Clean clothes are one of the basic necessities of a normal life alongside to food and shelter. Since the dawn of humanity people had the need of cleaning their clothes and other textiles products like sheets or carpets.
For a very long period of time the only method for washing clothes was by pounding them to rocks at river sides. In order for the clothing to get clean it is necessary for it to be bent and flexed so that the soap can get into the fibers and the dirt to be displaced.
The precursor of the washing machine was the corrugated washboard which for a very long time was used as a replacement for river cleaning. But the big drawback of the washboard was that it requested a fair amount of effort and this kind of work was considered to be a chore by any housewife.
In order to simplify the washing process which was unchanged for centuries, the first manual washing machines were developed. They had a big impact in Germany at the beginning the 20th century and they soon became a must have item for the majority of the households.
The first automated washing machines were soon developed, but due to the scarcity of electricity during that time in history, they were powered by early gasoline motors which, needless to say, were very inefficient.
The first models were made out of wood and the water they used was preheated on a nearby fire and then poured into the machine. The later metal models could house the fire within and thus heat the water themselves.