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Wild Historical Facts That You Didn't Know About Plumbers

It's not likely that many people look at plumbers and think "now there's an exciting profession, filled with a rich historical background!" However, their sarcasm is highly misplaced. The following facts prove that there's a lot more to the history of plumbing than meets the eye!

Celebrity Plumber Apprentices?

It's hard to imagine plumbing attracting the attention of celebrities. However, the job held an appeal to a wide variety of now-famous people, chief among them Albert Einstein.

That's right: the man who's name is now synonymous with "genius" has been quoted as saying "if I could do it all again, I'd be a plumber." His quote quickly earned him an honorary membership to the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union in Washington, D.C.

In fact, there have been a wide variety of celebrities that either worked as apprentices or as fully licensed plumbers. They include:

  • Ozzy Osbourne
  • Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle
  • Bob Hoskins
  • Michael Caine
  • Ronnie Lane
  • Joe Cocker

Haskins time as a plumber is particularly amusing, considering that he played the movie version of the most famous plumber of all time: Super Mario!

Thomas Crapper Did NOT Invent the Toilet

When investigating the early history of toilets, it's hard not to giggle a little bit when reading the name Thomas Crapper. With a name like that, it's hard to believe that he even existed. However, Crapper was a real plumber in the late 1800's and is often credited with inventing the modern flush toilet.

Unfortunately, it appears that that old myth has been busted: Crapper did not invent the device that shares his last name. That honor goes to Sir John Harrington, a 16th-century British author who actually installed one in Queen Elizabeth I's palace.

China May Have the Oldest Toilet Ever Found

Recent discoveries in China have illustrated that Harrington's early plumbing genius may not have been as groundbreaking as originally suspected. For Chinese archaeologists recently uncovered the tomb of an early Chinese king and found what appears to be a fully functioning toilet.

The crazy part? The toilet is about 2,000 years old. It's carved out of stone, features a seat and an arm-rest, and was flushed with water piped directly to the toilet! Who knew ancient Chinese kings had it so good?

So, the next time you have to call up a plumber at a place like Hammond Plumbing & Heating Inc, why not drill his career knowledge with these fun facts? You never know: you just might teach him something he never knew!