U.S. Department of Commerce

Multimedia Gallery

You are here: Census.govNewsroomMultimedia GalleryAudioProfile America › Inventive Society Lady
Skip top of page navigation

Inventive Society Lady

March 8, 2014

You may Listen or download this story in .mp3 format or as a .wav file.

Profile America — Saturday, March 8th. The inventor of the first practical automatic dishwasher was born on this date in 1839 and was perhaps an unlikely candidate for the distinction. Josephine Cochrane was a socialite and devised the dishwasher out of some annoyance at how her domestic staff damaged her china. Awarded a patent in 1886, Cochrane sold her machines in the 1890s mainly to restaurants and hotels. Her company eventually became KitchenAid, now part of the Whirlpool Corporation. In 2011, the Census Bureau's American Housing Survey found that of the nation's more than 132 million housing units, almost 86 million had automatic dishwashers. They are sold at the nation's 8,500 household appliance stores in addition to department stores. Profile America is in its17th year as a Public Service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sources:
http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bldishwasher.htm

http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/cochrane.html

http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=AHS_2011_C03AH&prodType=table

http://www.census.gov/econ/susb/index.html NAICS 443111 U.S. All industries table


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: February 21, 2014