It’s very easy to take contemporary plumbing systems for granted. After all, they’ve been an integral part of our residential and commercial buildings for such a long time that modern society wouldn’t really work or even exist without them.
However, like many technologies we depend on on a regular basis, plumbing didn’t get to where it is today overnight. To give you an idea of how far we’ve come and provide you with a new appreciation for these crucial systems, we’ll take a look at the long and storied history of plumbing in the following article.
What is the history of plumbing?
Although it may not seem that way, the history of plumbing is full of unusual facts and dedicated inventors who had to work hard to solve the many difficult problems plumbing systems of old had to overcome.
Here’s a brief timeline of the history of plumbing:
- 4000-3000 B.C. The earliest discovered plumbing systems were found in the Indus Valley. The cities Harappa and Mohenjo-daro both had fully functioning plumbing that included sitting toilets, sewage systems, drainage, and other types of running water.
- 2500 B.C. Egyptians believed the dead required food, clothing, and other basic necessities in the afterlife, so they installed bathrooms inside tombs. To make these bathrooms work, they had to invent copper pipes and complex sewage and irrigation systems.
- 1500-1000 B.C. In Crete, extensive drainage and sewage disposal systems with underground channels were invented.
- 500 B.C. – 455 A.D. Advanced plumbing systems that included underground sewers, lead and bronze piping, aqueducts, marble fixtures, and public baths were invented and became the norm in the Roman Empire.
- 1596 A.D. Sir John Harrington devised the first flushing toilet for Queen Elizabeth I. This early device included a bowl, a seat, and a water cistern.
- 1775 A.D. Alexander Cummings added an S trap to Sir Harrington’s toilet. This made it so that a bit of water always stayed in the bowl, eliminating unpleasant smells and making it easy to clean the toilet after each use.
- 1804 A.D. The city of Philadelphia was the first major community to construct a new water delivery system based entirely on cast iron pipes.
- 1810 A.D. The first shower was invented by the English Regency.
- 1829 A.D. Up until this year, only luxury hotels or rich homeowners had indoor plumbing. This all changed when the Tremont Hotel of Boston introduced indoor plumbing for guests.
- 1833 A.D. The White House received indoor plumbing.
- 1891 A.D. Thomas Crapper invented a valve-and-siphon design, which revolutionized modern plumbing.
- 1910 A.D. The elevated water tank gained widespread use and became the most popular toilet water tank design of all time.
- 1966 A.D. Plastic piping was first introduced and soon became the norm for toilets.
- 1986 A.D. The Japanese invented a sensor-flushing technology for toilets.
Who in San Diego and the nearby communities provides reliable emergency plumbing services?
Risk Free Serv is a reputable provider of water, mold, fire, and smoke damage restoration and remediation services. Our crew of emergency plumbers is available 24/7 to address any plumbing issue you may have in a timely and effective manner.
It goes without saying that we serve the entire San Diego area, so you can depend on us regardless of whether your residential or commercial property is located in Chollas View or at the very epicenter of the city. Call us today.