The term “washing machine” (also: laundry machine or washer) refers to every mechanical or electrical mechanical machine used to wash laundry. Nowadays almost every used washer is an electric one, and the name is mostly applied to devices that use water as opposed to dry cleaners (which uses alternative cleaning solvents).How did it all begin?
Clothes washer technology developed as an alternative to the hand wash that was less efficient and also more exhausting. The intention of the nineteenth-century inventors was probably to reduce the manual labor spent to agitate the washed clothing. Nonetheless, first washing machines were hand-operated. They were also constructed from wood mostly. Some later machines made of metal permitted a fire to burn below the washtub, keeping the water warm.
It is believed that the very early and first washing device was the washboard, invented in 1797. This very simple tool was usually constructed with a rectangular wooden frame in which are mounted a series of ridges for the clothing to be rubbed upon. For 19th-century washboards, the ridges were often of wood and later, by the 20th century, of metal. A "fluted" metal washboard was patented in the United States by Stephen Rust in 1833.
The nineteenth century was the time of the industrial revolution. Technological advances in machinery for commercial washers proceeded faster than domestic washer, especially in the UK. In the United States there was more emphasis on developing small home machines. The greatest milestone was probably the rotary washing machine patented by Hamilton Smith in 1858. But it was still partially manual. As electricity was not commonly available until 1930, some early washing machines were also operated by a single-cylinder gasoline engine!
The first automatic washing machine designed for home use was introduced by Bendix Corporation in 1937. It was quite similar to the front loading automatic washers produced today. Early automatic machines were usually connected to a water supply via temporary slip-on connectors to sink taps. Later, permanent connections to the hot and cold water supplies became the norm what is unlike to the todays machines that only have a cold water connection and rely on internal electric heaters to raise the water temperature.