History of Dishwashers
A Gateway to KitchenAid
Cochrane's contraption, which could be operated by hand or by automatic pulley, was an immediate sensation. It was quickly adopted by restaurant and hotel owners, and led to backing by some of Cochrane's wealthy friends. Eventually, her efforts led to the creation of one of today's seminal kitchen appliance companies, KitchenAid.
The next tier of dishwasher innovation took place in the late 1920's. In Europe, Miele launched the continent's first top-loading, mass produced electric model. This came on the heels of General Electric's introduction of its original direct-drive unit. Corroborating the basic functional simplicity of dishwasher mechanics, the design principles of that original model are still in use at the company today.
Incremental GE Innovations
In 1936, General Electric added a front-loading, single rack dishwasher to its product line. Then came, in 1954, the MobileMaid, the first portable automatic dishwasher. Manufactured at a plant in Kentucky, it became to available to consumers the same year as another GE staple launch: the washer-dryer combination machine.
In 1967, GE made improvements to the mechanics of its machine, streamlining the motor and water circulation pump for reduced energy consumption. As such, this model was a precursor to today's standard Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations and certifications. Computer programming added further layers to machine performance. In 1984, GE dishwashers began remembering user performance. A decade later, in 1995, sensors were added to determine how dirty a particular load of dishes might be.
A much quieter model was added to the GE line-up in 1999, followed in 2005 by another that could be filled with 45 ounces of detergent, to then be dispensed in varying load quantities depending on hardness of the water and other factors.