To quote Thomas Maddock's Sons Co.: "In 1876 Wm. Smith of San Francisco patented a water closet which employed a jet to assist in emptying the bowl and the development of this principle is due entirely to the potter, who had gradually and by costly experiment become the determining factor in the evolution of the water closet." With this improvement it became possible to do away with the boxing-in of the bowl which up to this time had been necessary. Closet bowls of today are made of vitreous body which does not permit crazing or discoloring of the ware. A study of the illustrations which show the evolution of the closet bowl should be of interest to the student as well as to the apprentice and journeyman. The bath tub developed from a gouged-out stone, in which water could be stored and used for bathing purposes, to our present-day enameled iron and earthenware tubs. The development did not progress very rapidly until about 25 years ago. Since then every feature of the tub has been improved, and from a sanitary standpoint the tubs of today cannot be improved. The bath tub has become an American custom, as the people in this country have demanded that they have sanitary equipment in their homes, while in the European countries this demand has not developed.

Fig. 5.  Modern low tank closet. Fig. 5. - Modern low-tank closet.

The first tubs used in this country were of wood lined with copper or zinc, and were built in or boxed in with wood panelling. The plumbing ordinances of today prohibit this boxing as it proved to be a breeding place for vermin, etc. As the illustration shows, the woodwork encasing the tub was in a great many cases beautifully carved and finished.

The placing on the market of a steel-clad tub, a steel tub with a copper lining, which did away with the boxing, was a big improvement as far as sanitary reasons were concerned as well as a reduction in cost of tubs. These tubs were set up on legs which permitted cleaning and provided good ventilation all around. With these features they drove all other tubs from the market. The copper and zinc were found to be hard to keep clean and they were soon replaced by the iron enamelled and earthenware tubs. The finish on these tubs being white and non-absorbent makes them highly acceptable as sanitary fixtures. A study of the illustrations will show how progress has been made in design as well as in sanitary features.

Fig. 6.  Encased bath tub. Fig. 6. - Encased bath tub.

Fig. 7.  Steel tub on legs. Fig. 7. - Steel tub on legs.

The Wash Bowl

Succeeding the hand basin the first wash basins used in this country were made of marble or slate, with a round bowl of crockery. The bowl was 14 inches in diameter originally, but later was changed to an oval bowl. Like the bath tub these wash stands were encased in wood, the encasing being used to support the marble top. Ornamental brackets were introduced and the wood encasement done away with.

Fig. 8.  Modern built in tub. Fig. 8. - Modern built-in tub.

Fig. 9.  Encased wash bowl. Fig. 9. - Encased wash bowl.

About 1902 the iron-enamelled lavatory appeared on the market and drove all other kinds from the market at once. The reason for this is clear. The marble stands were absorbent and were made with three parts, top, back, and bowl; the enamelled iron lavatory is made all in one piece of material non-absorbent. A study of the illustrations will show clearly how the lavatory has been improved. Strange to say, in all plumbing fixtures, and especially the lavatory, as improvements were made to make them more sanitary a reduction has been made in the price of an individual fixture.

Fig. 10. Fig. 10.

Fig. 11.  Bath room of early 80's. All fixtures are enclosed. Fig. 11. - Bath room of early 80's. All fixtures are enclosed.

The development of the urinal, showers, wash trays, drinking fountains and other fixtures I will not attempt to cover. As the demand has been evident for fixtures of certain types, the plumber has been alert to anticipate and supply it. There is need, however, for improvement in all our fixtures, especially that part which connects with the waste pipes, also the hanging, that is the arrangement or lack of arrangement for hanging fixtures to the wall. The waste and overflow of all fixtures need considerable change to make them sanitary. The opportunity is, therefore, before anyone who will apply himself to this development. Much money, thought, and time have been spent by the manufacturers of iron enamelled ware and by the potteries to gather suggestions made by the plumber in regard to fixtures, and then to perfect them. To these manufacturers is due the beautiful design, stability, and perfect sanitary material which make up our plumbing fixtures of today.

Fig. 12. Fig. 12.