The Amana dishwasher history and information is only part of the fascinating story behind the inventions of dishwashers themselves and the history behind Amana and all its appliances of today. It has always been Amana's goal to produce innovative daily life industry firsts that are easy to use and affordable in price. George Foerstner originally founded the Amana Corporation as The Electrical Equipment Co. in 1934 in Middle Amana, Iowa to manufacture walk-in coolers for commercial use. Over the years the company had different owners and several names, and in 2002, Amana dishwasher parts were being manufactured and owned by the Whirlpool Corporation.
Amana was the first to produce the first home upright freezer in 1947, the side-by-side refrigerator/freezer in 1949, the refrigerator with a bottom freezer in 1957, and a commercial version of the microwave oven in 1954, which led to its popular consumer microwave in 1967. Along with Amana dishwasher parts, they have expanded into the manufacture of ovens, clothes washers and dryers, air conditioners, furnaces and other appliances.
The first patent for a dishwasher was by Joel Houghton in 1850; his was a wooden machine with a wheel that had to be hand turned to splash water on the dishes. L.A. Alexander obtained a patent in 1865 for another device that used a hand crank and spun a rack of dishes through the water. These two inventions did not do much too actually clean the dishes.
Although in 1886 Josephine Cochrane (granddaughter of the steam boat inventor, John Fitch) decided to invent a machine that would do the job faster. She added wire compartments to specifically fit plates, saucers and cups. These compartments fit into a wheel inside a copper boiler. This time a motor made the wheel turn, and soapy hot water came up from the boiler and down onto the dishes. Mrs. Cochrane won the highest award at Chicago's World's Fair in 1893, when she unveiled her invention there. Hotels and restaurants soon gave her orders, and she patented her unique invention.
Permanent plumbing for dishwashers arrived in the 1920s and electric drying was added in 1940, but dishwashers did not catch on with the general public until the 1950s when they became smaller and cheaper. They became commonplace in homes in the United States in the 1970s after first having been popular earlier in commercial establishments.
Newer dishwasher features today can include such things as tall tubs with a more compact motor, which leaves room for larger pots and pans. Special insulation that lowers the loud noises that can occur during the operation, and a chance to choose from a number of different colors.