Women of Interest – Josephine Cochrane

Josephine Cochrane was born March 8, 1939, in Ashtabula, Ohio, and died August 14, 1913, in Chicago, Illinois. She was the inventor and designer of the first automatic dishwasher. Cochrane needed help with the construction of the dishwasher and sought the assistance of mechanic George Butters. Cochrane’s dishwasher was the first to use water pressure, rather than scrubbers to clean the dishes. On December 28, 1986m she received a patent. When Cochrane attended the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago she won the highest award for the “best mechanical construction, durability, and adaptation to it’s line of work.” Shortly thereafter she began receiving orders from commercial establishments, such as restaurants and hotels, however it took a long time before the automatic dishwasher became a part of the common household, as homes had to be built with special plumbing to be able to withstand the high water temperatures required. Josephine Cochrane was of the belief that if you want something done right you better do it yourself.

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