Calgary Plumbing: History of the Plumber
Hello all, Kyle here from Clearview Plumbing and Heating in Calgary. As you’ll recall, we looked at the history of the toilet, but what about the plumber taking care of the toilet? Plumbers have a far reaching history as well and while it’s not always been pleasant, it’s something to be proud of.
Plumbers have been working with pipes since the Roman times; in fact, it’s the reason why lead has the abbreviation PB in the periodic tables. Lead was originally called Plumbum (heh) and the people working on them were called plumbers. Lead pipes were all over Rome and were used in just about everything which required the movement of water from one place to somewhere else.
When Rome fell, many of the plumbing innovations went with them and the role of plumbers shifted. For example, nightsoil collectors were men who went around cleaning and gathering the feces of people; definitely one of the worst jobs you could have (though they were paid a handsome fee for services). Many Europeans didn’t believe in bathing, so there was no need for tub cleaning and plumbing. Most plumbers would have been nightsoil collectors instead or amateur inventors such as John Harington who invented the first flush toilet for his godmother Queen Elizabeth in 1597.
Once nightsoil got to be too much to handle (resulting in disasters like cholera outbreaks and the Great Stink of 1858 when the Thames was so full of poop that no one could go anywhere near it), plumbers doubled as inventors. For example, Joseph Bazalgette redesigned the entire sewage system of London from the ground up, reclaiming 58 acres of land under which was the ‘super-highway of sewage’ and on top of which were parks and promenades. He narrowed the river so that it flowed faster and carried away waste more efficiently and generally created a vastly superior system that is still in use today. One could call him a super plumber, though sadly his contributions only netted him a small statue and his name is largely unknown today.
As toilets became more widely spread in use and were joined by things like the bathtub and sink, plumbers reclaimed their original place-that of working on the pipes which carried water to and from homes. However, their breadth of knowledge had increased to include repairs, rebuilding, and often redesigning systems to make them more efficient. Today, the plumber is called in to do everything from unclog a toilet to designing the plumbing in a new home or commercial building.
If your pipes need some plumbing, call on Calgary’s experts at Clearview Plumbing and Heating. We’re here to help, 24/7 and you can contact us at….
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Keywords: calgary plumbing, History of a plumber, plumbing, plumber history, cholera, sewage system, uncolg a toilet, history