Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Being Grateful for Indoor Plumbing

Because of the snow storms we have experienced here in Massachusetts in the last few weeks, we have come to realize just how fortunate we truly are for indoor plumbing. Are we New Englanders grateful?? You bet your BOTTOM dollar we are!! We don't have to put up with any of this.

Monday, October 20, 2014


New Bicycle Rack


As you have probably seen, The Plumbing Museum has received a new bike rack outside, that was installed a few weeks ago. The Artists for Humanity, an organization that has done work for the museum in the past, were the creators behind the plumbing-inspired rack, along with welder Pete Karas. The theme of the rack is "opposites", which can be seen in the opposing directions of the wrenches, the night and day artwork, as well as the traditional vs. modern styles of brick and glass. 
They say that art in the workplace can increase both productivity and creativity.  Enjoy this new artwork and when the weather is nice, feel free to ride your bike to work!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Aren't You Glad You Didn't Live in 1815?

This was sent to us the other day and we found it quite interesting.  I hope you will too.

Today's selection -- from What Hath God Wrought by Daniel Walker Howe. In 1815, Americans were young, went barefoot, and didn't take baths:

"Life in America in 1815 was dirty, smelly, laborious, and uncomfortable. People spent most of their waking hours working, with scant opportunity for the development of individual talents and interests unrelated to farming. Cobbler-made shoes being expensive and uncomfortable, country people of ordinary means went barefoot much of the time. White people of both sexes wore heavy fabrics covering their bodies, even in the humid heat of summer, for they believed (correctly) sunshine bad for their skin. People usually owned few changes of clothes and stank of sweat. 

"Only the most fastidious bathed as often as once a week. Since water had to be carried from a spring or well and heated in a kettle, people gave themselves sponge baths, using the washtub. Some bathed once a year, in the spring, but as late as 1832, a New England country doctor complained that four out of five of his patients did not bathe from one year to the next. When washing themselves, people usually only rinsed off, saving their harsh, homemade soap for cleaning clothes. Inns did not provide soap to travelers. 

"Having an outdoor privy signified a level of decency above those who simply relieved themselves in the woods or fields. Indoor light was scarce and precious; families made their own candles, smelly and smoky, from animal tallow. A single fireplace provided all the cooking and heating for a common household. During winter, everybody slept in the room with the fire, several in each bed. Privacy for married couples was a luxury. ...  

"It was a young society: The census listed the median age as sixteen, and only one person in eight as over forty-three years old. Women bore children in agony and danger, making their life expectancy, unlike today, slightly shorter than that of men. Once born, infants often succumbed to diseases like diphtheria, scarlet fever, and whooping cough. One-third of white children and over half of black children died before reaching adulthood. The women had enough babies to beat these grim odds. To help them through labor, neighbors and trained midwives attended them. Doctors were in short supply, hospitals almost unknown. This proved a blessing in disguise, for physicians then did as much harm as good, and hospitals incubated infection. The upside of rural isolation was that epidemics did not spread easily."  

What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 (Oxford History of the United States)
Author: Daniel Walker Howe
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright 2007 by Oxford University Press, Inc.

Pages 32, 37

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Plumber's Garden?

When a plumber says he has some landscaping to do this weekend, is this what he means?  We must say he is very passionate about his profession, don't you think???

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

You May Want to Think Twice About Bathing in Boston!

There were many strange (and a little crazy we might add) beliefs back in the mid 17th and early 18th century about one's health.  Especially when it came to medicine, remedies and sanitation. An old law in Boston even prevented one from bathing on a Sunday!

Here are three laws that were passed back then in the city of Boston. We found them amusing.  What are your thoughts???

Thursday, April 24, 2014

April 25th is National Plumbers Day!

What better way to celebrate this day then to pay homage to the well known Mr.Thomas Crapper.
We would like to post this delightful prose that was sent to the museum not too long ago.
Thank you Commander Donald Hubbard U.S. Navy (Ret.)


(Thomas Crapper was a nineteenth Century English plumber
whose flushing toilet brought great change to households
In days when folks were rarely known
To have flush toilets on the 'Throne",
A London plumber rose to fame.
Thomas Crapper was his name.

His patent shows a valveless pot
Of clean and shiny terra-cot.
Just pull the chain, the water flows.
And down the drain the sewage goes.

Well, smart as he was it's no surprise
That Crapper knew how to advertise.
"An easy pull brings a certain flush.
No wait, no mess, no toilet brush."

Its phrases like that from a plumber, you see.
That are certain to appeal to royalty.
"Install the system!" his sovereign said.
"Replace the pots beneath the bed."

Dukes and Duchesses, Counts and clowns.
Ladies in their fancy gowns,
Gentlemen portly and gentlemen dapper
Went to the Queen's to see "The Crapper".

Quickly the word spread, far and wide,
About the Queen's new joy and pride.
And ancient castles replaced the trench
With the famous pot that reduced the stench.
First the nobles, then the gentry
Accepted Tom's pot as elementary
Until throughout the British Isles
Tom's system flushed the pooper piles

With this to his credit, it’s sad to relate
Time slandered Tom by a quirk of fate.
A man of his genius deserves riches and fame.
And all that he got was a dirty name.

Don Hubbard ©

I wrote this little ditty back in 1995 as one of the rhymes in my small booklet
called: Days of Yore. This rhyme is still significant, and you can find it and
others from the booklet on my web site:

I hereby give my permission for the Watertown, Massachusetts Plumbing Museum to use this in their newsletter . Don Hubbard, Coronado, CA 92118.

12 December 2013

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How Far Would You "GO" to Socialize???

I have seen many unusual things in my lifetime. However, I do think this is quite the "conversation" piece. Would you agree?