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Plumbing systems already existed in ancient times. In fact, around 1700 a. C., the Minoan Palace of Knossos in Crete first featured a terracotta pipe that provided water for taps, as well as taps made of marble, gold, and silver. During Roman times there were already personal baths and lead pipes (1000 BC – 476 AD). The public baths of Rome were already equipped with silver faucets along with gold and marble fittings.

Since then, public systems have changed, including taps. For many decades, faucets had two handles: one for hot water and one for cold water. In 1937, however, this design changed and this change was initiated by a college student named Al Moen. One fine day in 1937, he turned the faucet handle to wash his hands, but scalded them because the water was too hot. This gave him the idea to design a mixer tap.

Between 1940 and 1945, he designed various types of faucets: from a double-valve faucet to a cylindrical design, finally selling his first single-handle mixer faucet in late 1947. By 1959, his design was used in one million homes in the United States. and are sold in around 55 countries around the world. Today, single-handle faucets are popular and can be found in about 50% of American homes.

In addition to single-hand faucets, Al Moen also came up with other inventions during his lifetime, including the replaceable cartridge (to eliminate washers on faucets), the push-button shower valve diverter, the screen aerator, the flow control aerator, pressure balance shower valves and rotating spray head. In addition to Al Moen, Landis Perry was also involved in creating innovative faucet designs. In 1945, he designed his first faucet ball valve which was intended to provide combined volume and mixing control with an effective means of sealing the valve elements. This design was patented in 1952 and was first introduced in 1954 by delta taps (who bought the patent beforehand). Four years later, its sales exceeded a whopping $1 million.

Approximately two decades later, Wolvering Brass patented the ceramic disc for water control. Unlike rubber-based cartridges, ceramic discs are lapped and polished in such a way that their flatness is only measured in light bands. Ceramic discs tend to last much longer than cartridges as they have high wear resistance and can provide more precise control. These discs are widely used today.

The latest faucet innovations include built-in cartridges used to reduce lead, cysts and chlorine, built-in pull-out sprayers, electronic faucets and those designed for people with disabilities. Electronic faucets were introduced in the early 1980s for hygienic and water conservation purposes, and come with motion-sensing infrared rays. When a person places their hand under the faucet, the infrared beam is interrupted and this interruption causes the water to flow. In addition, battery-powered electronic faucets have also been distributed. Surely more developments will come and improve the lives of many owners.

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