Before detergent soap was used to clean the clothes, people used various methods to remove the dirt away from the clothes such as washing them in water streams or rubbing them with rough sand or striking them on the rocks, etc. The first-ever soap to wash the clothes was made from the ashes of animals found in Rome that contained essential fat to remove the dirt off the clothes.
The earlier washing machines are powered by hand. In the late eighteenth century, the scrub board was used for ablution purposes. In 1851, James King invented a sort of washing that uses a drum. Although this machine needs to be driven by hand, it had the rudimentary elements of the modern washing machine.
The first rotary washing machine was invented by Hamilton-Smith and about two decades later, William Blackstone designed a washing machine that can be used as a home appliance with enhanced features.
Modern Washing Machines
In, 1908, Hurley Machine Company based in Chicago, USA brought out the modern washing machine that was powered by electricity. The Thor, as it was called, was designed by Alva J. Fisher, an inventor. This washing machine had a drum, a moving tub, and an electric motor.
F.L. Maytag founded the Maytag Corporation in 1893 and the main business of the company was producing farm equipment. In 1907, Maytag launched his wooden-tub washing machine and later introduced other models in the following years.
One of the major washing machine manufacturers, the Whirlpool Corporation (formerly known as Upton Machine Co.) was started in Michigan in 1911. The company introduced wringer machines driven by electric motors.
The Schulthess Group, one of the pioneers in washing machines, brought out their first washing machine model in 1909. The company also introduced punched card control in their washing machines in the nineteen fifties. In the same period, the first automatic washing machines hit the commercial market in many European countries. Modern washing machines with computerized controls began to appear in the nineteen-eighties.