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.
Josephine Cochran patented her device in December 1886 and in 1893, it won the highest award at the Chicago World's Fair due to its mechanical adaptation, construction, and durability. Her device was part of several food inventions highlighting a relationship with food preparation.
Although the dishwasher received a lot of publicity, the machine's large size limited the sales from the newly created Garis-Cochran Manufacturing Company. It took until the 1950s for dishwashers to became more popular. Several factors contributed to its popularity within the general public, including:
- Hot water became increasingly available in the home.
- Useful dishwashing detergent hit the market.
- People changed their attitudes about doing housework.
As a result, Mrs. Cochran's company grew, and the dishwasher design is the foundation of designs today. Her company later became a facet of KitchenAid, and in 1949, the first KitchenAid dishwasher was offered to the public.
Josephine Cochran Biography
Josephine Garis Cochran was the daughter of civil engineer John Garis and Irene Fitch Garis. The family also consisted of another daughter, Irene Garis Ranson. Irene's father, John, invented items and received a patent for a steamboat. She grew up in Valparaiso, Indiana, and attended private school. She stayed at the school until it burned to the ground.
Later, she moved to Shelbyville, Illinois, where she lived with Irene. On October 13, 1858, Josephine married William Cochran. A year before they were married, he returned from an unsuccessful jaunt in California during the Gold Rush but later went into the dry goods business. He also spent time as a politician with the Democratic Party. Together, they had two children, which included a daughter Katharine and a son Hallie, who died at age two.
In 1870, the family moved into a large manor and began hosting dinner parties. They served food on heirloom china, which allegedly dated back around the 1600s. After one particular event, the servants damaged a few of the dishes, which caused Josephine to seek another alternative. She also sought to help other weary housewives from having to wash dishes upon completion of a meal.
Another Shape-Shifting Dishwasher Patent
Although advances in dishwasher technology are not all that prevalent, inventor Paul Frigout of Coventry University submitted a recent patent application. Instead of installing robots or waterless technology, he inserted a movable partition that allows you to change the washing compartment size. This lets you accommodate different load sizes. Among the benefits of this partition include the following:
- It cuts down on the amount of water you use.
- It gives you room to store clean dishes in the other compartment.
- It lets you run the dishes through an alternative washing cycle.
Although there's no set timeframe on when this dishwasher invention will become available to the public, it is a more plausible possibility than other patent applications that people submit.
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