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Prior to 1880, hand dish and pot washing was the only option for the roadhouses, hotels and restaurants of the day. In 1880, George S. Blakeslee began work on the first mechanical dish washing machine and became the founding father of the commercial dish machine industry. It took George almost 15 years to perfect his first commercial machine, but with the sixth model he went into production and began selling dishwashers to larger restaurant operators. Each machine was hand built by skilled craftsmen.

The next major advancement came in the early 20th Century when George developed the first rackless, continuous conveyor type dish machine, which came to be called a Flight-Type Dishwasher. These machines allowed continuous loading and washing of dishware, glassware, flatware, pots and pans, increasing cleaning capacity over all batch-loading machines.


George Blakeslee was one of the first U.S. Manufacturers to recognize the importance of the Canadian Market and the need to serve that market from a Canadian manufacturing facility. In the early 1900s, long distance shipping of heavy equipment was difficult and time consuming, so in 1912 George opened a Blakeslee Company plant to serve the Canada Market.


Four generations of the Blakeslee Family grew up and grew their Chicago-based dishwasher manufacturing business, with knowledge and experience that was passed down from generation to generation. During this era, Blakeslee became known in the rapidly expanding foodservice industry as THE EXPERTS in Dishwashing Machine design and manufacturing.

In the 1950s and 1960s the Blakeslee product line was expanded to include other motorized kitchen equipment, including: planetary mixers, vegetable peelers and food slicers. The same attention to detail, product testing and innovative manufacturing methods went into the development of this laborsaving food preparation equipment.

Blakeslee also expanded manufacturing, engineering and support staff by hiring only the best young talent. The combination of old school knowledge, real world experience, plus fresh ideas and critical thinking has kept Blakeslee in the forefront of dishwashing and prep equipment design and manufacturing.


In 1965, Blakeslee Management “threw out the book” and decided to redesign most of their dish machine product line. The result of this bold effort was:

  • The first and only underslung conveyor [patented] on a Flight-Type Machine;
  • The only modular tank system for both Rack and Flight-Type machines; and
  • The only low profile Rack and Flight-Type machines available.

A History of Innovation and Manufacturing Milestones…