Have you ever walked around your house fascinated with the modern conveniences afforded by indoor plumbing? Probably not, but delving into the history of plumbing fixtures is an entertaining journey. Here is a brief history of the six indoor plumbing fixtures that Works Plumbing services in Pacifica homes.
The history of indoor plumbing does not include isolated moments when a certain fixture was invented. Rather, it is an evolution as human needs have changed. Some pretty clever people have found new and better ways to do things, such as moving water from one location to another.
No other indoor plumbing fixture demonstrates this innovation more than the humble pipe. In 2500 B.C., the Egyptians introduced copper pipes for irrigation and to manage floodwaters from the Nile River. Copper pipes were considered a luxury in Egypt, and some pyramids are outfitted with the fixtures to give the dead the same conveniences as the living.
The Romans were next in line to use pipes, and their design moved more than one billion liters of water over 15 miles every day. Unfortunately, the Romans tried to improve upon the original by using lead for the pipes. As a result, lead concentrations in the water increased to 10 times higher than safe levels, and the civilization saw a great loss of unborn babies and children. Luckily, technology and pipe materials have improved over time to the safe pipes used today.
Have you ever wondered why a toilet is called a “john” in slang? Believe it or not, there is a very good reason. The first toilet was invented by a fellow named Sir John Harrington, who was the godson of Queen Elizabeth I. Sir Harrington was banished from the royal court for some indiscretions, and it is during his exile that he invented the first flush toilet. Perhaps it was his way of eliminating the emotions of being vanquished from the royal court. After reconciling with Sir Harrington, Queen Elizabeth asked him to install his new contraption in Richmond Palace.
The earliest recorded sinks go back to a time when humans needed a way to bathe themselves beyond standing in a river. At first, humans carved stones with indentations to fill with water. Over time, the rocks were replaced with lovely ceramic bowls and water pitchers. Modern sinks started out as bowls that held water and were often accompanied by a pitcher. These are known as basins, and the word “sink” came later when the basins were fitted with drains and pipes.
The best way to start or end your day is with a nice, hot, relaxing shower, and you can thank William Feetham for these moments. In 1767, he invented the first mechanical, albeit rudimentary, shower. It consisted of a large basin to stand in and to fill with water. The shower part involved a hand pump that pulled water from the basin into a tank. You would then pull on a chain to release the water over you. The design was not very popular, though, because the water was recycled for the entire length of the shower. Thank goodness humans found another way to shower.
More than 100 years after the first shower was invented, an American named John Michael Kohler invented the first modern bathtub. His name should sound familiar because Kohler continues to be a leader in fixtures for every part of your home. Kohler’s initial design was constructed of a cast-iron horse trough covered with enamel and mounted on ornate feet. Claw-foot tubs continue to be a trend today.
In 4000 B.C., the first drains were used to remove waste from homes in the Harappan civilization in what is now India and Pakistan. In 1700 B.C., the Greeks built drainage pipes from terra cotta, as well as lavatories, sinks, and manholes. The United States didn’t have drains or large water systems until much later. In 1652, the city of Boston realized that firefighters needed more than water trucks with pumps. The city-wide system was originally constructed to provide adequate water to fight fires and was later tied into homes and businesses for other uses. Twelve years later, King Lois XIV of France had a water main installed at Versailles to feed a constant supply of water to his gardens and fountains.
Residential Plumbing Experts
If you need plumbing service experts in Pacifica and the surrounding areas, call Works Plumbing! We offer drain cleaning, installation, repairs, leak detection, and water heaters. If you have a plumbing problem, we will schedule an appointment with one of our technicians, and we also offer 24/7 emergency repairs.