We’ve come a long way from burning fires in caves and going to the bathroom in a hole in the ground.
Here are five inventions that would make medieval royalty envious of our luxurious living:
The flushing toilet was first proposed by Sir John Harrington in the sixteenth century but didn’t become mainstream due to a lack of sewage disposal piping in England. Thomas Crapper came up with the modern version of the flushing toilet when he invented the valve and siphon design in 1891. Since then, innovations have made the “crapper” more efficient in terms of water consumption.
Water heaters became a fixture in the household thanks to Edmund Ruud who, in 1889, improved on the previous design by Benjamin Maughan. Ruud’s design added safety features like flue gas venting to Maughan’s water heater which burned natural gas to heat water entering a tub. Prior to that, people would boil water in a pot and pour it into a basin for bathing and washing. Water heaters are fundamental for washing machines, dishwashers, and warm showers.
The air conditioner was invented by Willis Carrier who worked at a printing plant that needed a way to control humidity and temperature to protect the paper. His initial design consisted of a fan blowing air over coils filled with cold water. In 1933, his company created the basis for the modern version of the air conditioner with a condensing unit, evaporator coil and proper controls.
Central furnaces became a mainstream appliance in the 1800s, but due to a lack of proper oversight and standards for building and rating furnaces, they fell out of favor in the early 20th century. The National Warm Air Heating and Ventilation Association was created in 1914 to address this and now the majority of homes in North America are heated with furnaces.
Thermostats are vital for keeping the temperature in your home at the set point you desire. Imagine having to go down to your basement six times a night to adjust valves, dampers, and fan flow so you can stay comfortable. Believe it or not, this was what people did before several thermostats were invented, starting with Andrew Ure’s bimetallic thermostat in 1830. Modern electronic thermostats allow us to program temperatures to save energy and still keep cozy warm in winter and cool in summer.
Fortunately for us, technology keeps growing by leaps and bounds. To upgrade your home with the latest of these inventions, give us a call today!