History of Washing Machines

Next time you go to a store and buy a washing machine, consider that it is an investment decision. You are not going to buy a machine that will last only for a few years. Nor do you want a household device that does not suit your laundry needs. A little discussion about the origins of washing machines is helpful in determining your ultimate choice.

Washing machine, sometimes called washer, is a machine designed to wash clothing, towels and sheets, among other fabric-made materials. It has a rich and long history before the modern automatic machines were introduced in the market. From a simple hand-operated bucket equipment evolved our modern versions that are electronically programmed machines washer repair los angeles.

Clothes soaked in taxed fermented urine

In ancient times, people use their hands to wash laundry. Later, similar buckets were used instead, using various types of rollers to tumble the clothes and squeeze water from the fabric. These buckets were called fuller. In ancient Rome, slaves began to use buckets where they soaked dirty clothes in fermented urine. Wow! That’s pretty surprising! Actually, urine contains compounds that are rich in ammonium salts. These salts aid in the faster removal of dirt and stains. This is a far cry from our modern version of laundry detergents! Urine was so important that it was taxed by the imperial government. It was Emperor Nero who first introduced this urine tax.

The earliest version of today’s washing machines was hand-operated. When developments in mechanical science produced engines, washing machines were attached to low-speed single-cylinder hit-and-miss gasoline engines. The casings were initially made of wood until metal tubs. This allowed water to be heated from below of the metal containers.

Apart from these devices that were primarily involved in cleaning the laundry, separate rollers were also used to squeeze water out from the clothes. Earlier, people just used their hands to manually twist the clothes. It was only until the development of electric motors that we had out first version of spinning system introduced.

First modern washing machine born

Our modern washing machine was born only when these two separate devices were combined into one single machine. It was Bendix which introduced the first automatic washing machine in 1937 in the US. Later, General Electric introduced into the market in 1947 our first top loading automatic washing machine. Many of the features introduced by GE are still present in our more recent versions of washing machine.

In terms of configuration, there are two types of washing machine, namely: top loading and front loading. Top loading washing machines are more popular in the US, Australia, Canada, Latin America and various parts in Asia. Clothes are placed by opening the top cover and positioned inside a vertically mounted perforated basket that is further enclosed in a tub that catches the water. Washing machine of this kind is normally low in maintenance.

Washing machines that are front loaded are more popular in Europe and the Middle East. An inner basket is mounted vertically and the clothes are placed through a door at the front. This feature, together with the drum assembly inside, makes the front loaders high in maintenance.

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