The modern convenience of indoor plumbing is something we often take for granted, but it has a long and fascinating history. From ancient civilizations to the Industrial Revolution, plumbing has been an integral part of human life. In this article, we'll explore the history of plumbing and how it has evolved over time. The earliest known use of indoor plumbing dates back to 4,000 to 3,000 B. C.
in India's Indus River Valley. Archaeologists have discovered copper pipes beneath the ruins that were likely used for water. Copper pipes were also used to construct some of the first bathrooms and sewer systems. From around 500 B. until its collapse in 476 A.
D., the Roman Empire was ahead of its time with an advanced interior plumbing system. The Romans built aqueducts that supplied water to people throughout the city and outside the cities and could construct public and private toilets. Although ancient civilizations created indoor plumbing systems similar to what we have today, many of our modern plumbing systems weren't invented until around the 19th century or later. The original flush toilet was invented in 1596 by Sir John Harrington, but the style of flush toilets we use today was invented in the early 20th century. In 1966, plastic tubing was used to replace copper tubing in indoor plumbing systems due to copper shortages. Although copper is still an ideal plumbing pipe, in many ways it has been supplanted by the use of plastic tubing due to its versatility.
The United States passed a series of laws in the 1980s and 1990s that restricted water flows in plumbing fixtures. This was done to conserve water and energy, a growing concern with modern plumbing systems and materials. Throughout history, indoor plumbing fixtures have undergone many innovations, ranging from ancient Egyptians to the late 20th century. This long history of innovation has greatly improved our quality of life and made it difficult to imagine a world without basic pipelines. Many buildings and houses had no interior piping of any kind until the middle or late 19th century. Residents used latrines and urinals as toilets, and neighborhood houses often forced 25 or 30 people to share a latrine. The Tremont Hotel of Boston was the first hotel of its kind to have indoor plumbing for guests.
Isaiah Rogers built eight toilets. Until 1840, indoor toilets were commonly found in rich and luxurious hotel homes. Soon, soap was introduced during bathing and is applied for hygiene reasons. Most plumbing pipes throughout the country today are made of PVC material, due to its relative stability and low cost. It was these rudimentary methods of plumbing that accompanied Europeans to the Americas and remained with them for the first two centuries of settlement there, including in New Amsterdam, which later became New York City. The nation's first plumbing code, called the “Hoover Code” after Hoover, was published in 1928. Hygienic guidelines and plumbing codes helped guide the installation of hygienic systems in the United States. In places like Pakistan (drains and cesspools), Egypt (copper pipes) and the Greek island of Crete (hot and cold running water), the design of the pipes really took off with the ancient Romans.
It wasn't until around the time of the Industrial Revolution that the United States saw flashes of what are now normal plumbing systems. In the mid-1930s, legislators and medical professionals agreed that sanitary piping was necessary for public health. Water is an important element for survival and plumbing has played an important role in the evolution of civilizations. One of the most popular myths surrounding the advent of indoor plumbing is the Chicago cholera outbreak of 1885.