn't until the 1950s that the dishwasher made inroads in America's homes, as they became cheaper and a more usable size. The first fully automatic, front-loading dishwasher appeared in 1960. By 1967, it had been improved to include three rotating spray arms and automatic water softener reactivation program.

In 1978, Miele invented the world's first microprocessor-controlled dishwasher with sensor touch controls came on the market. Over the last 20 years it has been refined and improved, offering features like a third-level cutlery tray and enough room to accommodate 14 place settings.