Curious about the history of dishwashers? We've gathered some brief snippets of information about the historical background of this common appliance.
We may eventually turn this page into a more comprehensive dishwasher history text ... for now, here's a couple of interesting facts you may not know:
Fully automatic dishwashers as we know them now started being installed on a consistent basis in homes from the 1970s onwards.
In the 1980s, must-have status symbols included a car phone, dishwasher and private schools.
It's hard now to imagine that only 30 years ago, having a dishwasher was something you could show off to your friends to make them jealous!
According to a UK study of 2000 Britons published in the Daily Mail newspaper, in the space of one generation, the things that were once used to show off wealth are now considered ordinary.
Symbols of success now include a swimming pool, fast cars and designer watches. Here's the list of then and now:
1980s Status Symbols
Status Symbols Today
Sometimes I wonder how I ever survived without a dishwasher. But 100 years ago, very few people would have even dreamed of one.
Some dreams haven't yet become reality. In 1956, the RCA-Whirlpool Miracle Kitchen began touring the world. This research and development mock-up of what a kitchen of the future might look like imagined the dishwasher rolling to the table and returning to its place after dirty dishes were loaded. The vision was for dishes to be scraped, washed and dried by the electronic appliance.
So what does the future hold?
Dishwashers still rely on the same principles as they did 50 years ago with cleaning carried out by jets of hot soapy water. But these kitchen appliances have improved enormously with technology making for better cleaning, drying and energy and water efficiency. Dishwashers are getting smarter too, with some models able to send messages to smart phones to tell you when the dishes are done.
An innovation project by GE - "Home 2025" considers that one day we might have mini dishwashers in our sink for individual small loads. I guess we'll just have to wait and see!