Today’s society tends to take certain things for granted, including having water available at the twist of a faucet. But it wasn’t that long ago that indoor plumbing was considered nothing short of science fiction. We’ve come a long way in a short time, so here’s a quick look back at the development of indoor plumbing.
Down the Drain: Indoor Plumbing Innovations
- The flushing toilet isn’t as new as you’d think. King Minos of Crete was fabled to own such a beast more than 2,800 years ago. Unfortunately, it took 2,300 years from his castle’s destruction for it to show up again. Queen Elizabeth I’s godson presented her with the next variation on this everyday fixture around 1596.
- A great innovation for Roman housewives was the invention of the aqueduct. With just a short walk, you could have all the water you could use. Too bad the joints were often sealed with white lead.
- After the fall of the Roman empire, their water supply systems continued to be used, but it wasn’t until 1652 that the city of Boston added a central supply system to its offerings. The supply pipe of choice at the time? Wood logs. Workers would bore out the center of the log and taper one end to fit into the wider end of the next log.
- The wood supply lines came in handy for firefighting. The two-man pump wagons would be brought to the scene of a fire, a hole bored into the supply line, a smaller, pre-sized wood pipe would be driven into the hole and the pump worked until the fire was out. The firemen would then plug the hole with a plug and beat it into place, hence the term “fireplug”.
- Steam power opened up new opportunities in water pumping to long distances as well as water boilers providing hot water through supply lines. It was noted on the Titanic that even the Third Class passengers had the luxury of both hot and cold water in each state room. You only had to share with the other three people in your tiny room.
Plumbing has come a long way since the advent of the aqueduct and flush toilet, but sometimes you still run into problems with the works. If you need a Pittsburgh plumbing service that delivers professional quality and exceptional service, Stahl Plumbing is your answer. Please feel free to contact us today to get your lines flowing again.