The first washing machine powered by electricity was invented by Alva J.Fisher in 1908. Fisher worked for the Hurley Washing Machine in Chicago and named his creation The Thor.
Credit: Matthias Werner CC-BY-2.0
Previous to the invention of the electric-powered washing machine, James King invented a machine that used a drum device in 1851 that is still in use today for some machines. His machine was hand powered. In 1858 Hamilton Smith created the first rotary powered washing machine. Rotary power uses a 4-stroke combustion cycle. Both of these inventions are what made Alva J. Fisher’s invention of the electric washing machine possible.