We often take plumbing for granted. Hot and cold water automatically flow when we turn on a tap, and the toilet is conveniently there when we need it. We usually don’t think about where our plumbing came from or its long history.
Plumbing in Ancient Times
Water pipes and basic sewer systems showed up in ancient Sumer, Egypt and Crete almost 4000 years ago. The ancient Romans created intricate aqueduct systems to move water around their empire. They even used bronze and lead pipes to carry water to public baths and the homes of the wealthy.
What About Toliets?
Sir John Harrington created the first flushing toilet in 1596, a basic design that flushed the waste away but didn’t refill the bowl. Nearly two hundred years later, Alexander Cummings added the S-trap piping, which allowed some clean water to stay in the bowl. In the late 1800s, Thomas Crapper created the ballcock valve that allowed the toilet’s tank to refill. By 1910 the toilet you recognize today had become standard.
Cities and Plumbing
In the early 19th century, cities began to install plumbing on a wide scale. As early as 1804, Philadelphia installed cast-iron water pipes. In 1842 the Croton Aqueduct was completed to New York City, allowing for pressurized water. By 1885 Chicago had the first ubiquitous sewer system in America and was quickly followed by other cities.
In the 1920s, Dr. Roy Hunter began a study to improve plumbing in the U.S. The result was the first set of plumbing codes, including standards for running hot and cold water, sinks, baths and flush toilets. The next innovation came in 1966 with the introduction of plastic pipes.
Plumbing has a long history of innovation and stagnation. Because of our understanding of sanitation, modern plumbing is not just a convenience but also a necessity.
Plumbing systems may seem simple, but they can be surprisingly complex. If you find that you have any sort of issue with your plumbing in the Clinton area, call [company name] right away and have a professional plumber take a look. Besides offering a complete range of plumbing services, we also install, repair and maintain heating and cooling systems.