When a famous theoretical physicist says “ If I could do it all again, I’d be a plumber”, it definitely raises some eyebrows. This Nobel Prize winning scientist whose brain was phenomenal, obviously knew the skills and impact plumbers had on the lives of each and every person.
Einstein brought a scientific eye to the plumbing trade and the engineering and inventions which followed were the forerunners of the contemporary solutions we enjoy today.
Englishman John Harrington designed and installed his own personal indoor flushing toilet in his own home way back in the late 1500s. Wow! It is believed that Americans use the nickname ‘ John’ for their toilets in tribute to this innovator.
Early experiments with indoor plumbing were unsuccessful in eliminating foul smells inside the home, until Scottish watchmaker, Alexander Cumming introduced and patented the S Bend and the first design of a flushing toilet.
Perhaps the most famous name in plumber design is Thomas Crapper. His company was chosen to build cistern toilets for soldiers in World War 1. The name emblazoned on each cistern has stuck.
Einstein recognised the benefits plumbing brought to society in the form of safety for health, hygiene and well-being. In our current times, one of the most beneficial attributes of plumbing is the conservation of our most precious commodity – water.
Being responsible for the water-wise aspects of our day to day lives, the plumber has become a pivotal part of creating new housing estates, of ensuring high-rise apartments and office buildings have efficient water and toilet facilities and that energy saving innovations are introduced. Cost savings and health benefits are paramount! Yes, Einstein was on the money!