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The History of Garbage Disposals

There’s a little bit of controversy over who invented the garbage disposal. The widely accepted version of the story holds that the garbage disposal was invented in 1927 by John W. Hammes, an architect from Racine, Wisconsin. He earned a patent for his device in 1935 and it became available to the public in 1940 under the company name, InSinkErator. However, General Electric claims they were the first to introduce the garbage disposal with their 1935 device, the Disposall. In the 1930s and 1940s, many cities had regulations that prohibited citizens from putting food waste into sewer systems. However, Hammes used marketing campaigns to successfully influence many cities into lifting their restrictions enough to allow for the installation of garbage disposal units. Today, roughly 50% of homes in the United States have garbage disposals.

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