The first hand-operated dishwashing machine was patented in 1850. However, a powered
dishwasher with permanent plumbing hookups was not developed until 1920, according to the
Whirlpool Corporation. In 1947, household dishwashers went into production and soon became
a feature in the American home. Numerous technological advances since then have
significantly improved the cleaning, energy, and water efficiency of residential dishwashers in
the North American marketplace.
Over the past 20 years, the percentage of all U.S. housing units with automatic dishwashers has
grown steadily, from only 42 percent in 1985 to nearly 58 percent by 2003. Of special note is
the fact that about 88 percent of all new housing units constructed in the period from 2000 to
2003 were equipped with builder-installed automatic dishwashers.