A Short History of Faucets

A Short History of Faucets

February 19, 2019

We deal with faucets multiple times a day every day of our lives, so it’s understandable that most people don’t ever really stop to think about how the faucet was invented and how the technology has advanced over the course of thousands of years. You’ll find today’s faucet fixtures in many different styles and with many different features, but they all have the same roots.

With this in mind, here is some information about how the faucet’s beginnings led to the way you know these bath accessories in Colorado.

Ancient origins

Faucets date back farther than one might expect—all the way back to around 1700 B.C. Plumbing and spout fixtures were used at that time in the Minoan Palace of Knossos, on the Island of Crete. These fixtures and features were used in some private homes for baths, and also provided water for the fountains.

The ancient Romans had developed plumbing made out of lead pipes. They had faucets for their own personal baths, though there were also communal showers that were popular in early Roman communities. Unsurprisingly, these fixtures were quite basic. There were two spouts: one for hot water, another for cold water.

Ongoing innovation

The general idea and setup of faucets in bathtubs and other plumbing fixtures remained basically the same until significant innovations took place in the early 20th century by Al Moen. He is the person who is believed to have developed the idea for a singular faucet knob, after reportedly burning his hands while using the incorrect settings on a standard fixture. After some tweaks, he mastered the design that allowed people to use a single faucet for one stream of water that could easily be adjusted to the proper temperature for the desired usage of that water.

Other inventors expanded on Moen’s work with the development of the ball valve. This part was designed in 1945 by Landis Perry, and helped users more easily control the temperature of the water with a sort of blending mechanism that also worked to seal off the unit.

Since then there have been numerous other upgrades made to faucets, including ceramic disks and built-in filters for chemicals and particles to remove them from the water before they hit your drinking glass or sink. There are some new types of faucets that are designed to be more energy- and water-efficient, with “low-flow” fixtures that only let out a certain amount of water at a time to help conserve the resource and lower your bills.

And of course, the design of faucets has changed significantly over the years. There are still plenty of vintage clawfoot designs, which can be very coveted in certain types of estates, but modern fixtures are much more streamlined and simplistic.

For more information about the history of faucets and other plumbing fixtures and how they have evolved over the many years since their inception, contact the team at Custom Door Hardware or pay us a visit to check out our selection of bath accessories in Colorado.

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