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Here at Haws, a special moment in history transpired when Luther Haws invented the drinking fountain in 1906. Along with this special moment in history, there are interesting happenings that go along with the early invention of drinking fountains. Here are 5 kooky moments in history regarding drinking fountains that you may not have known.
- Among the biggest supporters of drinking fountains were temperance groups, who thought they would discourage people from drinking so much alcohol. Temperance groups were among the wealthy in the earthy 19th century. Temperance groups supported the drinking fountain movement by funding the building of more drinking fountains.
- Around 1920, settled power on water fountains= with slanted jets of water as the safest, most sensible format and they’ve remained pretty similar ever since.
- At the beginning of the 20th Century, people finally realized that common cups were completely disgusting and insane. In early drinking fountains metal cups were used and health promoters decided this was a terrible idea.
- In the late 1980’s, drinking fountains became controversial once again– because of lead poisoning.
- Then drinking fountains met their strongest adversary yet: bottled water.
- 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).
Since the invention of the drinking fountain in 1906, Haws® has aimed to re-define expectations. Having been around for over 100 years, Haws has a rich history filled with eminent events that have shaped who we are as a company today. We have included some of our favorite photos of yesteryear to give a glimpse of Haws‘ early beginnings.