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From Roman Baths to Franke Sinks and Taps - A History of Plumbing

While plumbing has existed since the ancient civilizations of the Romans and the Greeks, it did not become prevalent until the vast progression of cities in the 19th Century. Now into the 21st Century, enormous developments have been made in the manner in which waste is managed and water is brought into our homes, and today it is actually style, instead of the plumbing itself, that individuals tend to consider. Thankfully, with companies like Franke producing stylish, and practical, Franke sinks and taps, it's an easy task to kit out your kitchens and bathrooms with appealing and practical plumbing appliances.

Plumbing first appeared at the introduction of public baths. In ancient civilizations bathing was considered a social activity and it was only the more wealthy end of society who had access to private baths. Public bathing facilities were accessible for the majority and various meetings would take place at such facilities.  It was only in the 19th Century when public health authorities started to press for waste disposal systems to be established did we see any real advancement in plumbing systems.

In 18th Century London proper sanitation was unheard of. The vast increase in Britain's population, along with the immense migration from the countryside to towns and cities led London to become a particularly dirty and dangerous place. Raw sewage ran down streets into open drains and drinking water came from open aqueducts and was heavily contaminated.

The wealthy were able to buy spring water from private companies, but the wealthy through these times were few and far between, and most Londoners were forced to drink water from the Thames. Along with human waste, the Thames was contaminated with other unimaginable horrors for example the chemicals used in manufacturing and rotting carcasses.
The state of London's water triggered a vast surge in the consumption of Gin. Gin was inexpensive for most and above all not contaminated, it could result in a degree of intoxication that would block out the reality of living in London in the 18th Century. This was a downward spiral into worse poverty as many had damaged their ability to complete a days work.

Luckily proper plumbing systems became a widespread feature and things have evolved considerably since that time. Proper plumbing is no longer a luxury, it is considered a fundamental human need, and now we can go that step further styling our kitchens and bathrooms with accessories including Franke sinks and taps.

Through the course of the 19th Century indoor plumbing became a lot more common, and although this brought about vast improvements in the health and hygiene of the country, housework was still a tasking job. It was right at the end of the 19th century that adequate plumbing was a feature within homes, which meant housework was no longer such a laborious task.

Plumbing is one thing we take for granted in the UK and it is hard to contemplate what life was like before it, although many individuals worldwide have to make do without it. Being a developed nation with immediate access to clean, safe water and the convenience of waste disposal which our homes have, we should take full advantage of these luxuries and ensure our sinks and taps are top quality, like those manufactured by Franke sinks and taps.


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  1. As a professional interior designer I must say I found this to be an excellent and very informative article. Looking forward to reading more.

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  3. dunno if this is ok to post, but it helped me small biz

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