Washing machines (sometimes called clothes washers) are machines used to wash clothes, towels, sheets and other laundry. But who invented the washing machine? This post will answer that very question.
Who Invented the Washing Machine?
To best answer this question, we must look at the history of ‘washing machines’ and how ancient cultures washed their clothes.
History of the Washing Machine
- Ancient cultures washed their clothes by pounding them against rocks and then washing the dirt away in streams or rivers. The ancient Romans actually used fat from animal sacrifices as soap! Other civilizations used perfumes and lye.
- Jacob Christian Schaffer published a design for a washing machine in 1767.
- In 1791, scrub boards were invented. This allowed people to stop pounding their laundry against rocks!
- James King is considered by some to be the official inventor of the washing machine. He invented the drum washing machine in 1851. The drum washing machine he invented is very similar to modern machines. It used a hand powered spinner to agitate the water, removing the dirt from the clothes.
- Hamilton Smith patented the first rotary washing machine in 1858.
- In 1874, William Blackstone came home with a great birthday present for his wife- a washing machine that washed dirt from clothes and then washed it away. This was the first machine designed for convenient use in the home.
- Alva J. Fisher invented the very first electric-powered washing machine. It was patented on August 9, 1910.
Other Great Inventions
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Thanks to this site for some of the info used in this post!