Despite the fact that most of the pipes we deal with are constantly flushed with water, sometimes talking about plumbing can be a little, well, dry to say the least. As much as we love blabbing about sump pumps and green plumbing fixtures and drain cleaner, we understand that every now and then it might be a good idea to switch it up a bit. In honor of this festive holiday season, we’re going to make this entry a little different.
So, without further adieu, we give you a FEW FUN PLUMBING FIXTURE FACTS:
1) The first flushing toilet was invented in 1596 by writer and artist Sir John Harrington. However, when Harrington published a book explaining his invention he was criticized so harshly by his peers that he actually retired from plumbing. It wasn’t until 200 years later that Alexander Cummings revived the “water closet” idea and paved the way for the modern bathroom.
2) In 1917 American journalist H.L. Mencken published an article in the New York Evening Mail outlining a fabricated story about the invention of the bathtub. He claimed that bathtubs were first introduced to the United States in 1842 and were made of mahogany lined with lead. Though he quickly admitted the story was a complete hoax, to this day many people still cite it as fact.
3) As most people know, the Romans first popularized bathing with their large communal bathhouses. After the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity, however, bathing regularly became taboo, and what we now consider simply good hygiene went out the window. Regular showers and baths were not widely accepted again until the Victorian era.
Whatever the origin of bathtubs, toilets, and showers, we sure are glad they were invented and have become standard in every home. Aside from keeping us squeaky clean, they also happen to provide our livelihood. So here’s a big handshake extended out to our pal John Harrington, even if your peers didn’t appreciate you, you can bet Nowthen does.