The invention of the dishwasher

The Challenge
Living in a world where dishwashers have modern technology built into your kitchen counter is an asset to have! Let's take a look at how it has all started.

The first attempt to create a dishwasher was made by Joel Houghton back in 1850. It was a wooden box with a hand-turned wheel that splashed water on the dishes inside. The barely working piece was presented to the Patent Bureau but attracted little to no attention from the general consumer. The same story happened back in 1865, when a man named L.A. Alexander was also putting engineering skills to test, but unfortunately, his version of a dishwasher was also known for its inefficiency.
Johanna Cochrane. Credits to
After 19 years of silence, Josephine Cochrane decided to take a turn in 1886, after her family's fine china started to chip off after many hand washes. The porcelain was dated back to the 17th century, and it was the thing that Josephine could not sacrifice without a fight.

So, she measured all the china, and came up with a rack to keep plates in place. A box was attached a hot water tank and a wooden wheel inside of it that would turn and splash water on the dishes inside. In 1893 the creation was mildly welcomed by all restaurants and hotels, as Josephine kept upgrading the design. Until mid-1950, a dishwasher was nothing but a wet dream for a household consumer. The reason is excessive usage of electricity and water, preventing such creation from entering homes of potential buyers.
William Howard Livens. Credits to Wikipedia
In 1924 an engineer known for exceptionally effective chemical weapons, William Howard Livens, was using his lunchtime to design a new dishwasher. It was an unexpected plot twist in his engineering career. My guess is making chemical warfare all day has put so much pressure and blame on his shoulders, so he had to do something to help it. Coming up with a working dishwasher was a nice apology gesture to all the windows, hands down. His thing had all the features of a modern dishwasher, including a front door for loading, a wire rack to hold crockery, and a rotating sprayer. The downside of Livens' dishwasher was the sealing. When a maidservant tested it for the first time, later she was found in tears with water flooding across the floor. After that, the experiment was abandoned.
The market boomed in the 1950s once detergents got introduced to it. It lifted the obstacle helping us to get the job done, lifting the least number of fingers possible. Thank you, J. Houghton, L.A. Alexander, J. Cochrane, and W.H. Livens for all the brilliant engineering, hard work, pressurized water, and rotating sprayers. As we know today, it all was worth it. Not the chemical warfare, though, absolutely not.
This can happen if you put your knives in a dishwasher
After we learning the basics of the dishwasher, I've got to tell you what you cannot put in a dishwasher that can cause damage – knives. Water pressure in a dishwasher can be as low as 20 PSI and get up to 120 PSI. Sharp knives in the dishwasher will get pushed around by water while cleaning the dishes, and I don't think I need to explain why a sharp flying object is not the safest thing in the world, right?

The plastic coating on the inside surface of a dishwasher prevents rust on the metal walls and racks. If it gets damaged, it is impossible to notice at first. But when it rusts, the dishwasher must be replaced or go through a costly repair.
A chipped cutting edge is another bad thing happening to your knives when you put them in a dishwasher. Hot water can overheat the cutting edge and make it crumbly like a cookie.. a metal cookie. Specifically, this type of chip is the nastiest because they are usually hard to get rid of using a whetstone. Fragile overheated material should be removed from the blade to prevent chips from re-appearing later.

I see so many knives ruined because of this negligent move. So, my mission here is to educate you and help you save time and money. Let's establish a few simple rules that will help us to keep our knives and scissors in proper shape:

  • No more dishwasher cycles

  • Handwash knives right after you finish using them

  • Never put knives in a sink

  • Never store knives among utensils, or any other kitchen accessories in a drawer

  • If you keep knives in a wooden block, make sure it does not have a built-in sharpener

  • Store knives in a wooden block cutting-edge up unless it is laying on its side

  • A magnet bar holder on a wall is the best type of a knife storage

Only seven lucky rules. Follow them, and your knives will thank you.
There is only one thing that is more useless than a dull knife. It is a chipped, dull knife.