THE INVENTION OF PLUMBING
From my perspective, I believe that the invention of plumbing is the greatest innovation in history. Plumbing first originated in ancient Greek and Roman societies. The Romans developed public baths, which were a form of social entertainment, and as a result they needed to provide potable water and wastewater removal for large amounts of people. Thus, they were able to develop hot water and steam systems. Romans were able to work together to find a solution in order to enjoy the pleasure of the baths used by the entire society. By the 4th century AD, Rome was flourishing with baths, however they had no knowledge of bacteria and true causes of disease. In this case, the Romans limited resource was an absence of knowledge. The lack of information of bacterial diseases was a definitive aspect of the extensive development of plumbing. However, the baths represented the connection between staying healthy and keeping clean, which would later be innovated once the problem became evident. In fact, the Romans later built the first sewers. During this time, the latrines were adjacent to the kitchens, and eventually scientists were able to issue the root of many sicknesses. Scientists and engineers of plumbing systems were able to work collectively to improve the system. The invention of aqueducts allowed for towns to get fresh water from hills outside of their own towns, preventing disease. Advances in the sciences were an incredibly valuable resource, as it progressed the development of plumbing. As time evolved, plumbing systems became more complex and superior. Plumbing is essential to an urban life style and without a plumbing system, how else would we brush our teeth, shower, or eat? Everyone needs fresh water to drink that is brought by pipes into households and everyone needs a way to get waste out of their households or town. A household or town without an appropriate sewage and an ideal sanitation system would put residents’ health at risk. As a result, plumbing helped increase life expectancy, decrease child mortality rates, and allow a better way of life for much of the world’s population.
In regards to yesterday’s activity of receiving a problem and creating a solution with limited supplies, it made me admire the work and commitment that went into the invention of plumbing. I was presented with trying to keep a baby warm in a structure that has no access to electricity. The limited supplies I received consisted of paperclips, a paper bag, a piece of string, a few straws, and one piece of aluminum paper. My team and I created an invention that allowed one to blow into the straw that was connected to an aluminum pouch, which created and retained heat. As a result of the activity, I learned that finding a solution to a problem does not come easily or in a day and does not come without reliance on others around you. Just like my mock invention, the invention of plumbing came with several obstacles that would take hundreds of years to perfect.