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Interesting Facts About the History of Plumbing

facts about the history of plumbing

The plumbing in your home is likely a key part of your home; however, that was not always the case.

When you think about things you can’t or don’t want live without in your Buffalo, New York home, most of those things probably tie back to your plumbing in some way. Whether it’s the shower, toilet, dishwasher, laundry, etc. plumbing is likely essential to your home functioning smoothly. As we know, indoor plumbing wasn’t always around and when it was first introduced into homes, it was only for the wealthy. Plumbing has a rich history, and because of its importance in our daily lives, we are going to explore some interesting facts about the history of plumbing.

Interesting Facts About the History of Plumbing

The plumbing in your home is likely a key part of your home; however, that was not always the case. Plumbing has a fascinating history that is worth reviewing. We are going to explore some facts about the history of plumbing that we think are interesting (hopefully you do too).

When did plumbing begin? Standardized plumbing can be traced back to around 3,000 B.C. The Indus River Valley civilization used earthen plumbing pipes to provide transportable water and drain wastes. There has also been evidence of indoor plumbing being found in Egyptian palaces dating back to 2,500 B.C. Some archeologists have even uncovered a part of a water plumbing system at the Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt.

 When did indoor plumbing become common in homes? The art and practice of indoor plumbing took nearly a century to develop, starting in about the 1840s, and in 1940 nearly half of houses lacked hot piped water, a bathtub or shower, or a flush toilet. While many homes had indoor plumbing in the early to mid-20th century, some households didn’t get plumbing until as late as the 1960s.

Who invented the toilet? The flushing toilet was invented by Sir John Harrington in 1596, which is where the nickname “the John” came from. You may have also heard the toilet called “the crapper”, this isn’t just because someone is being funny, Thomas Crapper owned the first bath, toilet and sink showroom, which widely increased the popularity of in home toilets.

Who invented the single-handle faucet? This name should not surprise you, as it is still around today. After burning his hands one day with an old-fashioned two-handle faucet, Alfred Moen looked for a better solution. In 1939, “Al” Moen invented the single-handle faucet that controls hot and cold water in just one turn, and is what most people have in their homes today.

Who invented the shower? While showers, of some sort, have been around for centuries, the first modern shower is credited to William Feetham, in 1767. His invention pumped water into a basin above the user’s head, before they pulled a chain that would release cold water.

How did toilet paper come to be? We can’t talk about the history of plumbing without hitting on one of the most common things we use in our bathroom plumbing, toilet paper. It’s hard to imagine a world without toilet paper, but toilet paper didn’t exist until 1850. Before toilet paper, people used items such as corn cobs or catalogs to wipe themselves after using the bathroom. In 1857, Joseph Gayetty invented the commercially available toilet paper. We can all thank him still today.

As we said, plumbing has a rich history, and since it’s often something we take for granted in our daily lives, we thought it was important to review some of the history behind it.

Reimer Home Services is your locally trusted plumber in Buffalo and Western New York. Our full-service plumbing team is ready to help with whatever your home needs, from thawing frozen pipes to cleaning out your shower drain. Our Buffalo plumbers are available 24/7 to help you and your home. We provide upfront estimates and we don’t charge you anything extra for service on nights or weekends.

When you need a plumber, don’t hesitate to call or contact us online.