Josephine Cochran is the inventor of the dishwasher. However, she was not the first one to patent it. In 1850, a man patented a wooden machine with a hand-turned wheel that would splash dishes with water. There was just one problem – it didn’t work! In the 1860s, another man improved the device by adding a geared mechanism that allowed racked dishes to be spun through a tub of water. Again, it wasn’t practical.
Fast forward to 1886, when Josephine invented the first dishwasher that was practical, effective, and worked! Josephine started working on the dishwasher in a shed behind her house and received her patent for her dishwasher, which used water pressure instead of scrubbers to clean dishes, on December 28, 1886.
It’s no surprise that Josephine was so creative – her father was a civil engineer and her grandfather was an inventor who was awarded a steamboat patent!