Automatic Dishwashers

After standing at the sink with my hands in flocked rubber gloves, washing dishes three times a day, I wondered what man I should be thanking for my automatic dishwasher.

Well, low and behold, when I looked up who invented the automatic dishwasher I discovered that a woman had invented this cherished device!

Josephine Garis Cochran invented the first useful dishwasher in Shelbyville, Ill., and received patent # 355,139 on December 28, 1886. Cochrane, a wealthy woman who entertained often, wanted a machine that could wash dishes faster than her servants, and without breaking them.

Thank you, Ms. Cochran!


I’m amazed that this woman not only designed the machine but with help from a mechanic built it and then marketed it to hotels and restaurants. Kitchen Aid would eventually puy her patent.

So either Tuesday or Wednesday the parts to fix my machine should be here, but in the long run It’s been interesting to learn something about a product I have used since I was in 4th grade and never knew was invented by a woman!

2 thoughts on “Automatic Dishwashers”

  1. Men have their uses, but they should stay out of kitchen design. Our kitchen was clearly designed by a man. Good on Josephine. We have used variations of her device since 1980.

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