The modern drinking fountain was invented and manufactured in the early 1900s by two men: Halsey Willard Taylor with the Halsey Taylor Company; and Luther Haws with the Haws Sanitary Drinking Faucet Co. These two companies changed how water was served in public places.
Taylor’s father had died of typhoid fever caused by contaminated public drinking water. His father’s death motivated him to invent the drinking water fountain, to provide safer drinking water for the public and hopefully prevent the spread of diseases such as typhoid fever.
Haws was a part-time plumber and sanitary inspector. While inspecting a public school, Haws saw children drinking water out of a common tin cup tied to the faucet. Haws also feared that there was a health hazard in the way the public was sharing their water supply. Haws invented the first faucet designed for drinking. He used spare plumbing parts, taking the ball from a brass bedstead and a self-closing rabbit ear valve. The Berkeley school department installed the first model drinking faucets.
Since then, drinking water fountains have grown ever-more popular, and the technology and safety of them has been greatly developed. They are now an essential in public places such as schools and leisure centres, and access to clean, safe drinking water comes as standard in the UK. Thanks to the work of these men, whose companies still make excellent water fountains today, we at Drinking Water Fountains are able to offer an extensive range of stylish and sanitary drinking fountains suitable for any personal or public space, ensuring you have clean drinking water at the touch of a button.