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This one isn't spam - the original dishwasher

Posted by sjhockeyfan (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 18, 13 at 12:49

We had one of these in our previous home - built sometime around 1908, but obviously the d/w was added later. We actually called Kohler to see if they wanted it, but they never responded. It disappeared sometime during our remodel back in 1986.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kohler electric sink


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: This one isn't spam - the original dishwasher

That's pretty cool. How well did it clean?


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RE: This one isn't spam - the original dishwasher

Not very well! It was just a spinner that spit out water.


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RE: This one isn't spam - the original dishwasher

A spinner that spits out water? Isn't that what my dishwasher is? I'm actually surprised these didn't do better. But well-to-do women usually had "help," so they wouldn't care, and maybe it was too expensive for regular women who washed their own dishes. (You note that, like the ad writers, I'm assuming only the women washed dishes.) That your house still had one is very cool, though. The ads are really beautifully drawn, too.


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RE: This one isn't spam - the original dishwasher

Not a new idea. Kitchenaid had one of these a decade ago called the Briva, a double sink where the right side had a cover that opened up into a single-rack dishwasher. There were at least two sizes available. They show up on eBay occasionally.


GE used to have one too, as did a few other companies. Kaiser made them when they weren't busy with cars, ships, or health insurance.

These are good in tight kitchens where there isn't space for a huge drop-down door in front of the cupboards. And those doors are huger of late thanks to the recent elimination of the bottom fixed service panel and full-height doors hinged just a few inches off the floor that open to a "tall tub".


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RE: This one isn't spam - the original dishwasher

>Not a new idea.

Since it's from 1926, I'm not sure why anyone would think it was? Sorry, but I"m not understanding what you're trying to say, lee676.


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RE: This one isn't spam - the original dishwasher

A while back, I fell into as "Wiki-hole" about the inventor of the first mechanical dishwasher, Josephine Cochrane. She was a society woman who was reportedly unhappy that her staff would chip her china. Thus, she invented a machine to wash dishes. Later on, it became so popular (commercially) that she formed her own company. It later became part of Kitchen-Aid.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cochrane


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RE: This one isn't spam - the original dishwasher

>Not a new idea.

Since it's from 1926, I'm not sure why anyone would think it was? Sorry, but I"m not understanding what you're trying to say, lee676.

He means, of course, that KitchenAid's Briva wasn't a "new idea" being that Kohler's product predated it by many years.

There were also roll-out, top-loading units -- General Electric and Westinghouse, perhaps others (GE's was motorized for opening & closing) -- years before Fisher & Paykel's DishDrawer ... although the older units were of full-height design with double-racks inside, not two separately-operable drawers.

Old dishwashers prior to spray arms used an impeller, similiar to a boat propeller, to spray a jets of water upwards over the dishware. Plates usually were arranged in the lower rack in a pattern to promote directing the spray toward items in the upper rack. Woe to the spoon or fork that fell into the spinning impeller .. and a chipped impeller blade then impaired the spray force and pattern.

Interestingly, KitchenAid, for all their well-deserved glory, did not add a separate spray source under the upper rack until their 18-series in 1977. Other brands had upper spray arms years earlier.


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RE: This one isn't spam - the original dishwasher

Ah, thanks, dadoes. Sorry, lee676, but I really didn't get your point.


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RE: This one isn't spam - the original dishwasher

Meant to say "not just an old, abandoned idea" rather than "not a new idea". There've been several attempts over the last century to make a good sink that cleaned your dirty dishes, but none seem to have caught on.

The dishwasher below is one I've seen with an impeller. The bowl around it filled with water, heated by the round heating element, and both were enclosed by a cage. The cage wasn't enough to prevent a fork from falling through, but it did offer good protection from plastic lids and such from falling through, whereas the heating elements in many modern dishwashers are completely unprotected. The impeller at least will never haves it's spray arm jets clogged by food particles or debris. And, as we'll see, it worked very well.

One uploaded pic per post, so more on this intriguing dishwasher in my next post.....


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RE: This one isn't spam - the original dishwasher

This dishwasher, which someone on CL nearby was selling, was branded American Kitchens, a cabinet and faucet manufacturer that was worried when home appliances became popular that dishwashers and other gear would take space and profits from their cabinet, sink, and faucet lines. (GE also was in the cabinet business around this time). The front door of this dishwasher matched the look of their cabinetry, kind of like new dishwashers that accept cabinet panels, except that the cabinet panel was already included (and wasn't flat - the top drawer jutted out considerably)

AK knew nothing of how to make dishwashers though, so the design was contracted out to a company called D&M (Design & Manufacturing) which also made dishwashers for other companies like Caloric that only made cooking appliances or refrigerators and suddenly needed a dishwasher in their lineup when they became popular, and wound up selling their wares under numerous brands. The top rack is ingenious - it's round, and the plates and glasses as usual leaned against the tines. This allowed you to rotate the rack as you were loading or unloading it so you wouldn't have to lean over an reach across to the other side (I have chronic back pain and notice these things). What's more, the water splashed around by the impeller hit the leaning plates in the rack and caused it to slowly rotate by itself as the machine was running, ensuring that everything on the top rack got equally clean. D&M was still around well into the '80s at least, but industry consolidation meant that after that most appliance companies by then had their own in-house dishwasher manufacturing and didn't need D&M anymore.

Here's a Youtube vid of this machine in operation (skip to 4:15) or so.

http://youtu.be/7y7pNltKkwg


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RE: This one isn't spam - the original dishwasher

The aforementioned GE top-load dishwasher that rolled out from beneath the cabinet was available in a 30" wide model as well as the usual 24". As far as I'm aware, that and Dacor's recent ill-fated foray into dishwasher making were the only 30"w dishwashers ever built. SMEG and Fisher&Paykel still have 36"w single rack/drawer dishwashers, although the former was recently discontinued (but still widely available) in the USA.

The all-time bonkers old dishwasher has to be the late-40s, maybe early '50s Apex combination dishwasher/clothes washer, one of which was included with every Lustron home. I've got to wonder how guests felt about eating from plates, cups, and utensils from a machine that had just been used to clean the owner's undies....


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RE: This one isn't spam - the original dishwasher

I am fairly certain that my parents' house built in the mid 50s had that rotating rack. I seem to remember twirling it and, being told to STOP.


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RE: This one isn't spam - the original dishwasher

There was another 30" unit, looks to be in the 1950s, and seems to be modeled after early GM Frigidaire machines that had the spinning tube between the racks (or maybe Frigidaire modeled their design from Youngstown).


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RE: This one isn't spam - the original dishwasher

Youngstown Kitchens was another cabinet manufacturer (a big one, actually, and still well reputed) that branched out into appliances; didn't know they had a 30" dishwasher though, much less a modern-style one with a drop-down door (unusually high placement though - she'd have to reach upward to get at those saucepans). Oddly, the Dacor 30"w DW had two of those spinning spray tubes under the top rack too. Curious what that 48" "electric sink" was. They did sell a top-load dishwasher:


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