Whether you shower before bed or early in the morning, or even some other time, everyone can appreciate the rain of warm water on weary muscles. Here in Orem most all of us have showers, or at least access to a shower. If you don’t have a shower, contact your plumber, because you’re missing out! But how did our household human washer come to be? Below is a brief tale about the showers history.
Very Ancient History
Though not recorded, it is believed that cavemen used waterfalls to help stay clean. Though they could not choose where to install their waterfalls, unlike us in Orem, it was still a more convenient option than trying to figure out how to haul water to wherever they wanted it. Waterfalls were also more convenient than trying to form a “bath” of sorts. Especially since they didn’t have plumbing or plumbers. Still, it was probably only a spring/summer sort of thing, since there was no option for heating the water.
Sometime between Cavemen and Ancient Egypt, people began to use jugs of water to reproduce the effect of a shower. At first people would pour a jug of water over themselves or a family member. Small bathrooms have been found starting around 1350 BC in what was once the Ancient Egyptian city of Akhenaten. In these bathrooms slaves would pour jugs of water over an egyptian instead of an egyptian having to clean themselves. One might even say they were the first plumbers, a group of people who got the water where it needed to go. It was the Greeks, though, who are credited with the first form of shower built by man. Using their plumbing and aqueduct system they created communal showers that everyone used, both the commoner and the wealthy. It is unclear who was tasked with the upkeep of the plumbing connected to these showers, but it was probably slaves or a lower caste. In the Ancient Greek city of Pergamum excavators found the remains of these ancient shower rooms, along with depictions of the showers on clay pots. The Romans also had the same sort of showers, and the remains can be found from ancient Rome and throughout their conquered territories.
The middle ages were known for their smelly people. The truth is a little more divided. People did take baths, but certain religious leaders (like St. Francis of Assisi) spread the belief that dirtiness was close to holiness. Why they chose to spread this message we can only guess, but it clearly had an impact. It has also been suggested that some medieval people believed baths to be unhealthy, which was possibly caused by being wet and cold during winter at one point. People were more likely to bathe (if they cleaned using water), or use a cloth to wash their face and hands from a basin filled with water and sometimes oil.
In 1767 William Feetham invented a mechanical shower. The shower was operated by hand pump, which cycled the water from a pan up above onto the person below. This shower didn’t become popular, though. Probably because there was no way to heat the water and the shower sent the same dirty water back to the pan at the top to be used again. Around 1810 the design of this shower was steadily improved until 1850 when it was connected to indoor plumbing and eliminated the problem of reusing the icky water from the previous rinse. During this time the idea of different spray settings was developed.
In the 19th century scientists and medical professionals began to establish that washing and showers are good for the body, because they prevent disease and infection. Around this time showering daily began to become part of a daily routine for most people.
The shower keeps on developing all the time, but it’s mostly bells and whistles right now. Showers now can include everything from dual showerheads and flashing (or steady) lights to built in televisions! Whatever type of shower you use, it’s still nice to be able to take one whenever we want without having to grab a jug!
Your Plumber Orem is happy to help you with all your shower maintenance or installation needs. Want a new shower in your bathroom? Your Plumber Orem can install it. Want a communal shower at your business? Your Plumber Orem can do that too! Give us a call about your project today.