Imagine being able to put over 200 dishes into a machine and then see those dishes come back out a little while later as clean as if they’d been hand-washed. Wouldn’t it be awesome if somebody couldn’t invent one of those? Sorry, what was that? You say it’s been done? Seriously? Wow, it seems like all the best invention ideas have already been done.
But a machine to wash the dishes is one of the best invention ideas ever.
Because those machines can save a lot of time. Pretty important in our modern, busy lives. Right?
But it might interest you to know the first commercial dishwasher was patented in 1886. Long before our modern, busy lives. And maybe you’d be interested to know a young mechanic, named George Butters, helped work on the prototype for that first dishwasher. The work was done in a woodshed behind the house of the inventor, J.G. Cochran.
J.G. wanted a machine that could “save time and prevent broken crockery.” And since nobody else stood up the challenge, J.G. decided to “do it myself.” So, Cochran invented a device with pulleys, gears, and belts that used water pressure, instead of scrubbers, to wash dishes and cutlery held in place on racks.
There were some serious challenges through the patent process. But once Cochran’s application was approved then came the production obstacles. J.G. couldn’t get help to manufacture the dishwashers because others wanted to do things their way. But their ways didn’t work. And finally, after they were convinced Cochran’s invention ideas were better, they finally helped.
But then other challenges popped up.
Especially when it came time to sell the dishwashers. J.G. wanted to sell directly to women. Because they would be the ones who’d appreciate how much time and drudgery a dishwasher could save. But very few households, from that time in the 19th century, could afford to pay the $100 price tag. So, the main customers turned out to be hotels and restaurants.
However, that was yet another challenge. Because Cochran had to enter those establishments alone. And to just cross the great lobby of the Sherman House hotel, alone, was, as J.G. described it, “almost the hardest thing I ever did, I think. The lobby seemed a mile wide. I thought I should faint at every step, but I didn’t. And I got an $800 order as my reward.”
You might wonder what would make him so scared.
But THAT’S where you’d make your mistake.
Because J.G. Cochran was not a “him.” She was Josephine Garis Cochran. Bet you never heard of her. Right? Yeah, basically no one has. She lived from 1839 to 1913. And her Cochran’s Crescent Washing Machine Company was sold to the Hobart Corporation in 1926. They manufactured appliances under the KitchenAid brand. And KitchenAid was acquired by Whirlpool in 1986.
Josephine became a very successful businesswoman at a time when women were not expected to own businesses or come up with invention ideas.
And she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006. Then, In 2013, exactly 100 years after she died, Romania issued a postage stamp in her honor. And she never even had a connection to that country during her life. So, look how far her influence went into the world. All because J.G. had vision.
And that shows why I make such a big deal of figuring out what your vision is. It’s such a big deal that it’s a main area I teach in RondaReady YOUniversity.
Wanna know more?
Would you like to see how far you can take your own invention ideas? Or would you like to know how to set up your own scalable System for your products, services, or information? We should talk about it.
Book a free call in the handy dandy calendar below. And let’s see if YOUniversity can help you bring out your inner commercial dishwasher.