When you are unwinding in your bathtub at the end of the day here in Baton Rouge, LA, you probably don’t give a whole lot of thought to the plumbing that makes your hot bath possible. What’s more, is that you probably haven’t considered that plumbing has actually been around for thousands of years.
How your plumbing has evolved to its current form is actually a very interesting story. Curious to learn what indoor plumbing used to be like in ancient times? Read on!
Very Early Plumbing History
Indoor plumbing, as well known as it is today, has roots as far back as 3,000 B.C. when the Indus River Valley civilization had earthen plumbing pipes that connected water for use inside buildings. These buildings also had drains to remove wastewater.
During this era, they had bathtubs made out of pottery as well. The first flushing toilet is thought to have been built under the rule of King Minos in Crete. During this era, a network of pipes was built as well that harvested rainwater and transported it.
The Next Centuries
A few centuries later, the Egyptians made significant advances with their indoor plumbing. They built latrines that connected to earthenware pipes to dispose of waste. They “flushed” these toilets by dumping buckets of water by hand into the latrines.
These bathrooms were built right into the pyramids. The Romans were also significant with their plumbing technology, building a complex system of aqueducts. Built over a few hundred years, this network of lead pipes extended for hundreds of miles.
Aqueducts supplied the public and private bathhouses with fresh water. The bathhouses had hot water heated by furnaces. They also had steam rooms and were known for their construction of marble plumbing fixtures, complete with gold and silver fittings.
No French Feast
Fast forward a few more centuries to Versailles, France, one of the first main sewer lines were installed indoors at the palace in the 17th century. However, it wasn’t until many years later that indoor toilets were put in place.
Under the reign of Marie Antoinette, the Royal Family used fancy upholstered chamber pots that were emptied into common cesspools. The members of the court were relegated to using the outdoors, latrines, or even the hallways in the palace, which causes a persistent bad smell, as well as creating vermin problems.
Plumbing continues to evolve to meet our needs. In the last century, Al Moen invented a faucet that could run both hot and cold water out of a single tap. Today, given the desire for water conservation, the motion sensor faucet was born and reduces household water use by quite a bit.
Today, given the desire for water conservation, the motion sensor faucet was born and reduces household water use by quite a bit.