Learn About the History of Indoor Plumbing
Did you know that in 1939, Al Moen invented the first faucet that let hot and cold water come out of a single tap? Did you know that the term “plumber” is derived from Latin word “plumbum,” which means “lead”?
Indoor Plumbing’s Early History
Plumbing as we know it can be traced back to around 4000- 3,000 B.C. when the Indus River Valley civilization built plumbing pipes that transported water and removed waste. On the same site, a bathtub made of pottery was discovered by archeologists.
The shower originated in ancient Greece. Olympic athletes stood under a pipe that showered them with water to help them get clean after competing.
Plumbing Evolves Through the Years
The Egyptians had “flushing “toilets in their pyramids, which were essentially latrines that used buckets of water to flush waste into pipes below. They built similar bathrooms into their tombs for the dead, so that they could benefit from the same comforts that the living had available to them.
The Romans are noteworthy for their complex systems of aqueducts, which extended over hundreds of miles. The pipes drew fresh water and carried to the bathhouses using gravity. The water was heated by a furnace for bathing and for steam rooms. These bathhouses also featured wastewater removal, which carried the used water away to the Tiber River for disposal.
In Marie Antoinette’s Versailles palace, there were no indoor toilets. Ironically, about 100 years before she lived there, King Louis XIV had ordered a main sewer line installed. Instead, the Royal Family used chamber pots, which were emptied into common cesspools, which was a health hazard- and very smelly.
People apparently used the hallways in the palace to relieve themselves. There were latrines as well. With that stench, it’s no wonder that one of In Marie Antoinette’s hobbies was perfume making.
Modern Plumbing Technology
Just like plumbing has evolved over thousands of years to meet the needs in a given point in time, we are seeing the same in our modern day- right here in Canton, GA.
We are in the midst of a global water crisis, so it is essential that our plumbing address the need for water conservation. That’s why recent developments in plumbing include eco-friendly plumbing fixtures, like dual flush toilets, low-flow showerheads, and motion censored faucets.