The first drum washing machine was patented in 1851 by James King. The machine worked similarly to a modern-day machine, but it was operated with a hand crank.
The rotary washing machine was patented in 1858 by Hamilton Smith. The manually operated rotary squeeze scrubber succeeded these two machines, and it was the first machine to both wash and wring out clothes with one device. The first electric washing machine, a drum-based device called the Thor, was patented in 1910 by Alva J. Fisher and manufactured by the Hurley Machine Co. Agitators were introduced in the 1920s to scrub dirt from clothes.