Plumbing Throughout History - Parker & Sons

Here is the funny thing about plumbing, it is at once both complex and incredibly simple. Modern plumbing is startlingly similar to some of the most ancient plumbing systems in the world, and yet it has progressed by leaps and bounds over the decades. To put these seemingly paradoxical and nonsensical ideas into context, and to provide clarification, we will look at plumbing throughout history. To start with, we will go to Rome!

The Romans had it Down

As with many other things, the Romans had things figured out long before anyone else. It would take centuries for the rest of the world to catch up. In fact, the world would take as step backwards into the Dark Ages before they came even close to achieving what the Romans achieved.

In effect, the Romans created modern plumbing. They build towering aqueducts which transported water between cities. They build elaborate bathhouses with interior plumbing that delivered hot and cold water. They also had underground sewage for the disposal of waste. When the Roman civilization collapsed, much of this technology was lost for hundreds of years.

The Middle Ages

After the Romans went down… things kind of fell apart. People stopped washing. They started throwing their waste out of the window into the streets. The world was gross, dirty, and very, very smelly. And there were consequences to this. One of them was the Black Plague. The lack of proper sanitation caused the Black Plague to spread like wildfire. It resulted in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people! If cities had plumbing facilities even on the level of the Romans, it is likely that millions of lives would have been saved.

Plumbing throughout history matters. In fact, plumbing saves lives! Does this mean that plumbers are heroes? We think so.

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