The invention of the modern drinking water fountain
The modern drinking fountain was invented and then manufactured in the early 1900s by two men and the respective company each man founded: Halsey Willard Taylor and the Halsey Taylor Company; and Luther Haws and the Haws Sanitary Drinking Faucet Co. These two companies changed how water was served in public places.
Halsey Taylor’s father had died of typhoid fever caused by contaminated public drinking water. His father’s death motivated him to invent the water fountain, to provide safer drinking water.
Luther Haws was a part-time plumber, sheet metal contractor and the sanitary inspector for the city of Berkeley, Calif. While inspecting a public school, Haws saw children drinking water out of a common tin cup that was 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.