Celebrating American Innovation: Josephine Cochrane

C4IP is recognizing Josephine Cochrane (1839-1913), an inspiring female inventor who created and patented an appliance that altered home-life forever: the dishwasher.

Josephine Cochrane was an American inventor and founder of the Crescent Washing Machine Company. The daughter of a civil engineer, and a socialite who often hosted guests at her home in Illinois, Cochrane understood the laborious task of washing dish-after-dish and risking damage to each as she cleaned. This led Cochrane to develop the “first commercially successful dishwasher,” a machine — employing water jets and wire racks for storage — that could safely and effectively wash a range of kitchenware. Cochrane patented her dishwasher in 1886, then opened her own factory and established the Crescent Washing Machine Company — which sold products as far away as Alaska and Mexico. Her company was later acquired by KitchenAid — a part of the Whirlpool Corporation — which released and popularized its first dishwasher based on Cochrane’s design in 1949. By 2027, it is expected that the global dishwasher market will be worth over $51 billion.

Scroll to Top