Flushed by W. Hodding CarterHodding Carter writes, "The unsung hero of human history was, of course, the Brain of Drains, the Hub of Tubs, the Power of Showers, the Brewer of Sewers...the humble plumber.... The Irish may have saved civilization, once, but plumbers have done so countless times." When we consider the amenities that really make a difference in our well-being, surely good plumbing must rank near the top. But rarely have we taken the time to appreciate the engineering marvels that bring clean water into our homes with the turn of a tap and wash our waste products away with the flip of a lever. Until now. Witty, anecdotal, and thoroughly entertaining, "Flushed" not only chronicles the long and notable history of plumbing, but follows Hodding Carter's travels and travails as he casts his own Roman lead water pipes inspired by the writings of Pliny the Elder, descends into the sewers of London, installs a state-of-the-art Japanese toilet in his bathroom, and fearlessly tries to understand everything about this most underappreciated pillar of civilization. A winning combination of history, science, and firsthand experience, "Flushed" will entertain and educate all those who have never contemplated the hidden intricacies of this miracle of everyday technology.
Call Number: TH 6115 .C37 2006
Publication Date: 2006-05-23
All the Modern Conveniences by Maureen OgleAs any American who has traveled abroad knows, the American home contains more, and more elaborate, plumbing than any other in the world. Indeed, Americans are renowned for their obsession with cleanliness. Although plumbing has occupied a central position in American life since the mid-nineteenth century, little scholarly attention has been paid to its history. Now, in All the Modern Conveniences, Maureen Ogle presents a fascinating study that explores the development of household plumbing in nineteenth-century America. Until 1840, indoor plumbing could be found only in mansions and first-class hotels. Then, in the decade before midcentury, Americans representing a wider range of economic circumstances began to install household plumbing with increasing eagerness. Ogle draws on a wide assortment of contemporary sources?sanitation reports, builders' manuals, fixture catalogues, patent applications, and popular scientific tracts?to show how the demand for plumbing was prompted more by an emerging middle-class culture of convenience, reform, and domestic life than by fears about poor hygiene and inadequate sanitation. She also examines advancements in water-supply and waste-management technology, the architectural considerations these amenities entailed, and the scientific approach to sanitation that began to emerge by century's end.