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March 11th, 2015 in Plumbing History, Plumbing Technology, World Plumbing Day

Celebrate World Plumbing Day in New Haven with a Look at Plumbing’s Past & Present!


Every March 11th, on World Plumbing Day, we recognize the hard work of plumbers, not just the work of our New Haven plumbers, but the efforts of all plumbers from the past and present, all over the world. We like to take time to ruminate on the conveniences and safety that our modern plumbing systems allow us, especially in comparison to the rudimentary plumbing systems of our ancestors.

Plumbing Past

Outside RestroomThe Outhouse – Still existent at homes that are off the grid, an outhouse is a small room outside with a hole either in the ground or on a raised platform. Imagine bearing a cold New Haven winter night to go out and use it! Or, perhaps on a frigid night you’d prefer to use the chamber pot indoors?

The Shared Bathtub – Regular bathing hasn’t always been as popular as it is today. In order for families to bathe, water needed to be heated on a wood or coal-burning stove. After the tub was filled, family members would take turns bathing. To be last in line meant bathing in everyone else’s filth!

Plumbing Present

The Indoor Toilet – Thank goodness for Sir John Harington—he invented the first modern flushing toilet! With the push of a lever, we can say so long to our waste. And, thanks to plumbers developing systems of indoor plumbing pipes, we don’t have to bear the cold!

The Shower – The bathing experience has been improved in all kinds of ways. We have water heaters now, so the inconvenience of heating up water on the stove is no longer required. Showers allow for cleansing that is quick and convenient, so showering is now considered the method of choice, with actual baths reserved more for children or adults seeking relaxation.

The Washboard – For many years, clothes were cleaned using a washboard. Sometimes the washboard was used alongside a bucket of hot water; other times the washboard was taken down to the river so that clothes could be scrubbed. And I thought going to the laundry mat was a hassle!

The Washing Machine – Today, whether you own your own laundry machine or bring your roll of quarters to the laundry mat, most of us have the convenience of just popping our clothes and towels into a machine that does all of the work for us. Without indoor plumbing pipes and water heaters, this marvel would be nothing but a pipe dream (pun intended)!

Plumbers have played a huge role in the way we live our lives. Modern plumbing systems allow for the safe elimination of waste, for clean water to be kept separate from wastewater, for convenient bathing, toileting, and laundering. The evolution of plumbing never stops. Now that flushing toilets and showerheads exist, we look to make them more effective and better at conserving water. Now that washing machines and water heaters exist, we look to make them more efficient. At Rick’s Plumbing, we keep up with the latest in plumbing technology,  so that we can be here to provide you with the best plumbing service and installations available, and we can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Happy World Plumbing Day!!



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