The nature of plumbing is such that its most clever innovations usually are obscure to the public eye. People take for granted devices such as the T&P valve, kitchen disposal, flush toilet and so many of our industry's other useful gadgets that have made their lives safer, healthier, more comfortable and convenient. Even plumbers who work with these mechanisms every day tend to lose sight of the ingenuity that went into them.
By spotlighting these great inventions, we hope to instill a greater appreciation for the creativity of our industry's forefathers. Because of space limitations, for this first installment we limited our coverage to the first half of this century. We also wanted to focus on breakthroughs that have withstood the test of time. In future editions of "History of Plumbing," we plan to look at more modern innovations as well.