Washing Machine History

The History of Washing Machines – The Evolution of Clean

Keeping our clothes clean has long been an important issue for about as long as humans have been wearing them. Clean clothes help keep you comfortable, healthy and smelling better. Though you can go back to the olden days of scrubbing on rocks or washboards, the modern electric washing machine we are all familiar with was not around until the 1900s.

Though there had been hand-cranked machines (followed by gasoline-powered machines much later) around for centuries, in the early 1900s Louis Goldenberg invented the electric washing machine. Goldenberg was a Ford Motor Company employee and so the patent belonged to Ford. By 1928, others were manufacturing washing machines and sales climbed to 913,000 units. Soon after, however, the Great Depression struck and sales decreased dramatically. By 1932, only 600,000 units were sold. Despite the fact that the washing machine was well on its way to becoming the modern staple we all enjoy today, people at the time could not afford them and at times could not even afford the electricity required to power them.

Of course, it’s hard to stop progress and by 1940 the number of washing machines in the US exploded into the millions. Washing machines were becoming more and more modernized and began to look like the washing machines we know today. The first automatic washing machine was introduced in 1937 and worked and looked somewhat like the front-loading washers of today.

During World War II, production of new washers almost ceased due to rationing of metals for the war effort, though research and development still continued (mostly focusing on the development of the automatic washing machine).

After the war, GE and Bendix introduced their automatic washing machines, with GE’s being the now-commonplace top loader. The 50s was a boom time for washing machines, with many different types being offered to the public. Many such machines turned out to be inefficient and inconvenient and as such did not survive. Many of the features developed during this time, such as the program dial, survive in washing machines today. In fact, washing machine technology did not change much over the years until very recently.

Over the past few years, washing machine technology has taken a huge leap. The modern focus on energy efficiency and connectivity has thoroughly pervaded the washing machine industry, and so we’ve seen some amazing developments. Take a look at the front-loading machines available today and you’ll be astounded at how different they are from the machines you’re probably familiar with. Take a look at a LG washers review and you will understand. Or have a peek at an Electrolux front load washer review to see how the trend is across the playing field. These new washers can remember how they washed certain articles of clothing for you and can even download data from the Internet! Now is a great time to be a consumer if you are interested in technology, and washers are keeping up with the pack!

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