Five Fun Facts About Plumbing You Probably Never Knew
Let’s plumb the depths of plumbing and learn some fascinating facts about this all-important modern civilization perk. We are going back in history today to share five fun facts about plumbing that you have probably never heard of before.
As with many things, the Egyptians were first in the field of plumbing. Archeologists have discovered a portion of a water plumbing system at the Pyramid of Cheops. They have also found proof of indoor plumbing in some Egyptian palaces dating back to 2500 BC. Woah! Besides these, the Egyptians also get credit for being the first to use copper piping, which is the primary material we use today in modern plumbing. Give yourself a pat on the back if you knew that fun plumbing fact!
Plumbing in the USA
Speaking of copper pipes, another of the facts about plumbing you may find interesting is that the US has had more than 28 billion feet (more or less 5.3 miles) of them installed since 1963. The country has enough copper piping to go around the planet 200 times. That’s a lot of plumbing. You can certainly say that we’ve come a long way from 1829 when Boston’s Tremont Hotel became the country’s first hotel to have indoor plumbing.
The Blessing of a Flushing Toilet
The recorded first flushing water closet can be traced back to the island of Crete. King Minos enjoyed this convenience as early as 2800 years ago. This dispels the urban legend that the inventor of the toilet was one Sir Thomas Crapper. You know who else got to experience a flushing toilet way before the first patent for it was issued by Alexander Cummings in 1775? Queen Elizabeth I. She was built one by her godson, Sir John Harrington. His name is believed to be the origin of the American nickname for toilet, “the john”.
A Toilet by Any Other Name…
“John” is just one of many monikers that the bathroom has earned. Going back to the Egyptians, you can probably guess why they referred to it as the “house of horror”. Meanwhile, those Romans were entirely too practical in calling it the “necessarium”. Tudor England, on the other hand, held a stiff upper lip and called it the “privy”, short for “house of privacy”. The French certainly didn’t mince their words and rightly called it “la chambre sent” (smelly room).
Einstein’s True Calling
Albert Einstein was reported to have said that he would have become a plumber if he could do it all over again. This remark pushed the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union in Washington DC to make him an honorary member and a New York plumbers’ local to gift him with a set of gold-plated plumbers’ tools. Can you imagine where those tools live today?
Why all this toilet talk? Well, people supposedly spend a total of three years of their life on the toilet, so it makes sense to learn what we can about it. These fun facts about plumbing are a good place to start-up random conversation with your Fox Valley plumber when they come to your home.