The dishwasher is one of the most convenient household appliances ever invented. Washing dishes by hand is a chore that no one really likes doing, but there was a time when there was no other choice. Back in 1850, Joel Houghton received the first patent for a rudimentary dishwasher design. His design was for a wooden tub that worked by turning a handle and splashing water on dishes. The second patent went to L. A. Alexander who made some minor improvements by adding gears that spun a dish rack. However, neither of these ideas was very efficient in cleaning dishes.
The dishwasher that is known today was really invented by a woman named Josephine Cochrane. She was a wealthy woman that gave many dinner parties. These parties generated stacks of dirty dishes that servants were tasked with cleaning. Josephine was frustrated that her expensive dishes were constantly being broken by hand washing. Being the granddaughter of the man that invented the steamboat, John Fitch, she was determined to create a machine that washed dishes.
Josephine's design included wire racks with built-in compartments that housed different types of dishes. The racks were attached to a wooden wheel and cooper boiler. An ingenious pulley system created the spinning action that washed dishes with soapy hot water. Her machine made its public debut at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, where it earned the top award. Mrs. Cochrane quickly got orders from hotels and restaurants that loved this new timesaving invention.
Maytag got its start in 1893 by making farm equipment. Fredrick Louis Maytag, along with three other partners was involved in servicing the agriculture market until 1907, when Maytag bought out his partners. In 1907, Maytag began selling the first hand-cranked washing machines designed for home use. This transition from agriculture to home appliance happened due to a slowdown in farm equipment sales. The washing machine proved to be a big hit and the company began putting a lot of focus on the home appliance market including Maytag dishwasher parts.
Electricity coming into homes led to Maytag producing the first ever electric washing machine. This modern marvel was first sold in 1911. The company prided itself in producing excellent washers with superior workmanship. This desire to be the best came directly from Mr. Maytag himself. During the next decade the company kept on making revolutionary improvements on their popular washing machine. Maytag created almost everything that is associated with the standard washing machine design that is known today.
By the mid-1920s, Maytag had abandoned its farming equipment division and became solely dedicated to making great washing machines. These machines were so popular that the company continued making a profit all through the Great Depression. During World War II the company switched to manufacturing specialty parts for the military. After the war, the company resumed making its washing machines and expanded into producing refrigerators and electric ranges.
The post-war years saw a boom in the appliance market with millions of young couples now able to afford their own home. By this time, Maytag had established itself as a premier maker of home appliances. In 1960, Maytag expanded their focus and started expanding into kitchen appliances with its own line of portable dishwashers. Magazines featured enticing ads for modern appliances that made life easier.
Many people turn to Maytag brands as their top choice. Younger families had a strong desire for convenience and Maytag delivered this to them. In 1971, they came out with stylish built-in models. Today, Maytag dishwasher parts are still among the most popular kitchen appliances found in homes, apartments and commercial kitchens.