A Brief History of Machine Machine’s Development

Since the invention of the wheel – the first known mechanical object – humans have constantly worked towards easing their lives. Machines have been invented, discovered and carved since the time of the early humans, 20-30 million years ago. Washing Machine Timeline is basically a place (more-likely a trivia) where you’ll get to know the washing-machine of today was invented. It started from ground zero, with bare-bones and lack of resources, but just look where it has got us today. We have these gizmos doing one of the most important tasks of modern-day – i.e. washing our clothes. There was a time when people relied on sources that were energy-consuming as well as time-consuming.

Machines, however, have embarked us on a journey like none other. Their invention has made our lives easier albeit making us lazy. But hey, there are pros and cons of everything, right? Washing clothes has always been a mammoth task for humans. People spoil their hands and even the soap and detergent are harmful to the skin. However, with washing machines, things became so much linear and simpler. There was one slight issue back in the days – the pricing. Not many people could afford these marvels of tech, and thus, this is how we got laundries. But when did these laundry-exclusive gizmos become a household necessity? Keep reading here, on Washing Machine Wise, to get informed.

Washing Machine Timeline


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1797 – The ‘First’ Washing Tool

This wasn’t exactly the first or even the best washing machine, but certainly, it was the best of its time. It comprised of a tub and board. Board? Yes, you read that right. It was a ridged board on which the washer had to scrub the clothes. Add soap or detergent to it and the friction would wash away the dirt, thereby cleaning the garment. However, you see – there are some pros and cons to everything.


  1. Inexpensive; was easily affordable by most of the people of the time.
  2. It was portable as it all comprised of was a tub and board.
  3. Did not require much water to work (hence wastage was avoided).
  4. Came in an array of sizes.


  1. Required a lot of labour (defeated the purpose of being a machine).
  2. Clothes could not be rinsed at all.

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1851 – The Washing ‘Drum’ is Introduced

We all know how effective this has turned out to be. Drums and washing machines are still a better love story than Twilight (no offence). It is literally so hard to imagine washing machines without drums. So, this version of the washing-machine had a drum to which was attached an arm. This arm was movable and it simulated the motion of an actual hand (rotation). This would knead and rough the clothes and would wash them ultimately. It was invented by James King.


  1. It had a drum and an arm that would result in good cleaning.
  2. It was portable and hence, people could move it from one place to another easily.


  1. Wasn’t easily available to everybody.
  2. Couldn’t manage multiple clothes due to a fixed drum sized.
  3. People didn’t actually prefer it due to its newness.

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1908 – Electrify Mode ON

Certainly, this model was far superior to the ones that people had seen earlier. I mean, come on, a device that does the washing for you? No mechanical labour? Just shut up and take my money. Thanks to Alva J. Fisher, this was officially the very first entry into the washing-machine world. It did manage to raise quite a lot of eyebrows and for all good reasons.


  1. It worked using electricity, which meant that the ‘machine’ element was present in it.
  2. All the heavy work was done by its effortlessly.
  3. The addition of wheels was like a cherry on top of the cake.


  1. Expensive. Yes, plain and simply expensive.
  2. Since it used electricity, not everybody could use it due to a lack of electricity distribution back then.

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1936 – Laundry Time (Washeria)

It was a time of advertising and newspapers started showcasing and publishing ads. C. A. Tannahill (Fort Worth, Texas) decided to make full use of this ad-column. Back at the time, women were associated with household chores and he came up with an idea. He opened the very first laundry (then known as a Washeria) and even published an ad for the same. Guess what? People were sold! The place was just perfect – bring your clothes, wash it on this modern-day washing-machine and at an affordable price. This is how we got the first laundry back in the day.


  1. Thousands of customers were attracted and lured into going to laundries to wash their clothes.
  2. This bloomed the laundry business (soon to become a multi-million dollar industry).
  3. People got familiarized with washing machines and plenty even bought them later on.


  1. There were long queues of people at times.
  2. No other con.

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1937 – Washing Machine Goes Personal

It was at this time people got personal washing machines – a technological boom for the decade. Brands started showing up and more and more people started buying this personal washing gizmo for themselves. Bendix became the first-ever brand to release a household washing machine.


  1. Front loading washing machine with a decent capacity/volume.
  2. Compact design, so it could be easily snuggled into a corner.


  1. No washing modes.
  2. Just an on-off switch.
  3. High energy consumption.

1957 – Top-loading & Modes

It was a time when the first top-loading washing machine was introduced. People were really fascinated by it as it even had washing modes. These options included – temperature control, spin-speed and wash level. Ah, it was quite advanced for its time and people loved it. The sales the following year skyrocketed.


  1. Top loading meant more volume and easy to add and remove clothes.
  2. There were different washing modes and rinsing options.


  1. The agitator didn’t have a long life as the motor would often burn.

Present Day –

We all know how good today’s washing machines are. I can literally go on to write paragraphs about how good and advanced the washing-machines of today are. From intelligent washing options to even Wi-Fi control, they have it all.  Washing Machine Wise has a great collection of some of the best washing machines that you can find. You can read more about us on the home page of Washing Machine Wise.

Happy Washing!

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