View previous topic | View next topic


Page 1 of 1

63319.  Sat Apr 01, 2006 6:54 pm Reply with quote


From demonstrative pronouns, to another popular part of speech.

Complete the following sentence using the the appropriate adverb.

The dishwasher was invented to wash dishes more...




We're looking for SAFELY or CAREFULLY or the like.


The first practical* mechanical dishwasher was invented in 1886 by Josephine Garis Cochran (1839 -1913) of Shelbyville, lllinois. Its main purpose was to reduce the number of breakages caused by her servants rather than to act as a labour-saving device.

Cochran was the daughter of a civil engineer and, on her mother’s side, the great-grand-daughter of John “Crazy” Fitch**, the inventor of the steamboat. A prominent socialite (who sometimes affected the spelling Cochrane), she was married to a merchant and politician.

She appeared to be so comfortably off so that her main problem in life was worrying about the maids chipping her precious china (which had been in the family since the 17th century) while washing up. This enraged her and, so the story goes, one night she dismissed the servants, did the washing up on her own, saw what an impossible job it was and vowed, if no one else would, to invent a machine to do it instead.

When her husband William died in 1883, leaving her in debt, this became serious. With the help of an engineer friend, she designed the machine in her woodshed.

It was crude and cumbersome but effective. There was a small foot-pedal driven version and a large steam-driven one. The latter, able to wash and dry 200 dishes in two minutes, was the sensation of the 1892/1893 Chicago World’s Fair***, and won first prize in its category. At $250 each, however, the machines were too expensive for home use, but enough were sold to hotels and restaurants to keep Cochran’s Crescent Washing Machine Company in business until her death in 1913.

The electric dishwasher first appeared in 1912; the first good dishwasher detergent (Calgon) in 1932; the first automatic dishwasher in 1940. The latter was not exported to Europe until about 1960.

Picture ideas

Rather weedily, none at this time, I fear, my Nymphies.

Needless details:

*Other mechanical dishwashers had been developed (and patented) in the US between 1850 and 1865 (all of them, it seems, by women) but none of them really worked. A hand cranked wooden machine was invented and patented in 1850 by Joel Houghton. In 1870, Mary Hobson obtained a dishwasher patent, but even then it contained the word “improved”.

**Fitch invented a working steamboat 17 years before Robert Fulton. Born in 1743, his mother died when he was four and his father pulled him out of school at 8 to work on the family farm. He ran away, became a silversmith, married an angry wife in 1776, and was imprisoned by both the British and the Indians, but by 1790 was operating a steamboat of his own devising that ran between Philadelphia and Trenton, Ohio. However, it was seen as a mere curiosity and failed commercially. Fitch, who was a manic depressive, then tried and failed to drink himself to death on whiskey, but eventually managed it with an overdose of opium pills.

***At the Chicago World’s Fair, formally known as the World’s Columbian Exposition, other exhibits included a 22,000 lb Canadian cheese; a 38 foot high, 30,000 pound temple crafted completely from chocolate; and the world’s first Ferris Wheel, designed by George Ferris. The whole exhibition was illuminated by electric power using alternating current provided by George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla at half the price proposed by Edison and General Electric. A teacher named Katharine Lee Bates was a visitor at the fair. She later wrote a poem which was to become the national anthem America the Beautiful. The phrase therein Thine alabaster cities gleam was inspired by the part of the exhibition called the "White City". The same inspiration is recogniizable in the Emerald City of L. Frank Baum's Land of Oz and in Walt Disney's Disneyland and Walt Disney World (Disney's father Elias had been a construction worker on some of the buildings).


<<Demonstrative pronouns

(To come. Regarding, Eskimos and 'this and that', for those who attended that particular discussion.)


s: BID
s: PAT
s: csu
s: uhw
s: lfm

189666.  Mon Jul 09, 2007 4:30 pm Reply with quote

The Garis-Cochran dishwasher.

An earlier patented machine existed but was nowhere near as efficient. The company started by Josephine Cochrane (note the 'e' she added herself) finally became part of the Whirlpool Corporation.

201545.  Sat Aug 18, 2007 2:25 am Reply with quote

This is "quite interesting", most kitchen appliances were created to cover utility needs, and it looks like dishwasher parts have another history, rather a funny one. We cannot complain today of technological solutions meant to make out life easier. I cannot imagine a kitchen without a fridge, microwave, oven, or dishwasher and so on...

Commercial link removed by QI Moderator three years later!

Rudolph Hucker
201569.  Sat Aug 18, 2007 5:09 am Reply with quote

Gordman wrote:

I cannot imagine a kitchen without a fridge, microwave, oven, or dishwasher and so on...

I don't think you are really trying: Picture a kitchen with all the appliances you mention. Now imagine a burglar entering the kitchen and picking up, for example, the microwave and leaving via the back door. Now if you review your imagined kitchen, picture a gap where the microwave was.

There, you have done it!

With extensive use of this simple exercise, you can train yourself to imagine almost anything.

201575.  Sat Aug 18, 2007 5:28 am Reply with quote

I don't have to use my imagination for this. All I have to do is go into my kitchen. There is no dishwasher, oven, or space. Its quite possible that I've got a 'so on' without realising it.

201625.  Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:59 am Reply with quote

Thanks guys, now I got the whole picture of it :).

762541.  Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:48 am Reply with quote

I've never had a dishwasher and never been tempted, so I don't consider them as something I can't live without.

762546.  Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:15 am Reply with quote

Speaking as someone who is slightly taller than average, I always used to get a terrible pain in the small of my back when doing the washing up* due to having to constantly stoop to reach down far enough. Personally I think the dishwasher is the greatest invention ever made by humankind** and would find it hard to live without one.

*Perhaps this was compounded by the fact that I would tend to leave the washing up as long as possible until I ran out of crockery, thereby ensuring that the washing up took a good 20-30 minutes.

**Much better than pointless shit like penicillin and the internet.

762557.  Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:56 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
Speaking as someone who is slightly taller than average, I always used to get a terrible pain in the small of my back when doing the washing up* due to having to constantly stoop to reach down far enough.

Well, duh. All you had to do was cut your feet off, and then you'd have been fine. And you'd have saved yourself the expense of a dishwasher.

762564.  Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:21 am Reply with quote

When I was 13, my mother and stepfather married and, in celebration, my stepfather purchased a new dishwasher to replace the old one. The old dishwasher was me.

Womp, womp.


Page 1 of 1

All times are GMT - 5 Hours

Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group