The History of Plumbing in Ireland
While going through the history of plumbing in Ireland you must understand some of its basic terms like plumbing, sewer etc. The word plumbing is derived from a Latin word Plumbum and can be defined as a utility including pipes and fixtures usually used these days in buildings for distributing water or gas in their various parts and for disposing off the sewage from them. Similarly word sewer is derived from a French word Essouier which means to drain out.
History of plumbing in Ireland starts many years ago when various fittings and fixtures were designed by Dublin plumbers and commercially manufactured by various companies. Since then it is proceeding gradually to invent various new plumbing appliances and fixtures including modern drinking fountains, toilets and showers etc.
Invention of drinking fountains
Today’s drinking fountain was invented and manufactured in the early years of 1900s by two of the plumbers in Dublin, Halsey Taylor and Luther Haws, who later on founded their individual companies. Thus the concept of modern public water supply has been entirely changed with the efforts of these two companies.
Halsey Taylor was inspired to invent a unique public water supply system, the modern water fountain, to provide safe drinking water to people after the death of his father who died due to typhoid fever caused by drinking contaminated water from public water distribution system
Luther Haws who was sheet metal contractor, part-time plumber and sanitary inspector got inspired to invent public water system after inspecting the sanitary system of a school. He was surprised to see that children were drinking water from a common cup, tied to the tap, made of tin. He came to the conclusion that this public sharing of water supply can cause various health hazards. This inspired Haws to invent and design a unique faucet for public water drinking by using various plumbing parts including a self closing rabbit ear valve and a ball taken from a brass bedstead. He installed his first model of unique public water drinking faucets in the department of schools in his city.
Invention of toilets
The plumbing fixture used for defecation and urination is popularly known as toilet. Modern toilets are the combination of a hinged seat fitted with a bowl and a waste pipe to flush out the waste. Latrine, privy, lavatory or water closet, are some of the other names used for toilets today.
Invention of modern toilets has a long history. As per the recorded history of plumbing in Ireland history of invention of toilets started approximately 2800 years ago when King Minos of Crete owned the first water closet to flush out waste. Toilet was also found years back between 206 BC and 24 AD in China in the tomb of a king of Western Han Dynasty. Similarly sewer system was discovered in ancient Rome where simple latrines or outhouses were built directly over the running waste water which fell into River Tiber.
Correspondingly during the middle ages chamber pots were invented for this purpose which were made of ceramic or some special metal which were used to toss the content out of window after every use. Flush toilet was invented in 1596 and was built for Queen Elizabeth I for the first time by Sir John Harrington, her Godson.
In 1775 Alexander Cummings issued first patent to the flushing toilet. Controlling the human waste with the help of toilets and sewer systems became a priority for medical experts, lawmakers, general public and inventors in 18000s after recognizing that diseases were caused due to poor sanitary conditions. By installing eight water closets designed by Isaiah Rogers the Tremont Hotel of Boston became the first hotel to have indoor plumbing in 1829. Indoor plumbing was discovered only in the better class hotels or in the homes of the rich people until 1840. The designs of toilet started changing into the modern toilet with a close tank and bowl from the elevated water tank in the beginning of the decade of 1910.
In this way history of plumbing in Ireland proceeded gradually by inventing various types of plumbing systems year after year to reach at the present plumbing systems which are used all over the world for water and gas distribution and flushing out the wastes.