Story by Rachel A.
Frances Gabe called cleaning a “thankless, unending job.” She set out to change that. Her invented a self-cleaning house machine, before she died at the age of 101 on December 26, 2016. Gabe received a patent in 1984 for a “self-cleaning building construction.” The patent describes the invention as “apparatus for applying a fine spray or mist of water or water and detergent to wall, floor and ceiling surfaces, followed by warm air drying. Floors slope in a direction for removing excess moisture via a drain.” Gabe’s patent actually included 68 different devices that made up the self-cleaning house, all of which she designed to save time, energy, and space in her Newberg, Oregon home. Gabe worked on the self-cleaning house for more than 20 years, continually inventing, sketching, testing, and tweaking its myriad devices.