The first drinking faucet was invented in 1906 and patented in 1911 by Luther Haws, a self-employed master plumber. While at his rounds at a public school, he noticed children drinking from a shared tin cup. This unsanitary though typical arrangement inspired the inventor in him. Using available parts, Luther Haws assembled the world's first drinking faucet. In 1916, Luther patented the first drinking fountain.
A drinking fountain is referred to as a "bubbler" almost exclusive to the state of Wisconsin. The original bubbler shot water one inch straight into the air, creating the bubbling phenomenon that gave the product its name.
Central Park in New York has over 135 drinking fountains within its 58 miles of pedestrian walkway.
Water from drinking fountains is tested to city health standards, which are higher than the standards required for bottled water.
Children played a key role in the evolution of the drinking fountain. The mouth guard was an addition to the drinking fountain when manufacturers discovered children placing their mouths on or over the bubbler head where the water dispenses. In addition, anti-squirt holes were implemented in future generations of the drinking fountain as kids began to use them as toys by placing their finger over the bubbler head to squirt others with the water. On some drinking fountains, an additional hard-to-reach hole was put on the side of the bubbler to prevent it from squirting. In the photo below, you can see small indents in the sides (the anti-squirt holes).
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