When you turn the tap on a faucet or flush a toilet, you don’t usually think to yourself how lucky a person you are to be able to perform these actions.
But in truth, you’re very lucky. You’re benefiting from thousands of years of engineering that makes it possible for you to take for granted something that your ancestors of the past could only dream of. Indoor plumbing is a very recent technology. For everyone else? It wasn’t that easy.
You’re benefiting from thousands of years of engineering that makes it possible for you to take for granted something that your ancestors of the past could only dream of. Indoor plumbing is a very recent technology. For everyone else? It wasn’t that easy.
The Egyptian & Roman Pioneers
Plumbing wasn’t just a matter of convenience, but survival for some cultures, such as the ancient Egyptians. Living in a desert region, they were forced to create the first pipes, made of clay, to carry water from the Nile to where it could be used on their crops.
Eventually, they switched over to copper, a material still used for pipes even today! The Romans also considerably helped to advance plumbing and engineering. Of course, they’re most well-known for the aqueducts that carried huge amounts of water from remote sources to their towns and cities.
But their aqueducts could also branch off, delivering water straight to homes. They even pioneered sewer pipes with hollowed out elm logs to try and control waste disposal!
The Age Of Reason & Smelliness
Perhaps the biggest surprise for many people is that as history marched on, and we hit the 18th century and the so-called “age of reason,” plumbing took a step backward. You don’t have to look any further than one of the most glamorous figures of French history, the famous Marie Antoinette. Despite being royalty, she smelled horrible and so did her palace.
There are a few reasons for this. First, Marie and other nobility only took a bath about once a month, so she mostly tried to hide her stink with perfume. Second, and perhaps more dangerous, the inland locations of many places made it impossible to use aqueduct techniques like the Romans and Egyptians did, so no indoor plumbing or sewer control systems existed.
This meant that royal palaces often had human waste of both kinds lining the halls, sitting on rugs, and even piling up in royal chambers and other spaces in a palace. Far from being glamorous spaces, royal palaces were often literal cesspools where you could get very sick if you could train yourself to get used to the sight and smell of human waste everywhere.
Modern plumbing is, fortunately, nothing like this. Modern faucets and showers don’t just allow us easy access to water; new techniques even make these appliances and fixtures more water efficient.
New dishwashers, for example, may save more water than traditional, manual dish washing. And of course, modern toilets provide an immense amount of healthy, sanitary safety, conveniently moving waste away and letting it get properly treated.
Now, with modern plumbing, water and sewage systems are both safe and easy. And as long as you have companies like Fitzgerald Plumbing working in the Lakewood, CA area to serve you, you always know that no matter what happens, there are experienced professionals to help.
We know just how important it is for you to fix plumbing problems quickly and efficiently so you can continue to enjoy the amenities of modern 21st-century life in America.