Thursday, 7 November 2019

Frances Gabe – Woman of Invention

Frances Gabe truly was one of a kind.  She invented a house that cleaned itself.  A fantastic concept that maybe isn't quite as good in practice as in theory.

She hated housework  and over 25 years from 1955 she patented various self cleaning methods.  She designed her own self cleaning house and had it built in Oregon so that she could keep on living in the place even when she was very old.

She invented 68 separate devices to eliminate every part of the cleaning of the home. There was a cupboard that could clean dishes without needing to move them, and cabinets in which one could hang dirty clothes to be washed and dried that could later be pulled with chains into the closet.

Every room contained sprinklers in the ceiling that sprayed soap and water in circular motion, which would land on floors coated with waterproof varnish. Well-placed drains and hot-air vents helped dry things afterward, while resin, waterproof fabric and awnings protected the furniture and accoutrements of the house. Even books and papers were stored in waterproof jackets and plastic boxes for protection.

She died in 2016 aged 101.  Her invention never really caught on…

Thanks to Women of Invention by Charlotte Montague


  1. Well, you have to give it to her.....she lived long and must have enjoyed her life!

  2. Really! Hmmmmm I can honestly see why some inventions never caught on but certainly could have been improved on! HA

  3. Wow! Imagine how empty some of the shelves in stores would be if her inventions had caught on.


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