Have you ever turned on the water to fill your tub and wondered about the history of your faucet?
The faucet has an interesting history that traces back to ancient times. As early as 1700 B.C., plumbing and faucets were being used to control the water to fountains and private homes. The Romans utilized plumbing and faucets to run water to 11 public baths, 856 private baths, and 1,352 cisterns and fountains.
Faucets started out with two handles for hot and cold water. If you were running a bath, you turned on the hot water faucet and the cold-water faucet. However, in 1937, Al Moen burned his hands in the hot water and decided to design a single-handled faucet. His first design was rejected and between 1940 and 1945, he finally succeeded in designing a functioning, single-handled faucet. Finally, people would be able to adjust the temperature of one stream of water until they found their desired temperature.
Many others continued to improve upon the design of the faucet. In 1945, Landis Perry came up with the design for a ball valve for faucets. The Delta single-handle faucet was the first faucet to utilize the ball valve. Wolvering Brass also added to the functionality of faucets by designing ceramic discs for water control. The discs last longer than rubber and provide better control.
As time marched on, more and more improvements were made to faucets. Some of these improvements include filters to reduce contaminants, spray hoses that can be pulled out from the sink, electronic faucets, and faucets designed for the handicapped. Electronic faucets are becoming the norm in public bathrooms because users do not have to touch the handles to turn the water on. They simply hold their hands in front of a sensor and the water turns on, making these faucets more hygienic than traditional faucets.
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the world of faucets.