Josephine Cochran

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Josephine Cochran

Inventor of the Dishwasher

In the nineteenth century, a woman’s life revolved around the kitchen. The worst thing was that after cooking and eating, the chores dragged on and the dishes needed washing.

The first manual-mechanical dishwasher was presented by Josephine Cochrane, a North American born in 1839. The truth is that she did not wash the dishes herself because she was rich and had servants. However, she insisted that her valuable china dishes be washed with care, exclaiming “If nobody else is going to invent a dish washing machine, I’ll do it myself!” And in 1886 she invented her own system, which she patented in 1888. Then, in 1893 she exhibited it at the World Fair in Chicago, but in the beginning it was only used in large hotels and restaurants. In fact, it was cheaper to wash dishes by hand or pay someone to the wash them. Besides, it was a big contraption to have in the kitchen! It had to be connected to the tap and the dishes came out dripping wet.

Luckily the dishwasher has been refined and now it has a permanent plumbing and drying system. But of course, to be able to improve any invention, first there has to be a prototype invention and an inventor.