But when power lines reached rural houses, indoor plumbing wasn't far behind. On the one hand, electricity ignited the desire in rural families for other modern comforts. On the other hand, electricity allowed water to be pumped to the internal water pipes. And just like electricity, indoor plumbing was a revolution in rural life.
Helen Bolton says that before electricity they bathed once a week on Saturday nights. And several family members used the same bath water. By the late 1930s, more and more farms were connected to electricity. Farmer families began to enjoy the convenience of indoor bathrooms and running water for bathing and washing dishes and clothes.
Before the farms had running water, families used the latrine (summer and winter) without toilet paper and bathed once a week, sharing the water in the tub that had been heated on the stove. Stan Jensen remembers to bring weekly toilet water every week, whether he will need it or not. Millie Opitz says her family didn't buy toilet paper. They got good, creative in finding a source of toilet paper.
Watch the video to see what they used. In the mid-1930s, U.S. legislators and medical professionals recognized that sanitary pipes were essential to public health. Hygiene guidelines and plumbing codes were created to help streamline the toilet system installation process across the country.
In the 1940s, due to restrictions on iron, steel and copper, American manufacturers introduced cast iron and plastics to the world of plumbing, which are the materials most often found in toilets today. Our toilets have certainly come a long way over the years, and we must thank these plumbing systems and their brilliant inventors for the health and convenience we now enjoy. Indoor plumbing took many decades to develop, but its invention as we know it today dates back to the beginning of the 19th century. With the final correlation between disease and waterborne bacteria, the plumbing push was completed.
Over the years, the world of plumbing evolved tremendously, from complex construction in the Roman Empire until Sir John Harrington designed the first flush toilet for his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth I. However, water also exemplifies the failure of those aspirations, drawing our attention to contaminated streams, inadequate plumbing in substandard housing, and disparities in access to water recreation. Stainless steel is also relatively new to the growing market for plumbing materials, perhaps exemplified by the growth of Elkay Mfg. The first American plumbers, uneducated in the impressive engineering exploits of their ancient Roman forerunners, would have to learn for themselves how to build and build comparable supply and waste systems.
It wasn't until four years later, in 1833, that the White House received running water on the main floor. It was the first hotel to have indoor plumbing and became the prototype of a modern, first-class American hotel. It is also known that King Louis XIV ordered the construction of a cast-iron main pipe that carried water 15 miles to the palace and surrounding grounds in France. Unfortunately, poor plumbing and the stench of open sewer connections made some new homes uninhabitable.
Trade associations formed, spearheading plumbing ordinances and laws for regulation and review. During these times, plumbing also became more efficient and hygienic, a process that continues today. Thomas Crapper founded his company in 1861 and received nine patents for plumbing innovations throughout his career, including the flush toilet and the floating ball faucet, which regulates the water level in the tank. Fittingly, the National Association of PHCC (formerly the National Association of Master Plumbers), first met in committee in 1883 at the former Astor House, the hotel that powered modern plumbing in 1834.Master plumbers, while they had developed capture and vent methods to protect against contamination, had no real knowledge of hydraulic principles.