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 build a dishwasher was made by Joel Houghton back in 1850. It was a wooden box with a manually rotating wheel that sprayed water on the dishes in it. The barely working device was submitted to the Patent Office but attracted almost no attention from the general public. The same story occurred in 1865, when a man named L.A. Alexander also tested his engineering skills, but unfortunately, his version of a dishwasher was also notoriously inefficient.
Johanna Cochrane. Credits:
After 19 years of silence, Josephine Cochrane decided to make an attempt in 1886 after her family's porcelain began to show chipping after numerous hand washes. The porcelain dated back to the 17th century, and it was the kind of thing Josephine couldn't sacrifice without a fight.

So she measured all the china and came up with a stand to hold the plates. A tank of hot water was attached to a wooden box, and inside it was a wheel that rotated and splashed water on the dishes inside. In 1893, this creation was greeted with undisguised delight by all restaurants and hotels, and Josephine continued to refine the design. Until the mid-1950s, the dishwasher was nothing more than a domestic consumer's dream. The reason being the excessive consumption of electricity and water prevented such a creation from reaching the homes of potential buyers.
William Howard Livens. Credits: Wikipedia
In 1924, engineer from the U.K. William Howard Livens, known as the creator of an extremely effective chemical weapon, perhaps used his lunch break to build a new dishwasher. It was an unexpected plot twist in his engineering career. My guess is that creating chemical weapons all day long had weighed so many problems on his shoulders that he needed something to help the situation. Creating a working dishwasher was a nice gesture of apology to all the windows. As Wikipedia says, it had all the features of a modern dishwasher, including a front loading door, a wire dish rack, and a rotating sprayer. The disadvantage of the Leavens dishwasher was that it was airtight. When the maid first tried it out, she was found in tears with water flooding the floor. The experiment was discontinued after that.
The market boomed in the 1950s with the introduction of detergents. They removed the major obstacle of having to deal with oils and grese, helping us get the job done by lifting the fewest number of fingers. Thanks to J. Houghton, L.A. Alexander, J. Cochran and W.H. Leavens for all the brilliant engineering, hard work, pressurized water and rotating sprayers. As we know today, it was all worth it. Chemical warfare, on the other hand, was absolutely not.
What happens if you put your knives in a dishwasher
After we learned the basic structure of a dishwasher, I have to tell you what not to put in the dishwasher - knives. The water pressure in the dishwasher can be as low as 20 PSI, and during the wash cycle it can be up to 120 PSI. Sharp knives in the dishwasher will be jostled by water while washing dishes, and I don't think I need to explain why a sharp flying object isn't the safest thing in the world, right?

The plastic coating on the inside of your dishwasher prevents rust from forming on the metal walls and racks. If it gets damaged, it's impossible to notice at first. But when it rusts, the dishwasher needs to be replaced or expensive repairs need to be made.
Cutting edge chipping is another nuisance that happens to knives when you put them in the dishwasher. The hot water can overheat the cutting edge and make it crumble like a cookie..... a metal cookie. In particular, this type of chipping is the most unpleasant because it's usually hard to get rid of with a sharpening stone. Brittle overheated material should be removed from the blade to prevent reoccurrence of chipping later on.

I see so many knives ruined due to this carelessness. So my job is to educate you and help you save time and money. Let's write down a few simple rules that will help us keep our knives looking good:

  • 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.